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Small Action, Big Change

Small Action, Big Change

Sara Espinosa
Illinois Student Assistance Commission

Often, we wonder what we can do to help others, particularly our students. We think and plan for the many things that we could do to enact change to better serve our unique student populations. From meetings to workgroups to ally training to conferences, change requires time, research, commitment, and dedication, but most importantly, it requires a collaborative effort. Whether this means voting in an election, participating in a committee, proposing a conference session or any other effort where multiple people are involved, the process is similar: many unique individuals commit to taking action to create change, and no action is too small to help those efforts.

Today, I ask you to commit to be a part of change for our undocumented students. While I recognize and appreciate that many of you are leading your own efforts to better serve undocumented student populations across Illinois and in many other states, I ask that you be part of a collaborative effort within IACAC by adding your institution to the IACAC College Advising Guide for Undocumented Students.

Last year, we transformed the IACAC College Advising Guide for Undocumented Students into a searchable database. The goal was to make it a more accessible resource for students and professionals to learn about colleges’ and universities’ efforts to provide support and services for undocumented students. We reached out to IACAC and NACAC members to promote the guide and to highlight these exciting changes, but today I reach out with a call to action: help us make the database a better tool for undocumented students by adding your institution.

As of today, we have approximately 60 institutions on the database, and our membership alone includes representation from 260 different colleges and universities. I urge you to take a moment to visit the IACAC College Advising Guide for Undocumented Students today to see if your school is listed. If it is not, please take a moment to add your school by filling out the initial questionnaire (confirm only one staff member will submit an entry). If your school is already listed, please corroborate the information posted on the website, and if anything has changed, you can make the necessary edits by clicking on Edit in the top menu, finding your institution’s entry and making the necessary updates (be sure to include the date you’re updating).

The initial process of adding your institution will take a few minutes of your time but the impact of improving our database to create a useful resource for undocumented students will be long-lasting. While you may represent just one institution, keep in mind that together we can make the Undocumented Guide a highlight of our collective efforts to support undocumented students everywhere.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Inclusion, Access, and Success Committee Chairs at

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