Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

McAllister, Carolyn


This study explored educator perspectives on the needs that undocumented students have and perceived preparedness on supporting students in this population. This study arose from the need to further explore how prepared educators are to address the many barriers that undocumented students face in navigating school and their home lives. Using a mixed-methods research approach, this study gathered educator perceptions through quantitative survey data and qualitative interviews. Survey data used descriptive statistics to analyze demographic data and used statistical correlational analyses between variables to explore the question of educator’s perceptions of undocumented students’ needs and preparedness. Thematic analysis of gathered interview data further informed this exploratory query. A total of 58 K-12 public school teachers across California were surveyed, from which 6 participants were also interviewed. The exploratory results from this study indicated that teachers, on average, held a moderate understanding of undocumented student needs but conveyed having insufficient support and training to address those needs. The findings of this research study contribute to social work practice by providing insight on possible deficiencies in the support systems that exist for individuals of undocumented status and help to demonstrate where school based social workers can work collaboratively with educators to improve services for undocumented students and families.

Included in

Social Work Commons