DACA Information at UCO
The University of Central Oklahoma affirms its commitment, articulated in its mission statement, to help all of its students learn by providing transformative education experiences. This commitment extends to and embraces students with DACA and undocumented status. These student are valuable and valued members of the Central community and make important contributions to the university and to the communities the university serves.
Diversity in areas including alienage, national origin and citizenship status is an essential element of the high quality, affordable, transformative teaching and learning experience that UCO fosters in order to educate creative, collaborative, adaptable and engaged critical thinkers who are receptive to new ideas, who celebrate diversity and who lead fulfilling lives.
UCO provides a variety of resources, including the DACA Ally Program and the Dreamer Fund Scholarship, to support students with DACA and undocumented status and to help them become productive, creative, ethical and engaged citizens and leaders who serve our global community.
Information about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for Students, Faculty and Staff
In June 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an immigration relief program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The DACA program gives Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) discretion to defer prosecution of qualifying individuals under certain guidelines and directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to follow specific regulations to determine such individuals’ eligibility for certain federal benefits.
On July 28, 2020, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf issued a memorandum directing all DHS personnel to take appropriate actions to reject all pending and future initial DACA requests, to reject all pending and future applications for advance parole absent exceptional circumstances and to shorten DACA renewals to one year. USCIS has indicated that it will not rescind any currently valid two-year grants of DACA or associated employment authorization documents (EADs) unless USCIS terminates an individual’s DACA and associated employment authorization for failure to continue to meet the DACA criteria. USCIS has also indicated that it will generally reject requests received more than 150 days before the current grant of DACA expires.
What does this mean?
- Previous DACA recipients can apply for renewal;
- New applications are not being processed at this time; and,
- In the state of Oklahoma, individuals are eligible to attend colleges and universities regardless of status per the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
Support for Undocumented Students
A task force of more than 20 faculty, staff and representatives of student groups have been working to identify resources for DACA and undocumented students at UCO. The taskforce received statements in support of DACA students from the following different areas on campus:
- UCO Student Association;
- UCO Faculty Senate;
- UCO Staff Senate;
- Hispanic American Student Association;
- Office of Diversity and Inclusion;
- American Association of University Professors;
- African American Faculty and Staff Association;
- Latino Faculty and Staff Association;
- LGBTQIA+ Faculty and Staff Association; and,
- Native American Faculty and Staff Association.
UCO Resources and Services
Students can reach out to the following offices to connect to resources and services, as needed:
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is happy to assist prospective DACA and undocumented students through the application process. Prospective DACA and undocumented students who have questions regarding the application process or have general questions about UCO, can email questions to Latasha Giddings at email@example.com or at 405-974-2724.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion researches, designs and implements unique programs that promote the pursuit of academic success, encourage retention and enhance graduation rates of students. DACA and undocumented students are encouraged to participate in programs and services offered through the office for support and to be connected to other campus resources. For additional information, contact Dene Roseburr-Olotu at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-974-5946.
Office of Global and Cultural Competencies
Students, faculty and staff seeking resources for DACA and undocumented students can contact the Office of Global and Cultural Competencies. The office seeks to establish and enhance initiatives that enable the university to connect with and serve the diverse communities within the metropolitan area. To inquire about resources or to schedule a Dreamer Ally Training session, contact Liliana Rentería Mendoza at email@example.com or 405-974-5762.
Student support groups are offered weekly. A case manager is available to help students with barriers to success in college such as budgeting, time management, stress management and other support finding campus and community resources. For additional information, contact Julia Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-974-2215.
The Office of Student Advocacy helps students identify and develop skills to navigate their paths to success and degree completion at UCO. This office can provide guidance and resources to students who are having financial and academic challenges. Email email@example.com or book an appointment to be connected to a student advocate.
Scholarships and Other Resources
Aspiring Americans (scholarships): http://www.aspiringamericans.org/financial-aid/
Resources for Dreamers from the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities: https://www.hacu.net/hacu/Resources_for_DACA_Students__Family.asp
ACLU Know Your Rights: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights
Dream Action Oklahoma: https://daok.org/
The Mexican Consulate offers the following resources:
Low-cost immigration services in Oklahoma: https://www.immigrationlawhelp.org/search?state=OK
Dreamer Intake Services (DIS): http://e4fc.org/legalservices/getfreelegalhelp.html
Where Can I Get the Latest Information About DACA?
FAQs related to DACA (Department of Homeland Security): https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/09/05/frequently-asked-questions-rescission-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca
United We Dream: https://unitedwedream.org/
Immigrant Legal Resources Center: https://www.ilrc.org/
National Immigration Law Center: https://www.nilc.org
Students are eligible for UCO Foundation scholarships which are not restricted by citizenship status. Among these scholarships are the Dreamer Fund and the Tio Chuy’s Auto Group Difference Maker Endowed Scholarship Fund. To view the criteria for these funds, students can view the UCO Foundation Scholarship Portal.
Faculty, staff, alumni and community members can donate to the Dreamer Fund online or by contacting a UCO Foundation representative. Donate your gift to the "Dreamer Fund" online.