Undocumented and DACA Students
The UCC believes that our students who are undocumented, first generation, and/or low SES have incredible courage and resilience that have shaped them into uniquely talented individuals with significant strengths. At the same time, we recognize that the same factors may result in experiences and obligations that are uniquely stressful and may make it hard to fully engage in their Notre Dame educational experience. Staying fully motivated, finding balance with overwhelming obligations, navigating relationships, feeling alone, managing anxiety and depression are issues that ALL Notre Dame students experience. When you add to that, deportation fears, concerns about family, finances/employment concerns, uncertainty about the future, identity concerns, and xenophobia/racism, it’s understandable that our students may sometimes feel overwhelmed and may have hard time finding a sense of balance and wellbeing.
This is where the UCC can help. The UCC provides a confidential space where undocumented students can talk with a therapist and develop an individualized plan to address their concerns. Through counseling, students address concerns that feel overwhelming. Counseling is a place where students can be themselves and feel valued, heard and accepted. Through counseling, students learn coping strategies to better manage the stresses that they experience as a result of their circumstances and life in a rigorous academic environment. The UCC offers a variety of services including drop-in sessions, workshops, group therapy, on-going individual counseling, crisis management, psychiatric evaluation/medication management, and referral to other campus resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I trust that the UCC is a safe place?
The UCC is committed to creating a safe environment for all students. A key component to this is your right to confidentiality. We will not disclose information that you share with anyone outside of the UCC without your written consent unless there is a serious safety concern. We aim to create a welcoming, comfortable, and respectful environment where all students feel accepted, valued, and heard.
Do I have to disclose my immigration status?
NO. It’s your choice, when, how, or even IF you want to disclose this information to your therapist.
Will the UCC disclose information about my or my family/friends’ immigration status status?
NO. Our staff are bound to confidentiality and will not disclose any information without your prior written consent or the existence of a serious safety concern.
How can counseling help me?
The idea of utilizing counseling to deal with problems or issues is something that might be unfamiliar and uncomfortable for students depending on their cultural background and family/community norms. Students might be more familiar with managing issues on their own or only talking to trusted family members or friends about concerns. While those resources continue to be available to you, sometimes those confidants at home may be unfamiliar with the stress of university life and the resulting concerns that you are facing. It can be hard to find peers that you want to share concerns with, because they have their own stresses they are dealing with. That’s where the UCC comes in. Our staff specializes in the stresses and concerns that are common for students in a rigorous academic environment. We can help you learn to manage that stress and cope with other concerns so that you are better able to make the most of the academic opportunities available to you at Notre Dame.
What issues might undocumented students or students concerned about undocumented family members speak about in therapy?
- Fears associated with immigration status and deportation
- Coping with stress of Notre Dame in addition to legal and family issues
- Financial concerns
- Experiences of racism and/or xenophobia
- Navigating Notre Dame and making the most of your college experience
- Depression, anxiety, adjustment, and relationships
- Feeling alone, different, and unconnected
Are evening appointments available?
Yes, on a limited basis. Please let us know if you require an evening appointment.
Is there a fee associated with UCC services?
No, services are completely free of charge for all Notre Dame students.
Notre Dame Resources for DACA and Undocumented students
Contact the Office of Student Enrichment to learn about programs and activities where you can meet other undocumented or DACA students. You can also receive assistance with identifying available legal resources and possible reimbursement of DACA renewal filing fees. For more information, contact Christin Kloski (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Office of Student Enrichment.