Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version



Tuliao, M., Hatch, D. K., & Torraco, R. J. (2017). Refugee students in community colleges: How colleges can respond to an emerging demographic challenge. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 24(1), 15–26.


Copyright © Tuliao, Hatch, & Torraco 2017.


This practice brief provides recommendations for community college leaders in addressing the educational needs of refugee students in community colleges. Despite increasingly diverse immigrant populations at community colleges, there is limited research examining refugee students and their needs in higher education settings. Educational needs related to social support, cultural competency of the campus community, and financial assistance are found to be salient for refugee students. Implications for community colleges are discussed from the perspective of validation and community cultural wealth. Strategies that meet the needs of refugee students include expanding social networks that involve local community organizations, developing specific support programs for refugees, facilitating culturally-responsive teaching and learning practices, and considering demographic trends of refugees in strategic planning efforts.