JCCC president’s message on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program

September 6, 2017


Dear members of the JCCC community,

Beginning with when we opened our doors back in 1969, Johnson County Community College has a proud history of welcoming and educating a broad and diverse array of students. As a college, we value the diversity that all students bring to our classrooms and everyday lives. Our students, like all community college students, come from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Our students come from our county and other parts of the world. (Much like my own grandparents.) Our students have varied beliefs and practice different faiths. Our students have different interests and are passionate about different topics. But based on my interactions with our students as an instructor, and as president of this college, I know this to be certain, we all share one common value…that education provides a pathway to a better tomorrow for all of us. And the education we offer at Johnson County Community College should be available to anyone who wants to work hard and better themselves and their family.

With the recent announcement concerning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the current administration will be rescinding DACA effective March 5, 2018, allowing Congress to replace DACA with legislation or allow for an "orderly wind down" of the policy. This action brings pause to many. As an open access institution, the College is committed to the continued success of all students.

Services and information DACA students and family members should be aware of:

Johnson County Community College is working to respond to student and family inquiries to ensure continued support for our DACA students. Please know that the most recent announcement does not impact JCCC's policies related to student records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). JCCC does not release student records without written consent from a student or a court ordered subpoena.

Over the coming months we all have a unique opportunity to participate in the conversations regarding our country's immigration policy. We have the obligation to inform others by sharing our story as a college, as well as the stories of our students, with regard to the contribution that DACA students make to our college community and our society. As the President of JCCC, I will seek every opportunity to be involved in these discussions. I hope that Congress will act quickly to pass legislation in the coming months, thereby allowing all JCCC students to feel confident and secure in their learning environment and in our community.

Sincerely,

Joe Sopcich

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