Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj, Associate Professor in the Department of Education at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School, and Adam Strom, from Re-imagining Migration, co-authored the brief “Promoting School Success for Immigrant-Origin Students,” released by Results for America and the Annenberg Institute at Brown University.

The newly updated EdResearch for Action brief highlights proven practices schools can use to engage and support multilingual students classified as English learners and immigrant-origin students and represent a growing percentage of public school children. One in 10 students is classified as an English learner and one in four has a parent who was born outside of the United States. These students often face unique educational challenges. Evidence-based strategies can help schools effectively support them and their families.

Key Insights of the brief include:

Breaking Down the Issue

  • Differences in achievement between immigrant-origin and native-born students primarily result from variations in family and school resources, and this is compounded by issues like interrupted schooling and language barriers.
  • Immigrant-origin students may experience stressors related to immigration status and immigration enforcement threats that can affect their academic performance and overall well-being.

Evidence-Based Practices

  • Formal programs and after-school supports have been shown to improve academic performance for immigrant youth.
  • Strong teacher-student relationships can contribute to students’ school persistence, sense of belonging, and educational aspirations.

Practices to Avoid

  • Separating immigrant students from their non-immigrant peers in classes or schools can have adverse effects on all students.
  • When immigrant students are denied access to rigorous coursework and diverse elective options, it can hinder their academic progress and social integration.

Full research available here: