DACA / Dreamers / Undocumented

The resources in this section focus on career development for DACA and undocumented students. The information provided here is not legal advice; any questions pertaining to work authorization and/or immigration status are best answered by legal counsel. Fresno State’s Dream Success Center (DSC) hosts free immigration legal services clinics for students and employees throughout the semester – contact the DSC for more information.

Fresno State faculty and staff are committed to your personal, educational, and professional growth. Here is a recap of some of the departments on campus that can support undocumented and DACA students:

  • Career Development Center (CDC) – The CDC is available to help all students with any career-related questions they might have. You can schedule a one-on-one appointment with a career advisor to discuss anything from major exploration, job outlook, resume and cover letters, interviewing, and more. The CDC also hosts a number of events throughout the year, such as the Fall and Spring Career Fairs. Contact us by email at careers@csufresno.edu or by phone at 559.278.2381 to schedule an appointment.

    Career Development Center UndocuAllies:
    Jody Burum – jburum@csufresno.edu
  • Claudia Ceja – cceja@csufresno.edu
    Nora Diaz-Vasquez – norad@csufresno.edu
    J. Daniel Gomez Martinez – jdanielgomez@csufresno.edu

  • Dream Success Center (DSC) – The DSC supports all AB 540, undocumented, DACA, and mixed-status students at Fresno State. They offer a wide variety of services geared towards this community of students, such as Immigration Legal Services, orientations, financial aid info sessions, workshops, and a peer mentor program. The DSC also facilitates UndocuAlly training for faculty and staff to increase their awareness of the unique needs when working with this community. Contact the DSC for more information or to schedule an appointment with their staff.

The National Immigration Law Center is a useful resource for information regarding migrant issues. They have an FAQ page dedicated to DACA and Employment, answering questions like:

  • Should I tell my employer if my DACA and work authorization expires?
  • Are there any limits on my employer’s ability to reverify my work authorization?
  • Can I work as an independent contractor?
  • If I lose my job, do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

For students without work authorization, gaining relevant experience in your chosen field can be difficult. However, there are ways in which you can develop the skills necessary to become a knowledgeable, well-rounded, and competitive member of the workforce:

  • Get involved on campus – Fresno State’s Student Involvement Center provides students with a wide variety of opportunities to get involved on campus and develop specialized skills. Student clubs and campus programs are a great opportunity to learn more about your chosen career field, network with other students and professionals, and develop leadership skills necessary for career success!
  • Volunteering, interning, and service learning – Even if it’s unpaid, volunteer and interning experience is a great way to build your resume and network. These experiences are opportunities to demonstrate your passion and work ethic and can help you develop the strong people skills needed in today’s job market. Fresno State’s Career Development Center can assist you with questions regarding internships; for more information on service learning, visit the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning – they even have opportunities for grant-funded service experiences via their Central Valley College Corps (open to Dream/AB-540 students with or without DACA) and Scholars in Service Program (open to Dream/AB-540 students with or without DACA)!
    • The Career Development Center oversees the Community Service Scholarship Program (CSSP), where eligible students can earn a $645, $1,290 or $1,935  scholarship depending on their circumstances. Contact the Career Development Center by phone at 559.278.2381 or by email at careers@csufresno.edu for more information.
    • ***NOTE: Be mindful about internship requirements. Many internships require authorization to work in the US. Make sure you know the requirements before applying.
  • Engage with these community organizations:
    • The Education & Leadership Foundation (ELF) – ELF offers a variety of services that are beneficial to students and their families, such as skills training, DACA application assistance, and educational support. Contact ELF for more information.
    • The Moreno Institute advocates for the academic, professional, and economic advancement of immigrant communities including entrepreneurship training and paid internships. Subscribe to become a member here.
  • Join professional associations and get certificated – Professional associations are industry and career-specific organizations that are fantastic opportunities for networking and continued education. Many professional associations host conferences where members can meet to discuss new practices and research, as well as publish newsletters, provide job boards, and host trainings for various certifications. Completing certifications beyond your degree will help you stand out from the crowd. Use CareerOneStop’s Professional Association Finder, or do a web search for “[your career] professional association” to find organizations that are right for you! CareerOneStop also has a Certification Finder tool that can help you explore common certifications by industry!
    ***NOTE: Some professional associations require annual payments (or dues) to become a member. Many of these associations offer student memberships at a discounted rate, so take advantage of that while you can!

While in School

After Graduation

Owning your own business or becoming an independent contractor are the most common practices for students to generate income after graduation. If you have never considered either of these options, it can feel overwhelming. However, there are resources available that can help you get started on this career path:

Immigrant’s Rising also has Financial Support Programs, such as the SEED Grants to help support Business/Nonprofit owners, as well as Leadership Opportunities such as the Mental Health Career Development Program. They are a fantastic resource that we encourage students to explore.

  • Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation (FAHF) – The FAHF offers a multitude of services for students trying to build their own business. They can assist with the technical processes required in establishing a business such as licensing, as well as providing microloans to help get your business off the ground. Contact the FAHF directly for more information regarding their services.
  • Teach For America (TFA) – If you are interested in teaching, TFA provides opportunities for DACA students to teach as a part of the DACAmented Network program. These are paid positions, and corps members have the opportunity for additional needs-based grants and loans while in the program.

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Career Resources

Contact & Location

P 559.278.2381

Career Development Center
University Student Union, Room 306
5280 N. Jackson Ave, M/S SU61
Fresno, CA 93740

Career Service Hours

Monday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Thursday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Friday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Career Cafe Walk-In Hours 9am-3pm Daily

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