The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) strives to recruit and retain underrepresented students, English Language Learners, and undocumented students through completion of their academic goals. OMSA’s services are available to all students, but is a critical support system for African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and other diverse populations. OMSA provides direct student support services and coordinates programming to promote seamless integration into the college environment.
Mission & Vision Statement
The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) provides outreach, academic guidance, personal support, cultural resources, and leadership opportunities to enhance the educational experience and facilitate the academic and personal growth of underrepresented students.
OMSA's vision is to increase enrollment and ensure optimal academic success, retention, and graduation of underrepresented groups. OMSA supports diversity initiatives to enhance the college community in creating a diverse, culturally inclusive environment.
The goals of OMSA are to:
- Provide academic advising to underrepresented groups in an effort to provide a clearer pathway to completion.
- Increase access and opportunities for underrepresented students to pursue higher education.
- Promote the development of academic, social, and leadership skills necessary for student success.
- Facilitate successful transfer to a four-year institution.
Office Hours and Location
The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs is located across from the bookstore in A-1108 in the Campus Center, Main Campus at 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431.
Hours of operation:
- Summer hours: 7:00am - 5:30pm, Monday thru Thursday
- Fall and Spring hours: 8:00am - 4:30pm, Monday thru Friday
- As of Aug. 31, 2020, the physical campus office will be closed on Fridays but virtual services will remain open and available.
Latinx Heritage Month 2020 (Virtual Events)
Celebrate Latinx culture through virtual games, presentations and more! To join an event, click on the Microsoft Teams link below when the event begins.
El Grito Presentation - Sept. 17, 1 p.m.
Learn about current and historical figures who made a difference for the Latinx community, from the struggle for independence to the progress of Latinx people in the United States.
Note: This event begins on Thursday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.
Loteria with LU - Sept. 22, Noon
Take a study break and hang out with OSA and Latinos Unidos! We will be playing Loteria, a traditional Mexican game like Bingo. Three winners will recieve a $25 Amazon gift card!
Note: This event begins on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at noon.
Carlos Andrés Gómez - Sept. 22, 3 p.m.
Join us for an afternoon with spoken word artist Carolos Andrés Gómez.
- An award-winning poet, speaker and actor
- Author of the book, "Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood"
- The star of HBO's Def Poetry Jam, TV One's Verses and Flow, and Spike Lee's #1 movie Inside Man
- Author of the viral poems "Where are you really from?" and "What Latino Looks Like"
Note: This event begins Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 3 p.m.
Latinx/Hispanic Communities and Mental Health - Sept. 24, 1 p.m.
Join Student Wellness Advocate Jessica Contreras as we discuss the prevalence, hardships and mental health challenges Latinx individuals encounter. There will also be a discussion about overcoming barriers and how culture can have a positive impact on our well-being.
Note: This event begins on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 1 p.m.
Latinx Game Night - Oct. 1, 6 p.m.
Hang out with us for a fun, educational game night about Latinx culture - and compete for the win!
Note: This event begins Thursday, Oct. 1 at 6 p.m.
Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá (Neither From Here Nor From There) - Oct. 8, 1 p.m.
Join us for an interactive discussion about the experiences of Generation 1.5, a term used to describe those who arrived in the U.S. as children or adolescents and whose identities are split between two cultures creating a hybrid identity.
Note: This event begins Thursday, Oct. 8 at 1 p.m.
Tamale Cooking Demonstration with Javier
JJC's own Javier Reyes prepares tamales in the tutorial video below.
Tamales are made of masa (dough) and filled with meats, cheeses, fruits and sauces. They are steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. Check out this video and tag us in your own adventures in tamale-making!
Programs and Services
Through our Programs and Services, OMSA strives to provide an inclusive environment that achieves the following objectives: -Provide optimal academic advising to underrepresented groups in an effort to provide a clearer pathway to completion. -Increase access and opportunities for underrepresented students to pursue higher education. -Promote the development of academic, social, and leadership skills necessary for student success. -Facilitate the successful transfer to a four-year institution or successful transition into the workplace.
Bilingual Services & Cultural Reinforcement
- Academic Guidance and Referral Services
- Advocacy and Personal Support for Underrepresented Students
- Transfer Related Services & College Tours
- Mentoring Programs i.e. Brother2Brother (B2B), Male mentoring initiative; Peer Mentors
- Cultural Enrichment Activities
- Leadership Development Programs and Conferences
- Advising for English Language Learners
- Community and High School Presentations
- Resources for undocumented students
- Advising available in Spanish
Peer Mentors Program
Peer mentors serve as a resource and assist new students with first-year transitional issues by providing support in integrating students into the college community. Peer mentors are required to meet with their assigned mentees on a one-on-one basis and attend educational and leadership activities.
To be a peer mentor you must:
- Be currently enrolled at Joliet Junior College
- Have a 2.75 GPA
- Complete a comprehensive training program
- Be in good standing with the college
Compensation is $250.00 per semester.
Scholarships and Resources
Resources and Information for special populations
- Black Excel
- Congressional Black Caucus
- The Jackie Robinson Foundation
- Thurgood Marshall Scholarships
- United Negro College Fund
- Asian American Journalist Association
- Korean American Scholarship Foundation
- Japanese American Citizens League
- Japanese Government Scholarships
Hispanic / Latinos
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- League of United Latin American Citizens
- State Farm Insurance Hispanic Scholarships
- Jimenez Scholarship for Immigrant Students
- The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
- Aspira of Illinois Puerto Rico Resurrection Project
- A Better Chance
- American Indian College Fund
- Association on American Indian Affairs
- Association of American Indian Physicians
- Cherokee Nation
- Indian Health Service
- Morris K. Udall Foundation
- Native American Fish and Wildlife Society
- Native American Journalists Association
- Self Determination Assistance
Director, Multicultural Student Affairs
Phone: (815) 280-6680
Assistant, Multicultural Student Affairs
Phone: (815) 280-6709
Multicultural Pathway Coach
Phone: (815) 280-2631
Multicultural Pathway Coach
Phone: (815) 280-2829
Undocumented Student Resources
The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs provides outreach, academic guidance, cultural resources, and leadership opportunities to enhance the educational experience and facilitate the academic and personal growth of underrepresented students. OMSA is committed to creating a campus climate that is inclusive to all students. OMSA staff are knowledgeable in connecting undocumented students to valuable resources, scholarship information and personal support. Advising services are also available in Spanish.
"It is critical to reiterate that Joliet Junior College is an institution that is accessible to all, regardless of status." -Dr. Judy Mitchell, President, Joliet Junior College (9/6/2017)
Read the full version of Dr. Judy Mitchell's statement of support for DACA.
Joliet Junior College Core Values- Respect & Inclusion
Advocates respect and inclusion for every individual and pledges to promote and recognize the diverse strengths of its employees and students, and to value and celebrate the unique attributes, characteristics, and perspectives of every individual.
What do you Need to Know About the End of DACA
On September 5, 2017, President Trump directed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to phase out and eventually end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) over two and half years. This means that, as of September 5, 2017:
- USCIS will continue to process all pending INITIAL applications ACCEPTED as of September 5, 2017.
- USCIS will reject all other new INITIAL applications. • USCIS will continue to process all pending RENEWAL applications that have already been filed.
- USCIS will continue to accept and process RENEWAL applications until October 5, 2017 from applicants whose DACA expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018. DACA recipients whose DACA has already expired are no longer eligible to renew.
- USCIS will reject all INITIAL and RENEWAL applications received after October 5, 2017.
IMPORTANT: Individuals with a current, unexpired grant of DACA will continue to hold DACA until it expires. This means that current DACA recipients maintain their protection from deportation and work permit until their current expiration date. USCIS will not refer DACA recipients and applicants to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation unless they meet USCIS’ Notice to Appear guidance or post a risk to national security or public safety. Applicants with currently pending and processing applications should attend biometrics appointments and respond to any requests for additional evidence they receive from USCIS.
If you are eligible to renew under the above guidelines, you should do so immediately and file with enough time for your application to be delivered to and accepted by USCIS by October 5, 2017. Renewal applications must be accepted (and not just postmarked) by October 5, 2017 to ensure that your application is processed. For the latest information, please visit Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC).
Advocacy & Support
D.A.L.E. - Dreamers Advancing in Leadership and Education
Created in 2015, DALE is housed in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA), this support group was created with undocumented student and allies, to provide a safe place to raise awareness of undocumented, immigrant student experiences, to connect students to resources and disseminate important scholarship information, and empower students to develop their leadership skills.
Advanced Advisor Seminar- Advising and Supporting Undocumented Students
This workshop is offered to JJC faculty advisors and counselors to bring awareness about the challenges experienced by undocumented students at JJC. Offered by the Counseling Department and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
Undocumented Student Task force
Founded in 2013, this task force primary function is to identify barriers to access and completion and establish equitable policies and procedures for undocumented students at Joliet Junior College. Members of this taskforce include the following areas: Admissions, Financial Aid, Registration, Department of Adult Education and Literacy, Workforce Development, Dean of Students, Dean of Enrollment Management, and the Vice-President of Student Development.
- Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project
- Spanish Community Center
- IL Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
- Facing Deportation? Call Family Support Network and Hotline
- Phone: 1-855-HELP-MY-FAMILY (1-855-435-7693)
- Web: www.icirr.org
Available in English, Spanish, Korean and Portuguese
- A.C.C.E.S.S. (Access to College and Career Education for Statewide Success)
- Passage of the IL Student ACCESS bill would provide undocumented students with an equal opportunity in 4 year public universities.
- This bill help students give undocumented students by allowing them to receive institutional aid in public universities.
- Phone: call 217.782.2000 to ask your representative to support the student ACCESS bill
- Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education
- College Board
- Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) - aids low-income immigrant students in their pursuit of a U.S. college education
- Immigrant and Refugee, Children A Guide for Educators and School Support Staff (PDF)
- DACA: A Guide for Educators and School Support Staff (PDF)
- Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
- National Immigration Law Center
- United We Dream - The DREAM Educational Empowerment Program (DEEP) is a catalyst for educational justice and empowerment for immigrant students. DEEP educates, connects, and empowers immigrant students, parents and educators to close the opportunity gap and engage in local efforts to improve educational equity. DEEP seeks to lay the groundwork that advances the educational justice movement in the U.S. by focusing resources and research on the needs and realities of immigrant students in order to increase educational attainment rates.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Joliet Jr. College upholds the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to protect the privacy of all our students' educational records.
Illinois TRUST Act (SB 31)
The Illinois TRUST Act recently extended protections for undocumented Illinois residents. This act prevents Illinois law enforcement agencies and officials from detaining an individual based solely on an "immigration hold." Also under this act, local police cannot stop, search, or arrest anyone based on their immigration or citizenship status.
High School Undocumented Pathway to College Workshops
Workshops are designed to assist high school undocumented students apply for admission and scholarships at Joliet Junior College. If you would like a workshop at your high school, please contact the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) at 815.280.6709
Dreaming for the Future Annual Scholarship Benefit
Established in 2013, this student-led annual event hosted by Joliet Junior College's Latinos Unidos Club in collaboration with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and Joliet Junior College Foundation, seeks to not only create an awareness of the plight of undocumented students, but also, raise funds for scholarships that are open to undocumented students.
Joliet Junior College Scholarships
Undocumented students are eligible to apply for JJC Scholarships available through the JJC Foundation. The scholarship application opens up in January with a deadline of May 1st every year. To apply, visit the Joliet/AwardSpring scholarships page.
Visit the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) to learn about upcoming Scholarship Seeker Series Workshops offered to undocumented students.
Scholarships created to support undocumented students at Joliet Jr. College:
- Dr. L. Claude Aschinberg Annual Scholarship
- Latinos Unidos Scholarships supported by annual Dreaming for the Future Scholarship. Benefit held in May every year.
- Carlos Serrato Multicultural Scholarship
To donate to these scholarships, please visit the JJC Giving page. Make sure in the comment section you write the name of the scholarship you would like to donate to. There are many ways you can contribute.
- Joliet Central High School - Dare to Dream Scholarship
- Contact Ms. Aseneth Ruiz, Counselor, for more information
- 815-727-6787 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- ILACHE Scholarship – www.ilache.com
- Ole Scholarship - email@example.com
- USHLI Scholarship – www.ushli.org
- Chicano Organizing & Research in Education--Que Llueva Café Scholarship
- Get Ready for College
- Hispanic Fund
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- Latino College Dollars: Scholarships for Latino Students
- Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund (SALEF)
- U.S. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard Scholarship Guide
Two other wonderful guides that can assist you:
Financing your Education
Undocumented and DACA students may be eligible to receive privately funded merit scholarships or grant aid. They are not eligible to receive state and federal financial aid.
- Students should begin looking for scholarships as early as possible.
- Contact individuals, groups, or colleges/universities about resources that may be available.
Scholarships Received from Donors Outside of Joliet Junior College
If you have received a scholarship check from an external donor outside of Joliet Junior College, please bring the scholarship check to:
Main Campus; Room A-3027