Portrait of William Perez
  • Email
    william.perez@cgu.edu
  • Degrees
    PhD, Educational Psychology/Child & Adolescent Development, Stanford University
    BA, Psychology, Pomona College
  • Research Interests
    Immigrant youth, Minority access to education, Ethnic identity and development, Academic achievement

William Pérez is a professor in the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University. His research focuses on the social and psychological processes associated with academic success and higher education access among immigrant, undocumented, indigenous, and deported students in the US and Mexico.

Pérez received his BA in Psychology from Pomona College in Claremont and went on to earn his PhD in Educational Psychology and Child and Adolescent Development from Stanford University. Before joining CGU in 2004, he worked at various research institutes, including the RAND Corporation, the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research, the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, and the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute.

He is recognized as one of the nation’s leading academic experts on undocumented students. In 2009, he received the Mildred Garcia Prize for Excellence in Research from the Association for the Study of Higher Education for his book, We ARE Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream. His follow up book, Americans by Heart: Undocumented Latino Students and the Promise of Higher Education, was selected for the 2013 Critics Choice Award by the American Educational Studies Association. He has been interviewed or quoted as an academic expert in various media outlets including NBC Nightly News, Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Hispanic Magazine, the Washington Post, NPR’s All Things Considered, and PBS NewsHour.

He has received various awards for his research on immigration and education including the Stanford University Distinguished Scholar Alumni Award, the early career scholar award from the Hispanic Research Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association, and a Fulbright Fellowship. For the past four years, he has been selected for Education Week’s annual ranking of the top 200 university-based scholars in the US who are doing the most to influence educational policy and practice.

Co-authored with Rafael Vasquez, et al., “Mixtec, and Purepecha Youth: Multilingualism and the Marginalization of Indigenous Immigrants in the United States.” In Alim, H.S., Ball, A., Rickford, J. (Eds.) Racializing Language, Languaging Race (pp. 255-271). London: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Americans by Heart: Undocumented Latino Students and the Promise of Higher Education. New York: Teachers College Press, 2011.

Co-authored with Roberta Espinoza, et al. “Civic Engagement Patterns of Undocumented Mexican Students.” Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 9 (2010), 245-265.

We ARE Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream. Sterling, Virginia: Stylus Publishing, 2009.

Co-authored with Amado Padilla. “Acculturation, social identity and social cognition: A new perspective.” Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 25 (2003), 1-21.

Co-authored with Raymond Buriel, et al. “The relationship of language brokering to academic performance, biculturalism and self-efficacy among Latino adolescents.” Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 20 (1998), 283-297.

Social Capital, Cultural Capital, & Educational Opportunity
Education of Immigrant Youth: Psychological Perspectives