William Pérez is an associate professor of education in Claremont Graduate University’s School of Educational Studies. His research and teaching focus on the social and psychological development of immigrant students; educational, social, and cultural capital; prejudice and discrimination in educational settings; and minority access to higher education. Within these interests, Pérez focuses much of his research on Latino academic achievement and higher education access.
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 experts on undocumented students. His book We ARE Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream was awarded the 2009 Mildred Garcia Prize for Excellence in Research by the Association for the Study of Higher Education. He has been interviewed or quoted as an academic expert in various media outlets, including NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Telemundo and Univision national evening news, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, La Opinion, Hispanic Magazine, Colorlines, and NPR’s All Things Considered.
In 2010 he received the Stanford University Distinguished Scholar Alumni Award. Since then, he has received numerous awards, most recently from Edweek Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, Fulbright-Garcia Robles Research Fellowship (Mexico), and American Educational Studies Association (AESA) Critics Choice Book Award. Most recently, Alma Magazine named him as one of four Lo Mejor de Nosotros (One of Our Best) in its 50th Anniversary Hispanic Heritage Month Edition.
“Undocumented Students in Higher Education.” In Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education, edited by J. A. Banks, 2215–18. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publishing, 2012.
Americans by Heart: Undocumented Latino Students and the Promise of Higher Education. New York: Teachers College Press, 2012.
Co-authored with Richard Cortes. Undocumented Latino College Students: Their Socioemotional and Academic Experiences. Dallas, TX: LFB Scholarly Publishing, 2011.
Co-authored with Susana Munoz, et al. “Educators Supporting Dreamers: Becoming an Undocumented Student Ally.” In White Teachers/Diverse Classrooms: A Guide to Building Inclusive Schools, Promoting High Expectations, and Eliminating Racism 2nd Ed., edited by Julie Landsman, and Chance W. Lewis, 299–313. Sterling, Virginia: Stylus Publishing, 2011.
Co-authored with Richard Cortes, et al. “Cursed and Blessed: Examining the Socioemotional and Academic Experiences of Undocumented Latino/a College Students.” New Directions for Student Services 131 (2010): 35–51.
We ARE Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing The American Dream. Sterling, Virginia: Stylus Publishing, 2009.
Social Capital, Cultural Capital, & Educational Opportunity
Education of Immigrant Youth: Psychological Perspectives