Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

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.

Black History Month Events

February is Black History Month! The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, along with several other groups, will host events open to students, staff, faculty and the community to honor and celebrate Black culture. Some events may require registration.

View All Events

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.

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.

  • Policies

    "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.

  • Additional Resources

    Community Resources

    • Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project
      • Programs:Day of the Immigrant, Parent Programs, Know your Rights training, Mariachi Matters, DACA Workshops, Fight deportations, Leadership Development, Grassroots fundraisers, Get Out the Vote.
      • Email:
        Phone: 630.296.6755
      • Web:
    • 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:
        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

    Legal Protections


    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.

    Outreach/Community Opportunities

    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.

  • Scholarship Information

    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.

    External Scholarships

    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
    Phone: 815.280.2721