Immigrant & Refugee Integration
Each year the United States accepts hundreds of thousands of newcomers, either as immigrants or refugees. Recent arrivals often have very specific language needs, as well as orientation and resettlement needs.
Given opportunity, newcomers become significant contributors to our society, sharing linguistic and cultural assets, as well as innovative ideas, entrepreneurial skills, and drive, all of which make our communities stronger.
CAL has been a leader in refugee education and orientation since 1975. We have been helping immigrant and refugee newcomers understand fundamental aspects of life in the United States, as well as helping service providers and other interested parties understand the backgrounds, cultures, and linguistic heritage of the new members of their communities. In addition, CAL has a long history of conducting research and developing strategies for educational success for immigrants across a wide range of ages and language proficiency levels. Building on this legacy, several of CAL’s projects and resources are designed to support the implementation of programs for immigrant students.
CAL is committed to making longer-term Americans aware of the resources and values brought to the United States by its newest residents. We have a key role to play as discussion of the contributions of immigrants to our society is elevated to a prominent role in our national discourse.
To learn more about CAL's work and resources about this topic, browse the subtopics within this section.
CAL is collaborating with Welcoming America on the Welcoming School Communities pilot project designed to engage school communities in the creation of a more welcoming climate for newcomers.
The Cultural Orientation Resource (COR) Center, housed at CAL from 2000 to 2015, provided technical assistance regarding the cultural and community orientation refugees receive, either before their resettlement in the United States or after their arrival, as well as about their likely resettlement needs.
CAL provided technical assistance to the National Council of La Raza to provide vital services to NCLR’s network of affiliate organizations.
CAL's Immigrant and Refugee Integration team is working in partnership with HIAS and several other agencies on this pilot project, supported by the J.M. Kaplan Fund, to facilitate the creation of linkages between refugees and receiving communities.
Project goals included identify exemplary programs for newcomer English language learners in middle and high school; gain a better understanding of the multiple approaches the programs use to support the students’ academic achievement; and widely disseminate findings on effective practices and policies.
Developed as a companion to the DVD Refugee Families and Youth in the United States, this informative guide incorporates segments of the video into engaging activities. Connecting Diverse Cultures features practical and effective activity plans designed to help facilitators, teachers, and trainers increase understanding of and appreciation for other cultures and beliefs.
The Welcome to the United States guidebook provides valuable information to help refugees prepare for the first few months in the United States.
This comprehensive curriculum is designed to equip refugee service providers with an effective and efficient approach to orientation. Orientation is part of a package of mandated core resettlement services provided for newly arrived refugees during the Reception and Placement (R&P) period, a refugee’s first 30 to 90 days in the United States.
This video features the stories of five individuals who entered the United States as refugees and who are making positive contributions to their communities.
This research project consisted of a national survey of secondary school newcomer programs; compilation of program profiles into an online, searchable database; and case studies of 10 of these programs, selected for their exemplary practices.
CAL offers a wide range of professional development and technical assistance services for service providers, schools, and communities working with newcomer populations. Based on our decades of experience, CAL can customize our services to meet your needs and budgets.
Email CAL to learn more.
Service Spotlight: New CAL Institute
Newcomers in Your School: Cultural Connections and Instructional Strategies
December 6-7, 2016 Washington, DC
Given the increasing tide of newcomer youth entering U.S. schools, it is critical to address the cultural, social, and academic needs of these students and their families. CAL offers professional development that includes practical resources for building a welcoming environment, both socially and instructionally, for all students.
This institute is designed for PreK-12 teachers, administrators, and practitioners, such as social workers, counselors, and after-school specialists, who work in educational settings with newcomer students and their families. CAL encourages teams of educators and practitioners to attend.
Professional Development Services
CAL can also offer this workshop onsite at your location.
News & Events
Students in an ethnic studies class at a California high school have recorded video clips of themselves as they spoke words and phrases in their first languages.
High-schoolers in Nashville could have the option of learning the Kurdish language under a proposal intended to help support the area's large Kurdish population.
In 2019, CAL celebrates its 60th anniversary. This milestone presents a unique opportunity to focus on renewed attention on the significant role of language and culture in today's global society. CAL's 60th anniversary theme of Valuing All Voices represents our long history of supporting language and culture diversity and serves as a guide for activities during our anniversary year and beyond.