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Higher Ed. Initiatives Emerge to Serve Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders

About 35 percent more Asian-American and Pacific Islander undergraduate students are likely to be on campuses over the next decade.

To meet this growing demand, new research and efforts are emerging to best serve them.

A report out earlier this month underscored the need to understand the diversity of the population and collect data based on students' countries of origin.

In addition, a national public-awareness campaign, "We're Changing the Face of America" was launched in March by the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund and the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education.

Now, a new report has been released reviewing postsecondary institutions that serve Asian-American and Pacific Islander students and outlining promising practices and targeted inventions to promote their access and success in college.

Partnership for Equity in Education through Research: Findings from the First Year Research on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders examines federal programs that help support students to degree completion. It reported that 163 colleges met the criteria to be an Asian-American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution. While the program has expanded in the five years of its existence, there is untapped potential. Federal funding has only reached 14 percent of the institutions eligible, the report noted.

Grants from the federal government to support institutions serving this population help fund academic support services, such as tutoring, study groups, and culturally responsive curriculum. It also helps with counseling, mentoring, and professional development for faculty and staff.

As a result, the report notes that Asian-American and Pacific Islander students have better access to information and resources, feel more understood on campus, and have more guidance and support. Campuses report changed perceptions of those students, more community engagement, and the establishment of student advocates leading broader reforms.

Today the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund is hosting a higher education summit in Washington, D.C., that includes a discussion of education, research and policies affecting Asian American and Pacific Islander students, families, and communities.



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