Monday, June 27 marked the formation of the Asian Pacific Islander American Association of Colleges and Universities (APIACU), an organization that hopes to change misconceptions about those minority students and support institutions that enroll the most Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students.
Inside Higher Ed recently reported that stereotypes of AAPI students exceling in all aspects of college have led to the population being overlooked.
“Too often, AAPIs are excluded from broader discourse on education, and other national priorities and research have largely failed to adequately represent the needs, challenges and experiences of AAPI students,” said Robert T. Teranishi, an associate professor of higher education at New York University, in the story.
He was also a principal investigator for the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education (CARE) that released a report the same day the organization was launched.
“The dominant narrative about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in higher education is that they are a model minority—a racial group with disproportionately high enrollment in highly selective, four-year institutions and such academic fields as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM),” says the CARE website.
The report notes that AAPI numbers are growing—the population in the United States is expected to reach almost 40 million by 2050.
And now, thanks to a May decision by the Department of Education to include schools that have a student body of at least 10 percent AAPI students on its list of minority-serving institutions, more colleges and universities will qualify for federal funding for enrolling AAPI students.
“It’s really incredible that campuses had no idea that they could have had access to this funding,” Teranishi told Inside Higher Ed in May, when the decision was made.
Visit the Department of Education website to view a list of all the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs).
The Honorable Ruby Moy, who will serve as the APIACU’s president and CEO said the organization plans to engage federal agencies and lobby for more funding for those institutions.
“In order to make a real change in the lives of AAPI students, we must provide them with resources that increase their access to postsecondary education and support them during college,” Moy told Inside Higher Ed. “The steps we will take will help colleges and universities improve their rates of success, and help our AAPI graduates have a seat at the table.”
The APIACU Board of Directors consists of:
- Chairman—Mark Mitsui, North Seattle Community College president
- Vice Chairman—Robert Underwood, University of Guam president
- Co-Vice Chairman—Gabriel Esteban, Seton Hall University president