Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI)
The Asian Pacific American Student Success (APASS) program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) initiative, is designed to enhance the capacity of Laney College to serve its large and diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) student population, increasing student engagement and improving educational outcomes for this student cohort. Overall, Laney College aims to challenge the model minority myth and contribute to the emerging field of community college API research through its new APASS program.
The model minority stereotype first appeared in publication in 1966, and has since portrayed the Asian American community as a monolithic group, often typecasting members as silent, hardworking overachievers.
While stories of Asian Americans and their academic success have proliferated in United States mainstream media, new research in the field of education, however, suggests that there are a number of inaccuracies to this myth and that, in fact, it may obscure the experiences of many Asian students in the U.S., particularly low-income and those enrolled at two-year colleges.
At Laney College, a two-year community college located in Oakland, California, API students represent the largest, and among the most diverse student populations on campus.
*25% of the student population at Laney College self-report as API.
*API students comprised about 40% of the College’s Financial Aid recipients.
*In 2008-09, Asian students made up 69% of the students enrolled in English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) courses at Laney.
In other words, perceiving this student cohort as a homogeneous group means overlooking critical disparities with respect to immigration history and status; levels of income and education; language needs; and access to cultural capital and opportunities.
In October of 2010, the U.S. Department of Education awarded Laney College with an AANAPISI Grant.
The project seeks to address the following three areas of student needs:
- The need to improve academic performance indicators for all APASS students, particularly those sub-groups of API students that are struggling academically;
- The need to develop a system and framework for collecting and analyzing student data to better understand the educational needs of API students;
- The need to respond to gaps in services in instructional and student services in order to bolster persistence, graduation, and transfer rates for APASS students.
*Source of Data: Peralta Facts (3/10/10), Peralta Community College District Institutional Research Office