<<Re-posted from the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans>>
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 1, 2008
Contact: Debee Yamamoto, (202) 223-1240
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICANS APPLAUDS THE HOUSE FOR PASSING LEGISLATION TO INCLUDE THE ASIAN AMERICAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER SERVING INSTITUTIONS PROGRAM
Washington, D.C.—On July 31, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the final version of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (H.R.4137), which includes the historic Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AAPISI) program. Similar to other minority
serving institution (MSI) programs, the AAPISI program is designed to provide greater opportunities and services for underserved college students, including low-income and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students.
After more than eight years of community advocacy efforts, the AAPISI program was first passed in September 2007 under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which authorized the Department of Education to issue a total of $10 million in discretionary grants to eligible
institutions for two years. Under H.R.4137, the program will be extended through fiscal year 2013 and expanded with more funding of up-to-$30 million each year and with more allowable activities.
The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) commends Congressman David Wu (D-OR) and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), as led by Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA), on shepherding the AAPISI program into law. “We are excited to witness that this historic program may be here longer—a demonstration that education continues to be a national priority,” says NCAPA Chair Floyd Mori. “This program will aid many AAPI students to complete a college degree, and ultimately contribute more to the global economy.”
Examples of fundable activities impacting AAPI students under H.R.4137 may include:
- Tutoring, counseling and other student support services, including financial counseling;
- Research and data collection on and for AAPI populations;
- Community outreach programs to encourage AAPI students to pursue post-secondary education; and
- Partnerships with community-based organizations serving AAPIs.
Additionally, other federal agencies will be able to utilize the AAPISI designation to target grants and programs to AAPI students and communities. As an example, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has provided millions of dollars in grants to existing MSIs
under the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) designations to expand their capacities to serve low-income and underrepresented African- and Latino American students. With a similar designation, AAPISIs will be able to enjoy comparable benefits, which can further support low-income and underserved AAPI students and communities.
Founded in 1996, the NCAPA is a coalition of 26 national organizations that represent and advocate for the interests of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. For more information about NCAPA including a list of member organizations and the 2008 platform of policy priorities, please visit www.ncapaonline.org.