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The Asian American & Pacific Islander Higher Education Resource Center (AAPIHERC) is an online clearinghouse and community for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) higher education professionals and higher education professionals who serve AAPI student populations. Due to a lack of information and AAPI-targeted strategies in higher education, the AAPIHERC seeks to:

  • identify promising practices for supporting AAPI college students;
  • promote professional development opportunities that target AAPI higher education professionals or address AAPI student needs;
  • catalog published research, data, and media about AAPIs in higher education;
  • encourage the further development of the federal Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) designation in higher education; and
  • create a community of higher education professionals concerned with the support and success of all AAPI students in colleges and universities.

About South Seattle Community College

Located on an 87-acre hilltop overlooking Elliott Bay in Seattle, South Seattle Community College offers a panoramic view of the city skyline and surrounding mountains. This unique setting serves as a portal of opportunity for students with diverse needs to prepare to meet their educational and career goals. South is one of the most diverse higher education institutions in Washington State, and serves a population of 20% Asian American and Pacific Islander students on its main campus.

South's Approach

The AANAPISI program at South has focused on developing programs, activities, curriculum and other resources to promote student success. While the program focuses on developing strategies that are culturally relevant to Asian American and Pacific Islander students, these resources are available to all students and will promote the success and retention of South students overall.

The South project features these four categories of strategies:

1. Improved AAPI Freshman Experiences

2. Increased AAPI Transitions to College Coursework

3. Improved AAPI Retention, Intervention Strategies, and Outreach

4. Increased AAPI Graduation and Transfer to Four-Year Institutions

About South's AANAPISI program aanapisi_wide_small

South's program expanded to a third year of administration to allow for proper implementation and institutionalization of its efforts. A broad menu of services and programs have been developed in each of the four strategies.

1. Improved AAPI Freshman Experiences

  • Implemented Clustered Learning Communities (CLC) that paired a developmental English or math course with a college skills course
  • Peer Navigators were assigned to a caseload of students in each CLC to aid in college navigation in a students' first quarter

2. Increased AAPI Transitions to College Coursework

  • A Transition Portfolio was expanded and tested, and has now been adopted in South's Basic and Transitional Studies division.
  • Transition workshops were developed and are offered quarterly to guide ESL and basic skills students in various topics on college program preparedness.

3. Improved AAPI Retention, Intervention Strategies, and Outreach

4. Increased AAPI Graduation and Transfer to Four-Year Institutions

  • An Associate of Arts degree emphasis in Asian and Pacific Islander studies has been developed
  • An Associate of Elementary Education degree has been implemented to encourage more AAPI students to become teachers and role models in our community.
  • May 2005: H.R. 2616 was introduced by Congressman David Wu (OR). The legislation provides the U.S. Department of Education with the authority to issue grants of assistance to higher education institutions that have at least 10% AAPI and a significant percentage of those AAPI students are low-income.
  • 2007: bills were reintroduced and revamped under College Cost Reduction Act (CCRA)
  • AANAPISI Program enacted into law by Congress
  • Early 2009: Applications were submitted for the second round of AANAPISI Grant Awards.
  • Fall 2009: Two additional institutions were awarded funds from CCRA allocation.
  • Throughout 2009: Advocacy work to secure regular AANAPISI funding

For the most up-to-date information on institutions that have been granted the AANAPISI designation, please visit:

2011 Designated Institutions (Abstract)

2010 Designated Institutions (Abstract)

2009 Designated Institutions (Abstract)

2008 Pilot Designated Institutions (Abstract)

If your institution has been granted eligibility to apply for the AANAPISI grant, please email aapiherc@southseattle.edu with the name of your institution and any contact information.


When the notice in the Federal Register inviting applicants for the brand new AANAPISI designation was released in May 2008, interested applicants had just six weeks to demonstrate eligiblity and write and submit their grant proposal. While many in the Asian American and Pacific Islander higher education community had been eagerly anticipating the announcement of AANAPISI funding, to pull together an operational plan that would be executed in just two fiscal years was certainly a challenge.

Initial funding through the 2008 CCRAA: College Cost Reduction and Access Act allowed for just two years of program implementation. The following is a list of institutions receiving the inaugural AANAPISI grant for 2008-2010.

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