APIACU Launched at Education Summit
New Nat’l Organization Advocates for Underserved AAPI Students
Washington–The Asian Pacific Islander American Association of Colleges and Universities (APIACU) was launched on June 27 during the 2nd higher education summit of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF). Venue was the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in this nation’s capital.
APIASF is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization devoted solely to providing college scholarships for AAPI students. During APIASF’s first summit last year, it endorsed the idea to develop a national organization such as APIACU to help increase college completion.
APIACU will advocate on behalf of all Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) to better serve the unique needs of the nearly 1.2 million AAPI students attending these institutions nationwide.
Neil Horikoshi, APIASF president and executive director, said, “We envision APIACU as being the national organization for AANAPISIs and, ultimately the voice of AAPI students, to bring much-needed attention to their unique needs.”
Mark Mitsui, president of North Seattle Community College, is chairman of the APIACU Board of Directors. Serving as vice chairmen are Robert Underwood, president of the University of Guam and former U.S. congressman, and Gabriel Esteban, president of Seton Hall University. Ruby G. Moy, former Acting Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Institute of Congressional Studies (APAICS), is APIACU president and CEO.
“Together, this team forms the nucleus that will structure the organization’s future to ensure that AAPI students have a voice at the table,” said Mitsui.
Remarked Moy: “Our hope is to support AANAPISIs–as well as any other post-secondary institutions with a large AAPI student population–and reinforce the many contributions these institutions make to the higher education community in an effort to help increase AAPI college completion and student success.”
APIACU aims to: 1) Promote the development of member colleges and universities; 2) Improve the quality of post-secondary educational opportunities and access for AAPI students; 3) Meet the needs of business, industry, and government through the development and sharing of resources, information, and expertise; and (4) Support and lobby for the success of AANAPISIs through the development of activities of AANAPISIs.
Minority-serving institutions (MSIs) are designated by the U.S. Congress. Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) have at least a 10 percent enrollment of AAPI students, and have a significant number of AAPI students who are Pell Grant-eligible, among other things.
Headquartered in the capital, APIACU supports AANAPISIs in a manner similar to that of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education serve Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Another recommendation that came out of the 2010 APIASF higher education summit was the need to include AANAPISIs on the U.S. Department of Education’s website under its MSIs list to increase opportunities and access to resources for AAPI students.
In May, in response to this request, the Education Department made this landmark change allowing AANAPISIs to be recognized and listed among other well-known MSIs such as HBCUs, HSIs, and TCUs.
For more information about the June 27-28 APIASF summit, “College Completion Forum: Strengthening Institutions that Serve Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” visit www.apiasf.org. For more information about APIACU, e-mail Moy at firstname.lastname@example.org.