Congressman Faleomavaega today announced that the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) last week made available $3.95 million to support colleges and universities serving Asian Americans and Native American Pacific Islanders through the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) Program. Out of eleven awardees, American Samoa was one of three institutions to receive the highest amount of funding at $400,000. The following institutions also received grants:
- De Anza Community College, $399,951
- California State University, East Bay, $192,798
- California State University, Sacramento, $282,593
- San Jose State University Foundation, $391,697
- Mission College, $400,000
- Mt. San Antonio College, $400,000
- University of Hawaii at Hilo, $399,977
- University of Illinois, $396,002
- Palau Community College, $290,377
- South Seattle Community College, $399,925
The AANAPISI program, originally authorized by Congress in the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, seeks to increase participation and academic attainment of all low income, high-need students, and serve communities with high poverty and Limited English Proficiency rates. To qualify for an AANAPISI grant, an institution must have an enrollment of undergraduate students that is at least ten percent Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander students and at least 50% of students must receive federal financial assistance. Similar to other Minority Serving Institutions, AANAPISI grants are not directed to a specific student group but strengthen overall institutional capacity.
ASCC’s grant will fund a five-year project aimed at improving the college’s Developmental Math and English programs. The project includes an intensive three-week “bridge” program prior to the Fall Semester, including focused Math and English instruction, secondary assessment to assure proper Math and English placement, and supporting counseling and planning. Students will also benefit from extended hours of instruction and faculty-directed time in the new Writing Lab and/or Math lab each week.
Currently 92% of new students test into Developmental English and 98% into Developmental Math. This project will increase the pass rate to the next level by 20% and reduce the amount of time in Developmental Studies by at least one semester. Overall, the project will enable students to enter regular college classes faster, provide more effective instruction, assess progress more accurately, and help teachers prepare students for college entry.
“I am pleased to know that the AANAPISI Program will provide much needed assistance to American Samoa Community College to help new college students in their transition to college level studies. Having a solid foundation in Math and English studies is crucial to their future success in postsecondary education and in the workplace,” Faleomavaega stated.
“I thank Secretary Arne Duncan and his team at the U.S. Department of Education, for providing this level of federal support to ASCC and the other AANAPISI institutions who were awarded. As one of the fastest growing populations in the nation, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders also experience some of the highest college attrition rates. This grant will assist colleges and universities to address these issues in the AAPI community,” Faleomavaega added.
“Last but not least, I congratulate and commend ASCC President Dr. Seth Galea’i and his leadership team for their efforts to help our students overcome some of the most pressing obstacles in their educational journey. I am thankful that through this program ASCC will be able to make great strides in giving students a head start towards earning their degrees,” Congressman Faleomavaega concluded.