AANAPISI stands for Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution. Richland College is the only higher education institution in Texas that has been awarded an AANAPISI grant due to its large percentage of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander (AAPI) population. The AANAPISI Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education under the Office of Postsecondary Education for five consecutive years. This is the third time Richland College is receiving funding in support for helping its Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander minority population. AANAPISIs are critical sites for serving low-income AAPI students and supporting degree attainment among AAPI students. The program provides grants and related assistance to Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions to enable such institutions to improve and expand their capacity to serve Asian Americans and Native American Pacific Islanders and low-income individuals.
There is a large influx of AAPI refugees in the U.S. annually with many residing in Texas. Many of whom will face difficulties adjusting in a new country. AANAPISIs can target resources to respond to the unique needs of AAPI students. They serve and are located in AAPI communities that face a number of challenges.
Challenges facing AAPIs:
- Cultural assimilation
- Language barrier
- Financial difficulties
- First-generation college-goers
Secondly, there is a myth (the model minority myth) that AAPI students do not face challenges in college and can obtain social and economic success in their career without assistance. While this is true for some of the AAPI population there is still a need for support among the rest of the AAPI population.
The AAPI population is growing statewide with many settling in the surrounding neighborhoods of Richland College. There is a growing concern as well as support for AAPI students that is leading to more accessible resources.