2010 APIASF Higher Education Summit Working Group Descriptions

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During the APIASF Higher Education Summit, participants worked together in groups to develop a set of sustainable strategies related to each of the following subject areas that will be presented during the closing plenary. By examining barriers to access and success for underserved APIA students and the role of Minority Serving Institutions, participants were able to create strategies to cultivate a strong APIA leadership pipeline. For the list of Facilitators, Framers and Advisors who led the working groups, please click here.

Underserved Students: Barriers to Access & Success in Higher Education

Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs), who emanate from diverse backgrounds, continue to face barriers related to their pre-college preparation and success in higher education. To help underserved APIA students achieve educational success, it is important to identify the historical and structural barriers (i.e., gender, socioeconomic) facing these students. Hampered by policies and perceptions that have been impacted by stereotypes about model minority myths, APIA students are frequently misunderstood, misjudged and underserved.

Participants worked to develop a strategy plan with recommendations and action steps to address the obstacles of pre-college preparation and success in higher education for underrepresented, underserved APIA students, to improve research and disaggregate data collection on APIA students, and identify the agents of change to undertake the necessary actions to effectively serve the underserved APIA students and secure a sustainable educational, workforce and leadership pipeline.

Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) & Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

In 2008, the Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) legislation passed Congress. As a newly federally funded group of institutions that serve Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, it is critical for AANAPISIs to secure long-term outcomes and sustainability. In doing so, AANAPISIs can leverage lessons learned by other minority-serving institutions (MSIs), such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU), and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), to successfully increase capacity, assist underserved APIA students, and help strengthen the APIA leadership pipeline. Though AANAPISIs closely resemble other MSIs, they are often excluded from initiatives that invest in long-term support for these institutions.

The purpose of this working group was to generate recommendations for AANAPISIs to potentially adopt MSI policy strategy in order to secure long-term outcomes and sustainability. The morning session focused on current AANAPISI institutions and programs, best practices learned by MSIs, and federal policies. Participants discussed how and why MSI policy strategy is an effective policy mechanism for APIA students; the resources, opportunities, and benefits that MSIs and AANAPISIs provide their students, institutions and local communities; and the lessons learned from MSIs to discuss how AANAPISIs can contribute to the collective strength of MSIs and higher education as a whole. The afternoon session focused on developing a plan for enhancing long-term sustainability and outcomes for AANAPISIs and its movement toward MSI policy inclusion.

Leadership & Workforce Development

Ensuring a pipeline of diverse workers and future leadership is critical to the success of corporations, government, education, community groups, and American society as a whole in an increasingly global economy. In order to effectively create a more diverse and sustainable leadership and workforce pipeline of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs), historical, structural, and cultural barriers (i.e., gender, socioeconomic) must be addressed. This group explored a holistic approach to leadership development through cross-sector discussion and the incorporation of student programs and services.

The morning session provided participants with a broad overview of the current landscape of the leadership and workforce pipeline for APIAs, from college to workforce through a panel session comprising of representatives from various sectors. The afternoon session focused on creating a plan of new strategies to establish a sustainable and effective pipeline for APIAs that readily prepare APIAs for leadership and workforce mobility (i.e., through cross-sector partnerships, by establishing effective programs, policies, and practices, by being inclusive of APIAs). Participants also identified similarities and differences in the barriers faced within each sector to develop collaborative strategies and recommendations to cultivate a strong APIA leadership pipeline.