U of Ill Chicago rec $1.9 million grant for Asian Am students
The University of Illinois at Chicago has received a five-year, $1.86 million federal grant to help underserved Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander students.
The grant is issued through the U.S. Department of Education's Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution program, part of the post secondary minority-serving institution designations, including Hispanic-serving institutions, historically black colleges and universities, and tribal colleges and universities. UIC is the only Midwest university designated as an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving institution.
UIC will use the funding to establish the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Students' Educational Engagement Initiative to provide student support in recruitment, retention and graduation.
Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander students "are often stereotyped as academically successful despite the diversity within this population and the challenges faced by many students in this group," says Kevin Kumashiro, UIC professor of Asian American studies and education and the grant's principal investigator.
Approximately 20 percent of UIC students identify themselves as Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander. National census figures indicate this category represents more than 50 ethnic groups and 100 languages, Kumashiro said.
"These students really mirror the broader student population, with a lot of first generation students, many from working class backgrounds and immigrant families," he said.
The program will address academic experiences, community connections and support services. Specific goals include recruitment of underrepresented groups in the Asian American community, an institutional analysis of student retention, and creation of more courses with field components linking students with community organizations.
"The more places students can feel connected, the more likely they are to succeed. That involves peer groups, instructors, and student services, but also involves places outside of the university," Kumashiro said.
The project is fully funded by the grant and led by the UIC Asian American studies program and the UIC Asian American Resource and Cultural Center.
The grant, and the university's recent launch of an Asian American studies program, Kumashiro said, "signals we're at a moment when UIC can really build the way it supports its Asian American students in succeeding, but also prepares all students to live in a multicultural society."
UIC ranks among the nation's leading research universities and is Chicago's largest university with 27,000 students, 12,000 faculty and staff, 15 colleges and the state's major public medical center. A hallmark of the campus is the Great Cities Commitment, through which UIC faculty, students and staff engage with community, corporate, foundation and government partners in hundreds of programs to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas around the world.
For more information about UIC, please visit www.uic.edu