Cypress College Named Among Winners of Competitive Grant Designed to Support Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Students

Cypress College was recently awarded the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Student Achievement Program (AANHPI SAP) funding, a prestigious award bestowed to just 43 colleges.

Totaling $8 million across all awardees, this funding will allow the college to fully embrace its AANHPI community with services and support that expressly acknowledge their unique needs and challenges while celebrating the diverse cultural richness they bring. Cypress and other AANHPI SAP colleges will receive $150,697 before the end of the fiscal year.

“This funding means that there is awareness and an impetus to continue the work that many others have advocated for on behalf of this community,” said Dr. Jeannie Mitsch, president of the Asian Pacific Islander Faculty & Staff Association for the North Orange County Community College District and Cypress College counseling faculty. “It means that students are being heard and seen and that the advocacy is working. It is an opportunity to implement the goals and plans into sustainable action. Now is the time to get what they need to be successful.”

Assembly Bill 183 appropriates AANHPI SAP monies in ongoing funding to the California Community Colleges (CCC) to provide culturally responsive services to enhance student educational experiences. It is also designed to promote higher education success for low-income, underserved, and first-generation AANHPI students and other underrepresented students.

Participating colleges must provide a variety of supports to their students, including:

  • Culturally responsive learning communities
  • Advising and counseling services
  • Mental health counseling and awareness services
  • Career development, career readiness and employment services
  • Supplemental instruction and tutoring, such as English language development and support
  • Asian American, Pacific Islander studies courses and curriculum development
  • Leadership development, internships, and mentorships

To be eligible, Cypress needed to demonstrate its eligibility as an AANHPI-Serving Institution program authorized under the federal Higher Education Act and have experience providing student support services to AANHPI students and other underserved students. The college also needed to employ program staff to coordinate with campus faculty and staff to effectively deliver support services to AANHPI students.

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