Mission College Receives $2M AANAPISI Grant
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West Valley-Mission Community College District

Mission College has won a $2 million grant to help improve transfer rates of historically underrepresented and underprepared Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students, with a particular emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors. The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI), will be paid over five years.

"Mission College is extremely excited about having a grant that speaks directly to our STEM program," said Laurel Jones, president of Mission College. "This grant also speaks directly to helping students who wish to transfer in a STEM major or acquire a STEM degree. They can now do that through this grant. Without this funding, we would not be able to provide that opportunity with the same success."

Through the grant, Mission College will implement a comprehensive set of best practices strategies to assist AAPI students in transferring and in majoring in STEM fields. As part of this, the college plans to implement a wide range of initiatives, from creating learning communities for students to starting an Asian studies minor to extensive training of faculty and staff to creating a STEM center to serve as a resource hub for academic support and guidance for STEM majors.

Additionally, Mission College is looking to offer STEM students field experience with local companies, said Charity Bowles, director of AANAPISI grants. This type of experience, she said, will be particularly invaluable to STEM majors who want to transfer into the University of California system, given its research focus.

"All of the best practice grant activities were created with input from STEM faculty and staff as well as state and federal reports to truly meet the needs of the students, departments, college, community, business/industry, state and national objectives," Bowles said. "We are confident that with these funds and the continued commitment of the Mission College faculty, the inspiration in our students' lives will be long-lasting and far-reaching and have a deep impact on the community."

This is the second AANAPISI grant Mission College has received. It also won a $2 million, five-year grant last year to focus on English-as-a-Second-Language students.


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