October 27, 2020
The Center for Ethnic Studies and Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship (CETLS) at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) have partnered with the Hunter College AANAPISI Project (HCAP) as part of a $2 million, five-year U.S. Department of Education / Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) / Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) Title III Part A Cooperative grant.
The purpose of the collaboration is to enhance academic and student support services for Asian American and Pacific Islander students, which includes immigrant students, first-generation college students and English Language learners.
For the past few years, BMCC Center for Ethnic Studies Professor Linta Varghese and Sociology Professor Soniya Munshi have informally collaborated with HCAP to connect BMCC AAPI students to AANAPISI programs at Hunter. The Collaborative Grant provided an opportunity to formalize this relationship and shape additional components such as faculty development workshops which will be coordinated by Gina Cherry, director of The Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship (CETLS).
“The new $2 million collaborative grant will increase the capacity of BMCC and Hunter to serve AAPI students, including those who are first-generation college-goers, who come from poor and working-class families, and who have limited English proficiency,” says Professor Varghese.
She adds that joint activities with HCAP will include conducting a needs assessment on Asian American and Pacific Islander students, providing student workshops on navigating college and financial literacy, creating programs supporting student academic skills, and leading peer mentorship trainings for transfer students.
With BMCC’s collaboration in the HCAP program, it will support 200 transfer student mentees and train 100 student mentors. Eight-hundred Hunter and BMCC students will take part in free academic writing and speaking skills seminars, and 250 Hunter and BMCC faculty and staff will attend professional development seminars focused on student-centered and culturally relevant pedagogies.
“Research has found that AAPI students entering community colleges have lower levels of academic preparation in English and mathematics than those entering four-year colleges,” says Professor Munshi. “At BMCC, many Asian American students are English Language Learners, and data suggest that their three-year graduation rate is half that of more college-ready students.”
BMCC Acting Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Erwin J. Wong says, “We are extremely pleased that BMCC will partner with Hunter in implementing the $2 million AANAPISI Title III collaborative grant award, especially during this time when race, diversity and inclusivity are at the forefront in both higher education and in our society.”
Also, says Wong, “I commend our Center for Ethnic Studies and our Center for Excellence in Teaching Learning and Scholarship for the role they will play in in providing Asian American and Pacific Islander students and in particular English Language Learners with access to support services, such as workshops in navigating the system, financial literacy, conducting research and peer mentorship that will allow them to be successful in higher education; it is a cornerstone of our mission.”
He thanks Professors Munshi and Varghese, “who have worked with Hunter to successfully recommend our Asian American and Pacific Islander students to HCAP — the Hunter College AANAPISI Project — even prior to the grant award. It is a true testament to their dedication and commitment to our students’ success.”
The $2 million cooperative grant is part of two grants totaling $3.5 million awarded to Hunter College, CUNY by the U.S. Department of Education’s Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) Program, part of the federal Minority Serving Institutions initiative.
- The BMCC Center for Ethnic Studies and CETLS have partnered with the Hunter College Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) Project (HCAP)
- Their collaboration is enabled by a $2 million, five-year U.S. Department of Education, Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) / AANAPISI / Title III Part A Cooperative grant, part of a $3.5 million grant awarded to HCAP
- The project will enhance academic and student support services for Asian American and Pacific Islander students, which includes first-generation and immigrant students, as well as English Language learners