The UIC AANAPISI Initiative

Supporting the recruitment, retention, and graduation of Asian American, Pacific Islander, and English language learner students at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Fully funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) Program.





Enhancing the Academic Experiences of Asian American/Pacific Islander Students

Curriculum Development

  New Asian American Studies Courses: AANAPISI supports new ASAM courses

Contact: Anna Guevarra, ASAM Director,

  Faculty-led Summer ASAM Study Abroad: AANAPISI supports new ASAM courses each summer

Contacts: Karen Su, Asian American Studies,

Or Chris Deegan, Study Abroad Director,

AANAPISI Academic Advising

   Students who fit the AANAPISI eligibility and would like to have supplemental academic advising, Jill Huynh is available. Make an appointment.

 Co-Curricular Enrichment

  ASAM Expo Mini-Grants for Undergraduate Research & Arts- (up to $1000) for Undergraduate Research & Arts: designed to facilitate and encourage students to pursue independent research and/or creative-arts projects about and with Asian American and Pacific Islander

Contact: Karen Su,

  Public lectures - AANAPISI provides funds to bring in prominent professors, artists, leaders, and activists to present at UIC. ASAM Events

Contact: Jill Huynh, ASAM Assistant Director,


Academic Skills Development

  Expanded Advising, Assessments, and Workshops for English-Language Learners

Contact: Charitianne Williams,

Writing Skills Development

  Expanded ESL Tutoring and tutor training

Contact: Vainis Aleksa, Director of Writing

Connecting Asian American/Pacific Islander Students to the Community

Community Engagement Project

 Community-Based Learning and Engagement

Promotes community engagement to connect students, staff and faculty with local Asian American and Pacific Islander communities throughout Greater Chicago.

Contact: Rooshey Hasnain, Visiting ASAM Reseach Professor,

College Day

  An event to encourage high school students to attend college by having them visit UIC and learn about the application process, financial aid information, interact with current college students and take a tour of UIC .

Contact: Jeffrey Alton, Associate Director of AARCC,

College and Career Pathways

  UIC students are placed as tutors for students in CPS programs and also foster Asian American student interest in entering the education field.

Contact: Karen Su, Principal Investigator,

Field Projects for Prospective Teachers

Contact: Karen Su, Principal Investigator,


Building and Strengthening Asian American/Pacific Islander Student Support

Capacity Building

 • Expanded Asian American Mentor Program for new first-year and transfer students, with a new summer AAMP component

Contact: Jeffrey Alton, Associate Director of AARCC,

  Student Leadership Development- Enhanced our annual summer student leadership retreat, student travel support for conferences, and supported workgroup to develop leadership lesson components for future programs.

Contact: Elvin Chan, Assistant Director AARCC,

Institutional Data

  Research on UIC Students- A quantitative and qualitative research on UIC Asian American and Pacific Islander non-international undergraduate students. Past Studies: Fall 2011 demographic survey, Spring 2012 Focus Groups.

Contact: Karen Su, Principal Investigator,

Educational Employment Grants

  The AANAPISI Educational Employment Grants provide funding for student employees to work on special projects with staff, faculty, or UIC units. A partnership between the UIC AANAPISI Initiative, Student Employment, and the Career Services Office, student employees are mentored by their supervisors to engage in a guided career development framework aimed at building lifelong career skills to support lifelong professional success.

Contact: Carmen Garza at Student Employment,

For more information on any of the above programs, please contact:
Contact: Karen Su, Principal Investigator,

A collaboration of: Asian American Resource and Cultural Center (AARCC) • Asian American Studies Program (ASAM) • College of Education • First Year Writing Program • Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy (IRRPP) • Office of Career Services • Office of Social Science Research (OSSR) • Office of Student Employment • Office of Special Scholarship Programs (OSSP) • Study Abroad Office • Writing Center •



September 2015: UIC awarded $1.5 million for Asian American Student Initiative

Read more about the grant


October 2011: UIC Receives $2 Million for Asian American Students Initiative

The University of Illinois at Chicago has received a five-year, $2 million grant to support recruitment, retention and graduation of Asian American and Pacific Islander students.

The grant, from the U.S. Department of Education's Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution program, will fund academic and writing skills development, college preparation, career advancement and financial aid.

It is UIC's second federal grant to serve this minority in the past year, said Kevin Kumashiro, UIC professor of Asian American studies and education, and the grant's principal investigator.

Federal support "recognizes the diversity among our Asian American students, but also the many significant challenges they face, especially English-language learners and students with limited financial resources," Kumashiro said. "This grant will be instrumental in expanding the capacity of UIC to support our students in achieving their educational goals."

The Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution Initiative at UIC is led by the Asian American studies program and the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center. It was established last year with a five-year, $1.86 million grant.

The latest grant will expand advising, assessment and workshops by the UIC Academic Center for Excellence and tutoring by the UIC Writing Center, Kumashiro said. It will allow the centers to better serve English-language learners, including but not limited to, Asian Americans.

Among other recipients of assistance is the UIC Office of Special Scholarship Programs, which will award $200,000 in scholarships per year to Asian American and Pacific Islander students. The UIC College of Education will partner with the initiative to lead tutoring for K-12 students and field-projects for prospective teachers.

Approximately 20% of UIC students identify themselves as Asian American and Pacific Islander. National census figures indicate the category embraces more than 50 ethnic groups and 100 languages. The UIC initiative's goals include recruitment of underrepresented sub-groups within the Asian American community.

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


October 2010: UIC Awarded $1.86M for Asian American Student Initiative

We are thrilled to announce that UIC is one of the recipients of the AANAPISI (Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions) grant. The grant funding will be an unprecedented opportunity for UIC to support Asian American students on campus through the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center (AARCC) as well as the Asian American Studies (ASAM) Program:

  • AARCC will be able to expand our center’s space, enhance the Asian American Mentor Program, and hire a new Associate Director for student support initiatives.
  • ASAM will be able to strengthen the curriculum through increased course offerings, an innovative Study Abroad program, and community engagement initiatives for the newly established Minor.
  • The grant will also support an institutional data research effort to gather disaggregated data so we can understand the ethnic-specific needs of students within this diverse campus population.

The U.S. Department of Education’s term “Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander” refers to Asian American students (with origins from East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia including the Philippines) and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander students (with origins from Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, and other Pacific Islands.)

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