KC Wednesday: Thoughts From the Asian Pacific Islanders Concerns Knowledge Community
By the year 2050, the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population in the United States is expected to more than double, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Although the population is quickly growing, many still do not understand the multiple needs of this community. Some recent reports indicate that more AAPI students are experiencing difficulties attaining academic success in colleges and universities than in the past.
A few major reports published by the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education, through funding by the College Board, has helped identify and examining major issues that affect AAPI students in higher education. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the AAPI racial category consists of 48 different ethnic groups that occupy positions along the full range of the socioeconomic spectrum, from the poor and under-privileged, to the affluent and highly skilled. AAPIs also vary demographically with regard to language background, immigration history, culture, and religion. The first report focused on sharing the facts and dispelling the fiction that often surrounds the APPI community. Since the first release two more reports have been made available that are offering some tangible suggests to support the AAPI community, the second report federal higher education policy priorities for the AAPI communities while the third report aims to offer a broader vision of a higher education agenda that is inclusive of one of America’s most underserved communities.
Another brand new resource that is now available helps practitioners continue to better understand the AAPI community is the newly published book Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Higher Education: Research and Perspectives on Identity, Leadership, and Success. This book is a compilation of statistical reports, research findings, and experiential accounts that counters the lack of information about this population. Contributors share their personal experiences and resources on topics ranging from identity development to student leadership. Some chapters are written in the context of racial history, power, and hierarchy in society and campuses consistent with Critical Race Theory and race formation scholarship. The book is available from the NASPA bookstore.