California Budget 2022-23 includes Historic $16 million for CA Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Higher Education Achievement Programs

SACRAMENTO, CA — The California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs applauds Governor Newsom and the State Legislature for making the historic investment of $8 million, on-going, to California Community College (CCC), and $8 million, on-going, to California State University (CSU) to create central offices and disseminate funds to AANAPISI-eligible CCC and CSU colleges and universities to serve underserved AANHPI higher education students.

California Education Code commencing with Section 79510 (for CCC) and Education Code commencing with Section 89297 (for CSU) authorize each respective college systems to provide culturally responsive on-campus student support programs specifically for low-income, underserved, first-generation Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) students to increase higher education retention and attainment.

The California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs (CAPIAA) and the commission’s Higher Education Committee Advisory Body partnered and mobilized with over 89 CCC and CSU institutions, community organizations, and several education equity advocates to advocate for this historical investment.

While California is home to 7,382,780 AANHPIs, which is both the largest AANHPI community in the nation and the fastest growing racial group in both California and the U.S., there has been a lack of state investment in addressing education disparities faced by low-income and underserved AANHPI higher education students, until now. Today’s state investment will support increasing college student retention, education completion, and transfer and graduation rates of low-income, underserved, firstgeneration AANHPI students, helping to meet their higher education attainment goals.

“As AANHPI is the fastest growing population in the nation and California, and a third of the AANHPI population resides in California, we have a responsibility and an opportunity to directly address the increasing needs of the AANHPI student population to ensure all students have full access to support and services to complete their higher education attainment goals as they will make up the future of our workforce,” stated Nkauj Iab Yang, CA Commission on APIA Affairs executive director.

“California plays a critical role in contributing to the success and quality of life of all Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the United States,” said Dr. Karthick Ramakrishnan, Chair CA Commission on APIA. “This historic, ongoing investment of $16 million makes California the leader in taking necessary action to advance equity and inclusion in higher education, especially for AANHPI populations who have gone underserved for too long.”

“This historic investment will dramatically improve the student success of underserved AANHPI students by providing the necessary wrap-around support services to increase education achievement, especially for underserved students including Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander student populations,” stated Cirian Villavicencio, Higher Education Committee Chair of CA Commission on APIA. “This critical and ongoing funding will help build and support existing AANAPISI-eligible CCCs and CSUs to sustain and scale up its capacity to serve its most vulnerable AANHPI students.”

AANHPI student support services programs on-campus shall include the following activities:

• Culturally Responsive Learning Communities

• Advising and Counseling Services

• Mental Health Counseling and Awareness Services

• Career Development/Readiness/Employment

• Supplemental Instruction and Tutoring

• Asian American Pacific Islander Studies Courses and Curriculum Development

• Leadership Development/Internships/Mentorships

“This is a much-needed win for underserved AANHPI higher education students in California – and across the country as other states can look to this historic move as a model for their own future actions. I am heartened by the Governor and State Legislature’s inclusion of our budget request, demonstrating their commitment to equity and supporting communities who have been marginalized for too long,” stated Leila Tamale, student, community organizer, and Advisory Body member of CA Commission on APIA Affairs Higher Education Committee. “As a Pacific Islander student in the Mana Learning Community, I’ve witnessed first-hand how empowering and life changing culturally-rooted student support programs are. This communityled and state-sponsored effort will allow more Pacific Islanders and other disenfranchised AANHPI students with the opportunities needed to succeed in higher education and in turn reinvest in their communities and California.”

“I am grateful to Governor Newsom and legislative leadership for their recognition that AANHPI communities face systemic barriers to achieving equity across our higher education institutions,” stated, Dr. Rowena Tomaneng, San José City College President and CAPIAA Higher Education Committee Advisory member. “This historic investment to increase culturally responsive curriculum and student support services for underserved AANHPI students is another step towards building a more inclusive and just California.”

“California is taking an historic step forward in recognizing the vast differences in higher education access and outcomes for Asian American and NHPI students,” stated Dr. Vikash Reddy, Senior Director of Policy Research for the Campaign for College Opportunity. “This on-going investment will support California community colleges and CSUs with large AANHPI student populations to provide culturally responsive support that meets the distinct experiences, challenges, and strengths of our AANHPI student communities so they can be supported to reach their college dreams.”

“The State of California is a leader in progress. This investment in higher education for our under-resourced AANHPI communities would be another step towards ensuring a brighter future for all of us,” stated Kirin Macapugay, CAPIAA Higher Education Committee Vice Chair.


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