Hunter Awarded $3.5M to Support Asian American and Other High-Need Students

We are excited to announce that Hunter College was awarded two additional five-year, U.S. Department of Education AANAPISI Title III Part A grants totaling $3.5 million. 

Funding includes a $1.5M grant to expand HCAP’s programs at Hunter College and a new $2M collaborative grant with Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) to support Asian American and Pacific Islander community college and transfer students. 

Scroll below to learn more about our exciting news! 

You can find the press release statements on Hunter College’s website here and Borough of Manhattan Community College’s website here.

HCAP is run by a team of faculty and staff based at Hunter College: John Chin (Principal Investigator, Professor of Urban Policy and Planning), Paul McPherron (Co-Principal Investigator, Professor of English, ACERT Director), Caitlin Ho (HCAP Program Director), Marcia Liu (HCAP Mental Health Coordinator, Asian American Studies Faculty), Linh An (HCAP Multilingual Learner Specialist, Asian American Studies Faculty), and Maryam Mian (HCAP Program Associate, Hunter Alum ’20). 

The AANAPISI collaborative grant will be implemented in partnership with the Borough of Manhattan Community College’s Center for Ethnic Studies and Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship. Faculty and staff key partners include: Dr. Linta Varghese (Assistant Professor of Asian American/Asian Studies, Center for Ethnic Studies), Dr. Soniya Munshi (Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice/Center for Ethnic Studies), and Dr. Gina Cherry (Director, Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship (CETLS).

Hunter Awarded $3.5M to Support Asian American and Other High-Need Students

Hunter College has been awarded two five-year grants totaling $3.5 million from 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 grants will be used to enhance academic and student support services and related faculty and staff development to benefit high-need students at Hunter College and Borough of Manhattan Community College.

While the primary beneficiaries of the grants will be Asian American students, who make up about a third of Hunter’s undergraduate student body, other students are eligible to benefit as well, including first-generation college goers, English language learners, and students from immigrant families.

The new grants will support the work of the Hunter College AANAPISI Project (HCAP), which was established with a 2016 AANAPISI grant of $1.7 million and has already supported the work of more than 270 faculty and staff and improved the experience of more than 1,300 students, including 480 through academic courses, 330 through educational seminars, and 580 through mental health workshops.

Hunter is the only school in the nation to receive two AANAPISI grants in this year’s funding competition. And with its inaugural AANAPISI Program grant still active, Hunter becomes the only school in the program’s history to have three concurrent AANAPISI grants, reflecting the college’s strong historical commitment to serving underrepresented communities.

“Hunter has always been a place where the American Dream comes true, and this new funding will make the path to that dream just a little easier for so many more students,” said Jennifer J. Raab, president of Hunter College. “Students from immigrant families in particular face a range of financial and other challenges, and these grants will allow us to expand on our many other supportive efforts.”

“In New York City, nearly a quarter of Asian Americans live in poverty,” said John J. Chin, professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter who oversees HCAP. “Coming from low-income and immigrant backgrounds, often as the first in their families to attend college, many students need more support to succeed. We know they can succeed, and with this support, many more will.”

Over the next five years, the three grants will vastly expand the project’s reach to more than 3,000 students, providing them workshops on financial literacy and navigating college; teach 100 students in a new Asian American Studies research methods course; and support 60 student research assistantships, where students are paired with faculty mentors doing research on Asian American communities.

One of the grants will also create a new partnership—the Transfer Pipeline Program—with Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) to support 200 transfer student mentees and train 100 student mentors. It will also support 800 Hunter and BMCC students through free academic writing and speaking skills seminars, and it will reach 250 Hunter and BMCC faculty and staff through professional development seminars focused on student-centered and culturally relevant pedagogies.

The grants will also provide continued support for students’ mental health needs through courses and outreach events, as well as partnerships with New York City’s community mental health centers.