Bunker Hill Community College receives Asian American grant

Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) celebrated an Asian American grant launch at the Pao Arts Center in Chinatown on May 25. About 70 Bunker Hill faculty, staff and community partners attended the event.

Bunker Hill Community College celebrated an Asian American grant launch at the Pao Arts Center in Chinatown on May 25. (From left) BHCC president Pam Eddinger, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center executive director Giles Li and BHCC Dean Nuri Chandler-Smith. (Image courtesy of Ling-Mei Wong.)

Bunker Hill was designated an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI), making the school eligible for grants and related assistance to improve and expand capacity to serve Asian Americans and Native American Pacific Islanders and low-income individuals. The AANAPISI program, one of eight federally designated Minority Serving Institution programs, was established by Congress in 2007 as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. More than 30 institutions are grantees.

“Today we honor the intersections among generations, place and culture,” said BHCC President Pam Eddinger. “In this Asian American culture center, I can see my parents, myself, my son, my husband and his family. And also I can see an America that’s meaningful to me and where I belong.”

BHCC instructors Jie Frye and Jeff McClelland spoke about incorporating local stories into their class work. Frye had her students apply summary statistics to Asian American digital stories created by students from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. McClelland’s English as a second language (ESL) students read articles about immigrants in Chelsea.

BHCC Dean Nuri Chandler-Smith said, “Bunker Hill likes to emphasize the ‘community’ part of community college. We’re not just a resource but part of it. That means we have to have a physical presence, staff and resources closer to where people are.”

Qualifying institutions must have an undergraduate student enrollment of at least 10 percent Asian American Native American Pacific Islander students. Bunker Hill had 1,310 Asian students enrolled in fall 2016, along with 48 American Indian or Alaska Native students, and 18 Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander students, for about 11 percent of its student enrollment.

Four AANAPISI Teams will deliver an integrated student experience for English as ESL students, especially Asian American and low-income students. The ESL Design Team will reform the ESL program that will accelerate the progression of ESL students, especially Asian American and low-income students, into college credit-bearing coursework and thus promote timely degree completion. The work of the Local-Global Learning Team will complement curricular reforms. The Targeted Success Coaching Team will develop an effective model that integrates culturally responsive support services with the academic experiences of students. The Project Assessment Team will track the broad, measurable goals of the grant, including student success data disaggregated by Asian American ethnic groups represented at BHCC.


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About Ling-Mei Wong 黃靈美

Editor of the Sampan, the only bilingual Chinese-English newspaper in New England

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