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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions: The Motivations and Challenges behind Seeking a Federal Designation


This article examines the development of legislation to create a federal designation for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) serving institutions. Specifically, the article draws from interviews with nineteen policy makers, congressional staffers, and community advocates in order to address their motivations for establishing this designation and the related challenges that they encountered. Besides the complexities of ushering legislation through Congress, one of the major challenges highlighted includes the lack of political infrastructure for advocating Asian American issues related to education. Recommendations for the future sustainability of federal support for AAPI serving institutions are also discussed.

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