The U.S. Department of Education awarded Fresno State a five-year $1.2 million grant to support Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) students studying criminology and forensic behavioral sciences.
Supporting AAPI education: The college announced the receipt of their first grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) Program on Nov. 9.
- The five-year grant will establish a program to help AAPI students studying criminology and forensic behavioral sciences pursue careers in criminal justice and victim assistance, according to a press release.
- The program will provide students work-based learning experiences, an Asian American Pacific Islander peer mentoring program, culturally responsive services training and professional writing in criminal justice education. It will also work to increase enrollment, retention and the graduation rate of those students.
- The press release states that criminology is the largest major at Fresno State with 1,846 undergraduate students enrolled, but it has the lowest representation of Asian American and Pacific Islander students. The University has nearly 25,000 students total, of which about 3,100 identify as Asian American and Pacific Islander, according to Fall 2021 enrollment data from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
Leaders of the program: Interim Associate Dean Yoshiko Takahashi and Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Xuanning Fu will serve as principal investigators for the grant.
- According to the press release, Takahashi believes the program reflects the campus’ commitment to Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander students.
- Takahashi said the $1.25 million grant is something the university has been working to receive for the past five years.
- “I’m very happy about it, but at the same time, I feel greater responsibilities,” Takahashi told ABC 30.
- Lisa Xiong, a forensic behavioral sciences major, is part of the 6% of AAPI students majoring in criminology at Fresno State.
- “I feel like a lot, not only myself, of my classmates, feel like we’re probably not good enough for the field,” Xiong told ABC 30. “We don’t have that representation in the field that we want, so it’s kind of scary because most of us are first-generation students.”