Frequently Asked Questions

It stands for Asian American Native Pacific Islander Serving Institution. 

AAPI includes any students who self-identify as Asian American or Pacific Islander. Ethnic backgrounds under the AAPI (Asian American, Pacific Islander) umbrella may include but are not limited to Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Pakistani, Filipino, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Thai, Native Hawaiian, Fijian, Micronesian, or other Pacific Islanders.

The list of possible backgrounds was not meant to be exhaustive, as the AAPI group is very diverse and can include over 50 ethnic groups and communities.

Yes. We support all students and provide culturally responsive materials and support.

Please contact our staff under the AANAPISI Grant Team to learn more.

AAPI Connect Peer Mentors are returning NOVA student leaders who are eager to help new students navigate the college experience. Peer Mentors are chosen based on interpersonal, leadership, and academic criteria. They also undergo training to better support their Mentees at NOVA.

Are you interested in being a Peer Mentor? Peer Mentors are selected in the Spring for the following academic year and undergo training in the Summer. Peer Mentors are required to:

  • Self-identify as an AAPI Student
  • Enroll at NOVA for a minimum of 6 credit hours per program semester
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA at NOVA
  • Identify as friendly, helpful, open-minded and willing to meet new students and
  • Possess strong interpersonal skills

We are now recruiting Peer Mentors for the 2023-2024 academic year. Apply before March 31, 2023, for priority consideration. (log in using your VCCS account)

To participate in AAPI Connect as a Mentee, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Self-identify as an AAPI student,
  2. Plan to enroll in 3 or more credits in the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 semesters (you must be an enrolled student to participate),
  3. Be willing to meet on the NOVA Annandale campus on Fridays (mornings or afternoon sessions) and
  4. Let us know why you want to be paired with a Mentor.

The application period for the 2022-2023 AAPI Connect program is closed. You can add your name to our waitlist by completing the AAPI Connect interest form.

Mentees should plan to commit 1-2 hours a week to program activities:

  • Participation in cohort meetings held on the Annandale campus on certain Fridays from 11:10 am - 12:30 pm or 2 - 3:20 pm.
  • Twice-monthly meetings with your Mentor.
  • Active mentees are also given preference to attend program-sponsored group excursions during the 2022-23 academic year.
  • We also encourage you to spend time studying at the new AANAPISI Intercultural Learning Center at Annandale.

The AAPI community encompasses broad groups of people with ties to Asia and the Pacific Islands, and our goal is to build an active community that supports the diversity of these cultures and experiences. During our meetings, you will be able to meet, network, and form friendships with other students of similar backgrounds.

Further, our Peer Mentors are current NOVA students who know how to navigate the challenges of college life, whether that means choosing the right classes, working with advisors, engaging in career planning, and meeting people. All of these students also identify as AAPI and can share how their background has created both challenges and opportunities for them at NOVA.

Simply put, you can’t find this type of support anywhere else.

AAPI Connect cohort meetings and activities are for AAPI Connect program participants only.

However, we launched the Intercultural Learning Center in Fall 2022, which is a welcoming, safe space for all students. The ILC is located in Founders Hall, and we look forward to seeing you there!