AAPI Intercultural Learning Center

NOVA’s AAPI Intercultural Learning Center is a place to find holistic support and opportunities for education about Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. We encourage student retention and success with a focus on AAPI experiences and resources. The AANAPISI Center’s services are framed to address the unique needs of AAPI students, but we welcome and serve all students, faculty, and staff at NOVA.

Our Services

  • Create a welcoming and community-oriented environment for AAPI student learning and a sense of belonging.
  • Help students navigate NOVA services geared toward degree completion, financial aid, mentorship, and transfer planning.
  • Promote education about AAPI communities, culture, and art.
  • Provide work-study opportunities for all students at AAPI organizations that pay up to $15.
  • Assist faculty with infusing AAPI culture and culturally responsive lessons into their course curriculum.
  • Connect the college community to local AAPI community organizations in the region.
  • Offer study space and small meeting spaces for DEI/AAPI-focused events.
  • Assist with AAPI scholarships and internships.
  • Display and promote art by AAPI artists and NOVA students and faculty.

NOVA's AANAPISI Project: APPEAL: Asian Pacific Pedagogy for Equity, Achievement, & Learning

Artwork on Display

Artwork by Karpagam ElangovanKarpagam Elangovan
Artwork by Nobue Yamabayashi
Nobue Yamabayashi
Artwork by Hyun Jung Kim
Hyun Jung Kim
Artwork by Jennifer Noda
Jennifer Noda
Artwork by Liang Wei
Liang Wei
Artwork by Curtis Starr
Curtis Starr


Three students studying togetherAANAPISI stands for Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution. The AANAPISI program, one of eight federally designated Minority Serving Institution (MSI) programs, was established by Congress in 2007 as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. It was expanded in 2008 under the Higher Education Opportunity Act.

To qualify for an AANAPISI grant, an institution must have, at the time of application, an enrollment of undergraduate students that is at least ten percent Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander students. At least 50% of an applicant institution’s degree-seeking students must receive financial assistance under one or more of the following programs: the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work Study (FWS), or the Federal Perkins Loan. Institutions must first apply for designation of eligibility and be deemed eligible to compete for an AANAPISI grant. Institutions may direct grants toward the construction or renovation of instructional facilities, purchase of educational materials, development of faculty and curriculum, and support of student services.

What is NOVA's AANAPISI Project?

In the Fall of 2021, NOVA was awarded a 1.4 million dollar AANAPISI Grant to develop the program,
APPEAL (Asian Pacific Pedagogy for Equity, Achievement & Learning). APPEAL implements a college-wide
effort to improve retention, enrollment, and graduation rates for AAPI and other high-need students
through a peer mentor program, a selection of faculty workshops on culturally responsive pedagogy, and a dynamic Intercultural Learning & Resource Center focused on education around AAPI communities. 

3 Central Goals

  1. Develop a Peer Mentoring Program for AAPI students that focuses on leadership, difference education, and improving college skills for AAPI students who need support.
  2. Create an AAPI Intercultural Learning and Resource Center on our largest campus as a meeting space for our AAPI Connect peer mentor program, a hub for student resources and AAPI cultural resources for faculty, and a space for AAPI community outreach and community organizations.
  3. Deliver culturally responsive pedagogy workshops to faculty that educate participants on the importance of the AAPI community, concerns within the AAPI community, & techniques to make the classroom more inclusive.