NOVA Awarded $1.3 Million for AANAPI-Serving Institutions

October 13, 2021

Annandale, Va. – Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) will build on its commitment to inclusive excellence by launching a new program to serve Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander (AANAPI) students. Funded by a $1.3 million grant over five years from the U.S. Department of Education, NOVA’s new Asian Pacific Pedagogy for Equity, Achievement and Learning (APPEAL) program will provide AANAPI students with services to promote course success in foundational Math and English courses, overall college retention and overall degree completion. NOVA, a Minority-Serving Institution, is one of only 13 institutions of higher learning to receive this award in 2021. 

“Excellence in instruction and equity in opportunity are core tenets of our work at NOVA and we are proud to announce a new way to support our AANAPI students,” said Anne M. Kress, president of NOVA. “We are grateful to the US Department of Education for funding this exciting, innovative program.” 

"This grant will enable NOVA to do more for our AANAPI students as our country continues to address the impact of COVID-19 and confront ongoing biases that impact AANAPI communities,” said Dr. Nathan Carter, NOVA’s chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. “This program was written with comprehensive student wellness and representation in mind and will significantly expand the college’s ability to support our students.”

Through the APPEAL program, NOVA will provide low-income AANAPI students with transformative learning experiences that utilize high-impact practices and culturally responsive pedagogy to improve student success. The program will also establish an AANAPI Intercultural Learning Center for tutoring, mentorship, community building and other student support services.

Fairfax County, Northern Virginia’s largest jurisdiction and home to NOVA’s Annandale Campus, has the nation’s 7th largest population of Asian Americans, including those of South Asian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese immigrants. The Intercultural Learning Center will be situated on NOVA’s Annandale Campus.

NOVA will take a scalable and coordinated approach that emphasizes Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (CRP) and High-Impact Practices (HIPs), which are both are known to reduce gaps in equity and opportunity for minoritized students. NOVA’s APPEAL program will develop a culture of learning for faculty who teach foundational courses in Math and English to become more aware of issues that impact AANAPI students and develop culturally responsive and high-impact classroom practices to help students succeed in these critical foundational courses in order for them to complete their desired degree or certification.  

NOVA continually works to address the growing concerns of discrimination against AANAPI communities. The new Center will be instrumental in engaging with local AANAPI leaders, alongside NOVA’s faculty, staff, AANAPI and other students to promote practices that emphasize truth, racial healing and transformational experiences.

Led by NOVA’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the project manager of the grant will be Dr. Nathan Carter. A search for essential grant-funded personnel to provide day-to-day operation of the program, as well as assisting in recruitment of AANAPISI Peer Mentors from NOVA’s AANAPI student body is the first step. 

NOVA’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is committed to advancing inclusive excellence for improving the well-being and success of all NOVA students, faculty, staff and community members. The office works to raise awareness of divergent ideas, values, beliefs, abilities and perspectives while also advancing equity within the College’s Mission and Strategic Plan to help create and sustain a more inclusive and accepting college community.

The Department of Education’s Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) Program provides grants and assistance to Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions to enable these institutions to improve and expand their capacity to serve the AANAPI community. More information about the program can be found here. 

NOVA congratulates the other recipient institutions of this prestigious grant:

  • Century College (Minn.)
  • Chabot College (Calif.)
  • Cosumnes River College (Calif.)
  • California State University, Fresno (Calif.)
  • California State University, Long Beach (Calif.)
  • California State University, Sacramento (Calif.)
  • North Seattle College (Wash.)
  • San Diego Mesa College (Calif.)
  • Seattle Central College (Wash.)
  • Shoreline Community College (Wash.)
  • South Seattle College (Wash.)
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas (NV)

For questions about the grant, contact Dr. Nathan Carter, NOVA’S CDEIO, at For all other media inquiries, please contact Hoang Nguyen, NOVA’s public information officer, at

Topics: press release