Sunday, July 25, 2010

Noticed or Not? University Definitions of Underrepresented

In previous posts I've mentioned that when it comes to acknowledging that Pacific Islanders are underrepresented in higher education, some get it and some don't. News articles and blog posts (courtesy of Google alerts - thanks Google!) from the past few weeks provide examples of a university that gets it and another that doesn't appear to.

First, the university paying attention to the statistics - Cornell - includes Pacific Islanders in their definition of underrepresented minorities (LINK). Go Big Red!

On the other hand, at least one university doesn't seem to pay attention to the fact that Pacific Islanders are underrepresented - according to this article (LINK) another university's (no need to mention it by name but you can check the link if you're curious) understanding of underrepresented minorities "is interpreted to include African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans." No mention of Pacific Islander Americans.

Hopefully more universities, scholarships, and fellowships will move in the same direction as Cornell. The PIA project will be doing more to help them get there.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer Reading: UCLA Paper on Pacific Islanders in Higher Education

For those of you who looking for an in-depth analysis of the underrepresentation of Pacific Islanders in U.S. higher education, I recommend this joint brief from the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, UC AAPI Policy Initiative, and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center: LINK

The paper is a few years old, but the authors do a great job explaining the details of Pacific Islander education issues with a mix of writing and graphs. On the concluding page, the authors quote a source that says:

Despite having significant needs, Pacific Islanders are often ignored in policy discussions. Policy makers, community organizations, funders, and others working to address educational disparities need to take affirmative steps to ensure Pacific Islanders have equal access to educational opportunity.