Asian American and Pacific Islander Retention and Education (ASPIRE) Program

In 2016, SF State was awarded a $1.5 million AANAPISI grant to create the Asian American and Pacific Islander Retention and Education (ASPIRE) Program. The goal of ASPIRE is to improve and expand SF State’s capacity to serve high-need Asian American and Native American Pacific Islanders and low-income degree-seeking undergraduate students, improve the learning environment, and strengthen academic outcomes.

This project involves three comprehensive and complementary activities:

  • Broad dissemination of information and targeted support to high-need AA&PIs
  • Student learning communities with culturally-relevant and community-responsive practices, linked courses, and peer mentors
  • Faculty development and faculty learning communities

There are four pillars of ASPIRE that frame our learning outcomes for our faculty and students:

Our focus is on leadership, equity, social justice, and writing with a purpose.

In our spaces, we help students to think about internships, scholarships, and financial aid as they navigate the institution. As well as build authentic and meaningful relationships with their faculty members and each other.

While the ultimate goal is to help students succeed to graduation, we want to make sure our students are prepared for their career goals and/or graduate school.

In our learning communities, we understand praxis as an ongoing, reflective approach to taking action. We encourage our students, staff, and faculty to research, respond, and reflect to address our needs collectively on campus and in our communities.

Our ASPIRE linked courses create a learning community that focuses on culturally relevant approaches to personal growth and development. Our overall learning community is designed to foster relationships with faculty, staff, and peers and offer personalized academic support for college success from our faculty learning community and peer mentor program. View our ASPIRE Linked Course List for Fall 2021

Our faculty learning community aims to increase awareness and the responsiveness of the faculty of College of Ethnic Studies to high need Asian American and Pacific Islander students. Faculty development trainings are conducted in the summer, winter and throughout the academic year, in partnership with campus resources that serve and support students. Past trainings have focused on working with students with disabilities, counseling, mental health, and writing support.

ASPIRE Peer Mentors support students who are enrolled in our linked courses. They participate and lead community study circles, provide support in relation to course material within their GE courses, identify learning needs for classes, and connect students to resources on campus. Their peer support helps students to develop authentic relationships with each other and asks students to hold each other accountable in succeeding as a community. Meet our Peer Mentors for Fall 2021.

Community Study Circles are held throughout the semester by our ASPIRE Peer Mentors. It is an open space for all students to receive one-on-one support for their linked classes, study, collaborate, and build community with one another.

Our Fall 2021 hours will be posted in late August.

Dr. Gwen Agustin-Nodora is our ASPIRE Educational Psychologist. Her roles and responsibilities include psycho-educational assessments and evaluations for Learning Disabilities to students who have not been identified. She supports, coaches, and advises students who have been identified to have a learning disability and act as liaison with our office, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and Disabilities Program and Resource Services (DPRC).

She also offers professional development, trainings and consultation to staff and faculty regarding accommodations, teaching strategies, disabilities, referrals and identifying signs, mental health, and other topics based on needs and trainings and workshops to students regarding accommodations.