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Asian Community Leaders Discuss Strategies to Reach Out to Parents and Students

Two girls

Participants at the hands-on workshop on Asian outreach hosted by the CSU Chancellor's Office.

A group of 30 Asian, Pacific Islander and Southeast Asian community leaders met at the CSU Chancellor's office on Oct. 19 to discuss creation of a partnership to bring college information to Pacific Islander and Southeast Asian families and students who need help to get to higher education.

Targeted students in this initiative have been identified based on the Early Assessment Test that is administered in California to 11th grade public school students to measure their college readiness in English and mathematics. 

According to the EAP, some Asian groups (Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Korean and Japanese) score high in college readiness while other groups, particularly Samoan, Cambodian, Laotian, Hmong and Guamanian do not show acceptable levels of proficiency. The initiative will begin by focusing on these groups.

"Students who are not well-prepared for college often are in school districts where college preparatory courses are not required and pre-college advising is unavailable," said CSU Vice Chancellor Garrett Ashley, who chaired the meeting.  "We feel it is important for the CSU to help prepare these students for college and graduate them into the state’s workforce."

During the past 10 years, under Chancellor Charles B. Reed’s leadership, the CSU has taken significant steps to inform parents and students about the requirements to enter college and has formed partnerships with African American, Latino, and Native American leaders to establish grassroots outreach and information programs. At the meeting, Asian leaders provided several ideas for reaching out to youths, parents and elders that will be very helpful in formulating the CSU outreach plan to Asian communities.

According to Ashley, involving community leaders to provide input to help the CSU improve college eligibility is an essential step in addressing the challenges of culturally diverse populations and preparing them to be competitive in the marketplace and workforce.

The following chart shows the percentage of Asian, Filipino and Pacific Islander students in the California State University.

CSU Enrollment (Fall 2009) Headcount -Systemwide


Asian American






Pacific Islanders



CSU students identify themselves in one of the following national groups:

  • Asian American. All persons descending from any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent. This area includes, for example, China, Japan, Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Taiwan, India, and Thailand.
  • Filipino. All persons descending from any of the original people of the Philippine Islands.
  • Pacific Islander. All persons descending from any of the original peoples of the Pacific Islands (except Filipinos). This area includes, for example, Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, Guam, Fiji, and the Marshall Islands.

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