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NMC is One of Four Campuses Selected to Participate in Online Education Initiative (March 21, 2016)

The Nation's Largest Asian American & Pacific Islander-Serving Scholarship Fund to Partner with Online Education Leader Coastline Community College and Four Pacific Island Partner Campuses, including NMC

WASHINGTON, DC - With generous support from USA Funds, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) announced the Enhancing Technology and Online Education at Pacific Island AANAPISIs (E-TOPIA) Project, a new initiative supporting innovative online education at federally-designated Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) in the Pacific Islands.

Through its Completion with a Purpose initiative, USA Funds has committed support towards innovative projects that increase positive outcomes and provide students a more purposeful path through college and on to rewarding careers and successful lives. As part of APIASF's commitment to supporting positive outcomes for underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students, the organization will partner with Coastline Community College, based in Orange County, California, a leader in online education and distance learning, to support college completion and career transition for students in the Pacific.

"While able to open many doors for accessing educational opportunities, online education requires a specific level of preparedness and structure to ensure students achieve positive outcomes," said Neil Horikoshi, APIASF President and Executive Director. "With USA Funds' generous support and Coastline Community College's strategic partnership, we are excited to support positive outcomes for students in the Pacific region through the E-TOPIA Project."

All AANAPISI campuses in the Pacific were invited to submit a proposal to participate in the program. Through this process, four partner campuses were selected to participate: Guam Community College (Mangilao, Guam), Leeward Community College (Pearl City, Hawaii), Northern Marianas College (Saipan, Northern Marianas), and Windward Community College (Kaneohe, Hawaii). Each campus will receive a planning grant to support collaborative research with Coastline Community College and a travel grant to attend Coastline's Summer Technology Institute in July, culminating the project's planning phase.

The project will also be guided by an advisory panel including: Rahim Rajan, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Kawika Riley, Founder and CEO, Pacific Islander Access Project; Margaret Daniels Tyler, Managing Partner, The TylerGroup, LLC; Neil Horikoshi, President and Executive Director, APIASF; Dr. Loretta Adrian, President, Coastline Community College; and Lorenzo Esters, Senior Program Director, USA Funds.

"Coastline is honored to have a strong partnership with APIASF," said Dr. Loretta Adrian, Coastline Community College President. "APIASF's E-TOPIA Project is an innovative initiative that promotes collaboration among AANAPISI community colleges for the purpose of sharing, developing, and scaling best practices in online learning for the benefit of, not only AAPI students, but all students. I commend President & Executive Director, Neil Horikoshi, for his vision, and USA Funds for supporting this vision."

"USA Funds is pleased to support this innovative and collaborative new approach for using online learning to enhance the success of underserved students in college and career and to extend our long-standing partnership with APIASF in support of Asian American and Pacific Islander students," said Lorenzo, L. Esters, USA Funds Senior Program Director. "This project aligns with our focus on promoting innovative new practices in the delivery of higher education to increase completion rates, reduce time to degree and enhance affordability."

"Once again APIASF thanks USA Funds for their generous support and commitment to our community," said Neil Horikoshi. "We also thank Dr. Adrian and her team and we are enthusiastic to bring in leaders from Guam Community College, Leeward Community College, Northern Marianas College, and Windward Community College to strengthen each campuses' program and make online education more accessible for students. I congratulate all of our partner campuses on being selected and I thank USA Funds for supporting the launch of this unprecedented project."

For details about APIASF, visit APIASF's website at www.apiasf.org. Also, follow APIASF on Facebook (www.facebook.com/apiasf) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/apiasf).


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