The program started in April 1992 and was supported by Augsburg President Charles Anderson. Augsburg had received a large grant from the General Mills Foundation to develop support services for Asian students, focusing on Southeast Asian populations. Having supported the American Indian support services a few years prior, Anderson saw the same need in the Asian community, especially for Southeast Asian and first-generation college students. The support program was initially called “Asian American Support Services (AASS)” and housed on the second floor of the Music Building.
Today, the program serves over 200 self-identified Asian or mixed ethnicity undergraduate students and manages a peer-to-peer mentor program that helps Augsburg recruit and retain the Pan Asian community.
The program supports Pan Asian students by provide student engagement in transformative, lifelong learning and develop life skills in consideration of cultural context which complement their academic experience through co-curricular involvement and civic engagement.
The Department of Multicultural Life strives to be a national leader in multicultural student success and social justice education within higher education. Through collaboration with key departments, offices, and individuals; the development and implementation of cultural- and social-critical educational programming; and the focused mentoring and support of historically underrepresented student populations, the department works to co-create a university environment that allows for all members to fully engage in the entirety of their collegiate experience.
We believe when students have a greater understanding of self, they become empowered to reclaim* ownership of their education. Multicultural Life provides opportunities to deepen awareness and knowledge of identity, resilience, and advocacy.
*Due to white supremacist foundation that is rooted within higher education, education does not allow historically underserved students to take stake in their learning.