Who We Are
As a unit of the Academic Diversity Equity and Inclusion, the Asian American Resource Center (commonly known as the AARC) supports the mission and vision of Northern Illinois University to promote excellence and engagement in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creativity and artistry and outreach and service.
The center creates an inclusive environment where Asian American students cultivate a strong sense of community at NIU, and where campus and community partners collaborate to raise awareness about the rich cultural heritage of Asian Americans. The Asian American Resource Center provides:
- Student-centered services
- Student learning opportunities
- Leadership development
- Student organizational advisement
- Educational/cultural programs
The following goals reflect the programs and services offered by the Asian American Resource Center:
- Support university efforts to recruit and retain Asian American students at Northern Illinois University
- Provide student-centered programs and services to a diverse Asian American student population
- Provide programs and services that enhance student learning opportunities through leadership opportunities, student partner/employee positions and internships
- Establish an inclusive environment by providing outreach and advisement to Asian American student organizations and by raising awareness of the rich culture, heritage and various ethnicities of Asian American college students
- Engage staff in ongoing professional development and service to the field and encourage students’ professional development as well
- Manage resources through effective management of Asian American Resource Center’s facility, equipment and human resources
- Use relevant technological resources and services
Core Program Areas
The Asian American Resource Center fulfills its mission and goals through six core program areas:
- Advocacy: Advocacy efforts further the work of social justice, teach cultural competencies and dismantle Asian American stereotypes. Serving on university committees furthers advocacy efforts on behalf of Asian American students.
- Cultural Education: Cultural education workshops, programs and class presentations educate about Asian history/culture, intersecting identities, stereotypes and diverse sub-populations; Cultural programming also promotes faculty and doctoral research focused on Asian culture.
- Student Leadership Development and Peer Mentoring: This impacts retention and promotes engaged learning. The annual Leadership/Graduation banquet recognizes academic achievement.
- Cultural Engagement: raising awareness about Asian American history, culture, indigenous traditions, challenges and barriers. Cultural engagement is supported though art, concerts, spoken word, photography and cultural artifact exhibits.
- Community Building: Community building and outreach to Asian communities solidifies students' decisions to enroll at NIU and support NIU recruitment efforts. Community building and outreach with faculty, students, community members and alumni provides opportunities for engagement.
- Resources and Services: Use of the facility promotes small gatherings, study space and cultural space.