About the Asian American Certificate Program

The Asian American Certificate Program educates NIU students about the Asian American experience. By learning about Asian American people and their impact on communities and the world, students acquire skills that help them stand out in the global job market. In addition to knowledge of Asian American cultures, they gain an understanding of the importance of diversity in society.

We also collaborate with campus offices and cultural centers, such as the Asian American Resource Center and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, to recruit students. Through our partnerships and continued emphasis on Asian American studies, we hope to encourage more Asian American high school and community college students to attend NIU.

Faculty and Graduate Assistants


Jui-Ching Wang, D.M.A. School of Music

Graduate Assistants

Chih-I Hsiao

Justine Nham

Vianca Ocampo

Advisory Committee

E. Taylor Atkins, Ph.D. Department of History
Associate Dean
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Judy Ledgerwood, Ph.D. Department of Anthropology
Director of Center for Southeast Asian Studies
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Helen Nagata, Ph.D. Art History
School of Art and Design
College of Visual and Performing Arts

James Cohen, Ph.D. Department of Curriculum and Instruction
College of Education

Jacqueline Mac, Ph.D. Counseling and Higher Education
College of Health and Human Sciences

Outreach and Partnerships

One of our goals is to make our program more visible on campus and in the region. We strive to connect with Asian American students and community members, as well as non-Asian American people, to raise awareness of Asian American culture and history.

We also work with NIU faculty to design courses focused on issues that affect Asian American communities, such as social justice and violence against minority groups. Courses often include creative teaching and learning approaches like film studies, field trips and capstone projects.

Illinois TEAACH Act

In 2021, the Teaching Equitable Asian American History (TEAACH) Act became law in Illinois, requiring public schools to include units on Asian American history. We share information and instructional materials with teachers to help them meet this requirement.


In 1999, NIU's Presidential Task Force on Asian Americans identified the need for the university to better understand and support Asian American students. The task force's goals included increasing student services and boosting retention and graduation rates. The group's academic subcommittee recommended creating an academic program to help meet these goals.

The Asian American Certificate Program was approved in 2003, thanks to the efforts of many, including Dr. Robert Wheeler, chair of the task force; Dr. Murali Krishnamurthi, president of the NIU Asian American Alliance; and Dr. Sherry Fang, the program's first coordinator.

The program has evolved over the years. In addition to providing ongoing academic, cultural and social support to current students, the program has a strong focus on outreach and recruitment.

Contact Us


Jui-Ching Wang

Chih-I Hsiao
Graduate Assistant

Justine Nham
Graduate Assistant

Vianca Ocampo
Graduate Assistant

AACP Newsletter

Office Hours

1-3 p.m.

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