University of Southern California

SCampus Student Guidebook

Student Services

Asian Pacific American Student Services

(213) 740-4999
Student Union 410

USC Asian Pacific American Student Services (APASS) is a multifaceted department focused on the education, engagement and empowerment of students.

APASS has a two-fold mission: to facilitate Asian Pacific American participation, dialogue, community-building and empowerment, while at the same time, serving as a source of cross-cultural educational programming for the entire campus.

APASS programs include orientation, leadership development, service-learning and community immersion, career and peer mentoring, cross-cultural and educational programs, academic collaborations, and individual and collective advocacy.

We understand the distinctive needs among the different ethnicities within our Asian Pacific American community, and we derive strength from our diversity.

The APA Network

Involvement with APASS starts by joining the “Asian Pacific American Network,” the easiest way to connect with the APA community on and off campus. Students can join the Network online at

APA Student Welcome

APASS provides a special half-day orientation on the Sunday of Welcome Week for incoming Asian Pacific American freshmen and transfer students. The fun and interactive program was designed to introduce Asian Pacific American undergraduate students to each other, student leaders and the APASS department. This free event includes brunch and the largest APA involvement fair on campus, which represents over 40 student and community organizations.

Leadership Development

APASS implements various programs and activities designed to enhance leadership development, including campus and community-based programs designed for educational or advocacy purposes. Our flagship leadership development program is called CIRCLE (Critical Issues in Race, Class and Leadership Education). Now in its 26th year, CIRCLE is a semester-long introduction to Asian Pacific American community issues, the field of Asian American studies and leadership training. With a focus on engagement and dialogue, the program prepares APA students to understand the diverse needs of the community and gain effective tools to engage with societal issues, while encouraging students to take action on important issues.

Community Resources

APASS supplies information about scholarships, volunteer and employment opportunities, and internships. In addition, APASS offers TiE (Together in Empowerment), a community-based, paid internship program open to undergraduate and graduate students. Students develop skill sets in one of three areas: policy and advocacy; fundraising and development; or outreach and organizing.


APASS offers two premiere mentoring programs. Get professional mentoring and take advantage of skill-building workshops through Connections!, a career development program that matches undergraduate students with alumni, graduate students or other professionals for career and academic guidance. Positive Experiences, Enriching Relationships (PEER), a first-year transition and success program that matches each student to a highly trained, upperclass mentor, is available to freshmen and transfer students.

Educational Programs

APASS works with student and community organizations and academic departments to provide unique educational opportunities not offered by traditional student programming. From workshops to exposure trips to service learning opportunities, students can gain cross-cultural knowledge as well as learn about the various Asian Pacific American communities, their issues and their experiences. APASS offers two Alternative Spring Break trips – one to Manzanar (the former internment camp used to house Japanese Americans during World War II) focusing on civil liberties, and one to Hawai’i engaging the Native Hawaiian experience. In addition, in collaboration with the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs and El Centro Chicano, APASS offers Project ReMiX: Exploring the Mixed Race Generation (year-round programming focused on multiracial and interracial student and community issues). APASS also offers targeted, cross-cultural programming, such as the DESI Project (Defining and Exploring South Asian Issues) and PULE (Promoting Unity, Liberation, and Education), our Pacific Islander initiative.

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