Monday, June 06, 2011

Underrepresented Minority Academic Programs and Pacific Islanders

This is the first in a series of posts written specifically to help scholarships, fellowships, and other academic programs for underrepresented minorities -- also known as URM (underrepresented minority) academic programs.

URM academic programs are scholarships, fellowships, or other programs that are intended to serve those racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in the U.S. higher education system. As we've blogged about before, Pacific Islanders are underrepresented, but they're excluded from many of these programs.

Our research has found that while some URM academic programs recognize that Pacific Islanders are underrepresented, others don't allow them to apply alongside other underrepresented minorities -- yet. (There are also some in-betweeen URM academic programs which recognize that some Pacific Islander sub-groups are underrepresented, while leaving out others.)

We believe that the missing link is information -- some URM academic programs may not realize that Pacific Islanders are underrepresented.

Our goal is to give URM academic programs an easy way to access the facts about Pacific Islander underrepresentation. And for those that don't currently allow Pacific Islanders to apply alongside other underrepresented minority groups, we want to help them change. We recognize that this is good for URM academic programs and for Pacific Islanders, because it helps URM academic programs achieve their mission of helping underrepresented minorities while giving Pacific Islanders a better chance at achieving their potential.

The next several posts will answer questions that URM academic programs may ask when considering their policy toward Pacific Islanders. We may take an occasional break from the series to blog on current events or updates, but the next season of posts will largely be written with the URM audience in mind.


No comments: