Saturday, August 24, 2013

$1 Million-plus Fellowship adds Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders as an eligible group

As our regular readers know, we've been reaching out to underrepresented minority scholarships and fellowships on the need to properly classify Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.

This week, we are elated to share that an underrepresented minority fellowship which provides over $1 million in annual aid is amending its eligibility policy to include Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders! Representatives from the Diversifying Faculty in Illinois program notified us about their policy change with the PIA project after hearing from us (following our national study), then again this summer.

The Diversifying Faculty in Illinois program provided an average award of $10,500 to new fellows recently, and named over 100 fellows last year. (That's over $1,050,000 in aid for new fellows in one year alone.) This program, open to underrepresented minorities, funds the education of students who want to become college educators. Fellows must pursue, and accept if offered, teaching positions at higher education institutions in the State of Illinois.

In making this important change to their eligibility policy, the DFI program joins five other scholarships that have opened their door to Pacific Islanders since last year's study.

We commend the DFI program for making the right decision, and hope that Pacific Islanders looking for a career in academia will consider this tremendous opportunity. For more information, please visit them here: link


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Honor Roll: Underrepresented Minority Scholarships that changed their eligibility policies towards Pacific Islanders

After completing our national study last year, we've directed our attention to educating  underrepresented minority programs about the need to open up their programs to Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. Since then, five thirteen scholarships have changed their policies, and while we've thanked them already, we're doing it again by adding them to our "Honor Roll" of programs that made the right decision.  Together these programs represent an average of over $1,100,000 in financial aid each year.

We hope that more programs will follow their lead: 


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sports and Military Service as routes to college for Pacific Islanders

Separate articles on the establishment of a Polynesian football hall of fame and a documentary on military service among Micronesians may not seem like they have much to do with each other, but I was struck by the common thread of higher education.  In both cases, these story highlighted how each thing was an important path to college.  

I would be interested in statistics on how many Pacific Islanders feel that college sports or military service was their entree avenue to pursue a diploma, given that these are two areas where Pacific Islanders are much more visible -- please let us know if you've seen any data on that!  

Here are links to the articles:


Sunday, August 04, 2013

Deadline coming up for Pacific Islander-focused leadership training

Aloha! This post will be short and to the point: Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders in California or nearby should know that tomorrow (Monday, August 5th) is the deadline to apply to the PILOT (Pacific Islander Leaders of Tomorrow) Institute's summer 2013 training. Intended to increase the number of emerging leaders in the Pacific Islander American community, the training will provide community focused leadership training tailored to the shared values and challenges held by America's Pacific people.

To apply, click here: link


Saturday, August 03, 2013

P.I.A. project cited in New America Media story on Pacific Islander academic struggles

While scrolling through my blog and news feed on Pacific Islander higher education issues, I was pleasantly surprised to read this article from New America Media regarding the academic struggles of America's growing Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander community.  That story, Often Ignored, Pacific Islanders Fight for Academic Success on Their Own, is available here: link

An excerpt: 

Hatori suggested that more awareness is needed of the specific issues confronting the Pacific Islander community. 
“Being grouped in with all Asians when using the term API (Asian Pacific Islander) in statistics to judge whether a particular race or ethnicity is doing well or not is often deceptive,” Hatori said. “People who are not very knowledgeable on the issues the Pacific Island community face will look at API numbers and think Pacific Islanders are not struggling at all,” he added. 
Such misconceptions are having horrid effects on Pacific Islanders’ prospects for scholarships, advocates argue, and therefore college access. Many scholarship programs decline applications by Pacific Islanders, mistakenly assuming those students are as privileged as their peers from other Asian backgrounds. 

When referencing Pacific Islander access to scholarships, the article links to the P.I.A. project's recent guest column in The Chronicle on Higher Education.

Mahalo to New America Media for highlighting the struggles and some of the successes of Pacific Islanders in America's academic arena.