Northern Marianas College was awarded a $2.5 million five-year cooperative grant by the U.S. Department of Education’s Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions or AANAPISI Program to establish the Proa Pathway Partnership with Portland State University.
This new grant will expand efforts of the existing Project PROA grant which has been instrumental in increasing overall retention and graduation rates since its inception in 2016, in addition to increasing students’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM.
The Proa Pathway Partnership is a collaborative effort between NMC and PSU whose mission is to help Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students successfully graduate from college and enter into meaningful careers by providing services that will help them identify career paths in STEM, receive mentorship and guidance, and gain research experience that aligns with their educational and career goals in preparation for their transition into PSU.
“We are excited to provide our students with access to a clearer pathway from NMC to PSU by making the transition more seamless and transparent,” NMC’s Project PROA Director Kaelani Demapan said. “PSU also offers NMC students a residential rate which makes it affordable and accessible for all students, especially since many of our students come from low-income families and are first-generation students.”
The goals of the Proa Pathway Partnership are to empower students to identify a career path early on, attain job skills, and gain research experience that align with their educational and career aspirations in preparation for their transition into a four-year research university, while providing students direct access to mental health and academic support throughout their undergraduate journey.
While the target of the grant will be Asian American and Pacific Island students, who make up about 75 percent of NMC’s student body, all other students are eligible to receive assistance through the program.
“With this additional grant award from the U.S. Department of Education, NMC looks forward to assisting more students in the CNMI enter into STEM fields and eventually give back to our community,” NMC President Galvin Deleon Guerrero, EdD said. “ I want to thank Project PROA Director Kaelani Demapan, her team, and all our partners who have supported our goal to increase the STEM capacity of the CNMI.
NMC is the only school in the Pacific region to receive an additional AANAPISI grant in this year’s funding competition.