BOULDER, Colorado – The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) announced a grant award of $174,000 to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) to cover membership fees for territories and freely associated states from the Technical Assistance Program (TAP).
WICHE’s Pacific Island membership is open to all the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States and currently includes the participation of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. This shared membership provides more students access to tuition savings, workforce development, and behavioral health programs. While this grant provides financial relief for all the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States, they each must pass the necessary legislation to join WICHE.
“We are especially pleased that this funding helps provide opportunities for capacity development and higher education,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Keone Nakoa. “We encourage administrators and teachers in the insular areas to notify students of the new opportunities across institutes of higher education, especially as students from the Insular Areas are underrepresented across institutes of higher education in the United States.”
“Our mission to expand student access and success is a shared goal in the Western region,” said WICHE President Demarée K. Michelau. “This grant will strengthen WICHE’s ability to provide opportunities for students in the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States.”
WICHE member states, territories, and freely associated states can participate in its Student Access Programs and benefit from WICHE’s policy and research projects, collaborative initiatives, workforce development efforts, behavioral health training and assistance, and more.
Since 1953, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education has been strengthening higher education, workforce development, and behavioral health throughout the region. From promoting high-quality, affordable postsecondary education to helping states get the most from their technology investments and addressing behavioral health challenges, WICHE improves lives across the West through innovation, cooperation, resource sharing, and sound public policy. WICHE members include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States (the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia).