IOA LSAMP Overview
The peoples of the Pacific descend from cultural heritages that for millennia have been steeped in the disciplines of science and technology, including astronomy, agriculture, aquaculture, environmental management, marine science, climatology, biology, and architectural engineering. The vision of the Islands of Opportunity Alliance is to build on this legacy of scientific engagement by expanding the capacity for self-empowerment in Pacific Islander communities through culturally-resonant STEM education initiatives that privilege traditional knowledge systems while also embracing Western scientific ways of knowing.
The four main objectives of the Islands of Opportunity Alliance are:
Create, maintain, and/or expand alliance partnership activities designed to recruit well-qualified, under-represented community college students into STEM baccalaureate degree programs within the Islands of Opportunity Alliance universities.
Provide internship and research experiences for those pursuing baccalaureate degrees in STEM disciplines.
Promote retention and progression rates amongst scholars by creating a scholarly learning community in which academic excellence is encouraged and supported through appropriate advising, mentoring, and academic support programs.
Improve instruction in STEM courses, particularly the gateway science and mathematics courses, through faculty development of high context teaching approaches.
The National Science Foundation's Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Program
Launched in 1991, the main goal of the National Science Foundations (NSF) Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program is to encourage and facilitate access to careers in STEM fields for underrepresented populations. More specifically, NSF hopes to encourage these students to enroll in and complete baccalaureate programs in STEM, as well as to continue on to graduate studies in these fields. The LSAMP Program began with grants to six multi-institution collaborative efforts, called Alliances. Today, there are 39 Alliances with more than 500 participating institutions throughout the country, with the Islands of Opportunity Alliance being the only alliance in the Pacific region.