Currently, Micronesia Land Grant Programs are offered throughout Micronesia (Palau, Marshall Islands, and the FSM states of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae) by and thru the three national local colleges namely, Palau Community College, College of the Marshall Islands, and College of Micronesia-FSM in partnership with the College of Micronesia.
The US Congress in 1980 designated College of Micronesia as the land-grant college for the (former) Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. The COM land-grant status was subsequently extended by each of the Compact of Free Association agreement between the three Micronesian nations and the US Government.
Three categories of programs are offered: 1) Extension; 2) Research; and 3) Residential Instruction/Education.
The Extension Programs are offered in six sites: Koror, Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Majuro.
The Research Program has three Agricultural Experiment Stations affiliated with each of the three Micronesian colleges at PCC, CMI and COM-FSM which has substations in Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap.
The Residential Instruction program is offered as part of the regular instructional programs at each of the three colleges.
Funding for the land-grant programs are provided by the federal government as follows:
- Hatch Act appropriation for Research programs;
- Smith-Lever Act appropriation for Extension programs; and
- Endowment Fund which provides income to support instruction and related programs.
Rules and Regulations governing land-grant programs are issued by the US Department of Agriculture. USDA requires that programs to be funded with these federal funds must be approved as part of the USDA-approved Plan of Work (POW) in the case of Extension; and Program of Research in the case of Agricultural Experiment Station research programs.
College of Micronesia provides oversight of the Micronesia land-grant program. COM is governed by a three-member COM Board of Regents representing the three respective COM Treaty signatory nations. COM’s Central Office is located in Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM.
Besides the annual appropriation for Hatch and Smith-Lever funds, COM was granted a $3 million endowment fund in 1985. The fund is presently managed by professional money managers and currently has a market value of around $5 million dollars. Since 1985, about 75 to 85% of the annual income has been drawn and provided to support instructional programs as well as the extension and research programs.
Being a land-grant college, COM is part of the land-grant network of institutions throughout the mainland US and its affiliated insular areas. Through this network, COM has access to scientists, educators, extension agents and other professional people in the various fields and expertise.
COM is also a member of the ADAP (Agriculture Development in the American Pacific) along with the other insular land-grant institutions: University of Hawaii, University of Guam, American Samoa Community College and the Northern Marianas College.