Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States. It has been a U.S. territory since 1898, and Guam natives are U.S. citizens. Guam is the largest island in Micronesia—approximately 30 miles long and four to 12 miles wide—and its population of 159,358 (as of the 2010 U.S. Census) is the largest in Micronesia. The indigenous population is Chamorro. English and Chamorro are the official languages of Guam. The school system is organized as a Department of Education, led by a superintendent who reports to an elected board of education.
The island economy is significantly dependent upon the military, followed by tourism, with more than one million Japanese and other visitors from Asia annually. Guam has approximately 48,486 students and 2,472 public school teachers in grades K–12. Guam’s compulsory schooling age ranges from 6–18. The island is home to the University of Guam, a four-year and above institution; Guam Community College, a two-year college; and Pacific Islands University, a four-year university.
Guam is home to a large population of migrants from the freely associated states (FAS), and better supporting the academic and non-academic needs of FAS Micronesian students as well as other students who may be struggling is a priority in the territory. The Guam Alliance for Family and Community Engagement in Education is focused on cross-cultural understanding and learning; fostering partnerships among educators, students, families, community, and researchers; supporting applied research; and building local capacity to conduct research. REL Pacific is supporting these goals through a study on enrollment, demographic, and program participation characteristics of Guam’s FAS Micronesian students and other technical assistance.