In 1981, ASCC was designated a Land Grant College. Federal funds were provided to develop programs in agriculture, family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, and forestry. The three major components of the program are instruction, extension, and research.
At ASCC, the post-secondary agricultural related educational programs are part of the Department of Agriculture Community and Natural Resources. Program offerings include the Associate of Science Degree in General Agriculture, Agribusiness, Family and Consumer Sciences and Natural Resources. The degrees are designed to prepare the students for on-island positions in these fields as well as for transfer to off-island schools.
The Cooperative Extension Service offers community-based educational programs and projects to enhance individual and group decision-making towards improved living. Extension works closely with farmers, homemakers, and youth as well as government and civic agencies. The extension agents use the research discoveries made by the research division to help improve the quality of life for individuals, and the community. Extension programs are offered in the following areas: Agriculture, Consumer Family Sciences, 4-H Youth, and Forestry.
The Hatch Act authorized by Congress in 1887, stipulates the establishment of agricultural experiment stations in connection with Land Grant colleges to conduct scientific investigations and experiments to provide practical and useful information in publishing bulletins or reports of progress. As a beneficiary of this Act, the Research Division of the ASCC Land Grant Program adheres to these guidelines. Furthermore, it tailors agricultural research specifically to the environment, economy, and culture of American Samoa .
The Research component is committed to applying rigorous scientific standards test traditional agricultural practices and those selected from worldwide literature for their efficacy under local conditions and sharing knowledge gained with the agricultural community at large. It strives to harmonize local needs and interest with the national agenda by working closely with the United States Department of Agriculture, sister Land Grant colleges, regional institutions, and local departments and agencies.