Northern Marianas College
|Northern Marianas College|
|Type||2 year Community College|
|Endowment||Territory supported with significant U.S. federal grants received|
|President||Sharon Y. Hart|
|Location||Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands|
Northern Marianas College (NMC) is a two-year community college located in the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The college was founded in 1981 by Agnes McPheteres in a renovated former United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands hospital on Saipan where its main campus remains to this day. NMC today has three campuses on the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota, with the Tinian and Rota campuses no longer offering academic classes. The main campus on Saipan lies in the region of Micronesia in the western Pacific, approximately 3500 miles west of Hawaii, 1500 miles south of Japan, and 100 miles north of Guam. NMC is the sole public college within the Commonwealth and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Its current president is Dr. Sharon Y. Hart.
Brief History of NMC
The Northern Marianas College was established in May 1981 when CNMI Governor Carlos S. Camacho created the College as an official governmental entity through Executive Order #25. The Executive Order established the College as one of the divisions within the Commonwealth Department of Education. By mid-summer of 1981, the College was offering training programs for government employees and teachers of the CNMI Public School System.
In January 1983, Public Law 3-43 established NMC as a public, nonprofit corporation having the Board of Education as its governing board. In March 1985, Public Law 4-34 amended the Higher Education Act of 1983 by creating a separate Board of Regents and broadening the authority and responsibility of the governing board.
In June 1985, the College received its initial accreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). That accreditation was reaffirmed in 1990, 1996, and 2001.
In March 2001, the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges & Universities of WASC granted NMC initial accreditation for offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. This marked the first time in the history of WASC that a two-year community college offered a four-year degree. Since its beginning, NMC has focused on meeting the higher education and vocational training needs of the CNMI. From the time of its first program in teacher education, NMC has developed a comprehensive set of academic programs and services to meet the social, cultural, occupational and economic development needs of the region's island communities.
Today, students are enrolled in various educational programs of study leading to Certificates of Achievement and Completion, Associate Degrees, and Bachelor of Science Degrees in Elementary Education. In addition, there are hundreds of students enrolled in credit and non-credit, continuing and adult educational courses.
Throughout the years, more than 20,000 people have enrolled in regular NMC degree and certificate courses, over 3,000 persons have been awarded certificates and/or degrees in programs offered or coordinated by NMC; and more than 15,000 individuals have been served in the community through such programs as the Adult Basic Education, Continuing Education, Small Business Development Center, and the Cooperative Research, Extension, and Education Service. (http://www.marianas.edu/content.php?id=5&cat=101)
The Northern Marianas College academic instruction is maintained by the following departments:
- Business (four-year program)
- Languages and Humanities
- Liberal Arts
- School of Education (four-year program)
- Sciences, Mathematics, Health, and Athletics
- Social Sciences and Fine Arts
Northern Marianas College established the Rota Instructional Site to provide post-secondary, continuing, and adult education and training opportunities for the purpose of improving the quality of life for the people of Rota.
Since its inception in August 1986, the Rota Instructional Site has assisted many people who chose to pursue college education locally over the high cost of post-secondary education elsewhere. Many students have obtained a Certificate of Completion, an Associate Degree, or the Bachelor’s of Science degree in Elementary Education, have found better paying jobs, and have continued pursuing higher degrees.
The results are positive, and the community has depended on NMC for quality education and training. Presently, Rota offers a variety of programs: -Adult Basic Education, -CREES (Agriculture and Aquaculture Extension, -4H Club, -Expanded Food & Nutrition Education (EFNEP), -Business Development Workshops, -Continuing Education Courses, and -Community Services Programs