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Saipan Tribune: 3rd degree course eyed for NMC (January 20, 2017)

Newly installed Northern Marianas College president Dr. Carmen Fernandez is aggressively pushing for a new bachelor’s degree course to be offered by the lone college in the CNMI.

Fernandez said she has been pursuing several goals for NMC, including the offering of a third bachelor’s degree course in criminal justice, among many others, within her first 100 days in office.

Fernandez just passed her 100th day in office as NMC president last Jan. 12.

Fernandez said she has been working with the University of Guam to offer a bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice.

“All of the courses will take place here on campus,” she said.

Fernandez clarified, though, that although the lessons would be taught here, the students would still receive a UOG criminal justice degree.

“We would have an articulation agreement. UOG would certify [NMC] faculty to teach senior level courses for graduation,” said Fernandez.

“Finalizing the agreement is currently in process. We hope the agreement will be set in a few months,” she added.

Currently, NMC only offers bachelor’s degrees in Education and Business Management.

Fernandez thinks that offering a new bachelor’s degree on Saipan makes sense, given the number of alumni that have associate degrees in criminal justice.

“This is very good for our law enforcement community because we have many [officers] that have an AA in criminal justice. Now, they can easily start to work on their bachelor’s degree,” she said.

Among the other items that Fernandez cites as her accomplishments within her first 100 days in office is significant facility improvements; training for employees; hiring of key personnel; and the re-establishment and establishment of many centers, associations, and programs, among others.

Fernandez, who is currently concentrating her efforts on NMC facilities master planning, plans to have eco-friendly facilities in the college. She has been meeting with members of the Legislature and the governor and other key partners for this project.

The facilities master plan will include upgrading classrooms technology as well as efficient student service offices and a 24-hour student center. Fernandez said NMC is expected to break ground later this year.

WASC accreditation

NMC also hosted what Fernandez believes was a “very successful visit” by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Senior College and University Commission.

NMC was visited by WASC last Dec. 1 to Dec. 3 2016.

“I am confident that NMC did well during the visit by the WASC,” said Fernandez.

NMC prepared a month in advance for the visit.

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