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Marianas Variety: DCCA employees participate in NMC's Prior Learning Assessment Program info session (August 04, 2017)

MORE than 60 employees of the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs on Thursday participated in an information session regarding educational opportunities available to them at Northern Marianas College.

Manny Tenorio Castro, NMC-enrollment services director, said they conducted the session at the multi-purpose center as requested by DCCA Secretary Robert Hunter.

“We provided a lot of information about the programs we offer, and the opportunities that are out there. We want to help the employees understand why it is beneficial for them to further their education,” Castro said.

To make it easier for the DCCA employees, NMC staffers were on hand to help the employees with college admission, financial aid and other student services should they decide to further their education.

Castro said the employees were especially interested in the Prior Learning Assessment program.

“You may not have a bachelor’s degree, but under the program, it will assess the experience you’ve gained at work and will look at the courses that we are offering that may be related to that experience, and if your experience meets or exceeds what the courses are offering, you will get up to 30 units of college credits,” Castro said.

NMC President Dr. Carmen Fernandez said the program allows participants to save time and money while giving them the opportunity to earn credit toward a degree of their choice.

“The prior-learning program recognizes and awards credits for demonstrated college-level learning gained in settings outside higher education. This learning could have been obtained through employer training programs, serving in the military, studying independently, professional certifications, and civic activities,” she added.

Castro said almost all of the DCCA employees could qualify for the program. “As long as they have three to five years experience in their field, they may qualify and eventually get 30 college credits.”

He noted that many DCCA employees perform social work and counseling, and they deal with children and the elderly so they could pursue a degree in education with emphasis in rehabilitation and human services.

Some DCCA employees signified their intention to enroll and pursue a degree at NMC.

One of them is Arts Council organizer Fay McMahon who will take up business management classes at NMC.

She said Hunter encouraged all DCCA employees “to improve themselves because the better educated they are the better they can perform and the department and the public will benefit from whatever they learn.”

Fernandez thanked Gov. Ralph Torres and Hunter for encouraging government employees to pursue a college education.

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