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NMC, PSS building better math pathways in NMI (February 7, 2019)

The Public School System and Northern Marianas College have entered into a cooperative agreement to support the co-design and implementation of a high school math transition course to increase the number of PSS high school graduates who start in college-level math courses upon admission to NMC.

The decision to create a new math course is a culmination of at least five years of work between PSS and NMC focused on improving college and career readiness in the CNMI. This work stemmed from a series of studies published by REL Pacific, a Honolulu-based education research firm, that found that approximately 90 percent of PSS high school graduates were placed in developmental math courses when they enrolled at NMC. The studies also found that students who start in college or credit-bearing math at NMC were much more likely to graduate with a college degree. REL Pacific will continue to provide NMC and PSS with technical assistance and support for this project with additional expertise provided by Carnegie Math Pathways at West Ed.

In the agreement, Frankie Eliptico, NMC interim president, and Glenn Muna, commissioner of education, call for assigned teams to work as a learning community focused on understanding problems of implementation and working cooperatively to make improvements. “We are excited to support this initiative with PSS and believe working together to build this transition course will result in improved college graduation rates,” said Eliptico.

The math transition course will be piloted in at least one school in Fall 2019. The aim during AY 2020-2021 is for 120 PSS students to successfully complete the transition course and assured entry into NMC’s Math 132.

For more information, call Northern Marianas College’s dean of Learning and Support Services at 237-6732 or visit

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