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NMC Vows to Overcome Accreditation Sanction (June 17, 2010)

The Northern Marianas College learned recently that it was placed on “Show Cause” status by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), which is part of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Show Cause is ordered when the accrediting commission finds an institution to be in substantial non-compliance with its eligibility requirements, standards, or commission policies, or when the institution has not responded to the conditions imposed by the commission.

“While this is a great setback for the College, I want to reassure all students, employees and the community that we will do everything to bring the College back to full compliance with WASC standards and requirements,” said Interim President Lorraine T. Cabrera.

While the Northern Marianas College was placed on Show Cause status, the College’s accredited status continues. The sanction does not change NMC’s accredited status. The College’s accreditation has not been canceled, suspended, or otherwise terminated.

According to ACCJC, NMC was placed on show case because the College is not in compliance with ACCJC Eligibility Requirements (ERs) and Standards in three general areas: Institutional Autonomy from Outside Interference, Institutional Financial Management and Integrity, and Institutional Governance.

“The College has faced tougher challenges before ”“ in fact, we have been placed on show cause two years ago and we were able to come out of it successfully,” said Cabrera. “There’s no question that our students, staff, faculty and the NMC Board of Regents have the commitment and endurance to continue working together to see this through.”

Cabrera pointed out that the College has already made significant progress in addressing accreditation concerns that were raised in the last two years: “The Commission has already acknowledged and recognized the work that we have done to comply with accreditation requirements that dealt with student learning outcomes, employee evaluations, facility renovations and repair, and administrative capacity.”

As part of their ongoing professional development activities, the members of the Board of Regents have also recently completed a boardsmanship training sponsored by the Pacific Postsecondary Education Council.

The College is also closing out its third cycle of program review and is launching a process that will reassemble NMC’s entire budget into one that reinforces the link between program review and planning, budgeting, and resource allocation.

“We are also looking forward to the presidential search process that was recently initiated by the Board of Regents. The process that the Board approved by resolution will ensure that the search is inclusive, dignified, fair, transparent, and consistent with applicable Board policies and federal and local laws,” Cabrera added.

The search process will also obtain broad and extensive consultation with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the community. Indeed, the search will help NMC and the community come together to secure stable, long-term leadership for NMC,” said Cabrera.

“Again, I want to stress that NMC’s accredited status will continue during the Show Cause period. Credits to other educational institutions will continue to transfer based on the receiving institution’s criteria,” added Cabrera.

To view a copy of the Commission letter, please visit the Resource Documents page of the NMC website at

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