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Message from the President: Accreditation Status of Northern Marianas College (July 2, 2011)

As the new president of Northern Marianas College (NMC), I look forward to working with the entire NMC community and the community which it serves. As the only public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, NMC fulfills a critical role in the islands’ economic and social development and has the potential to be the engine for this community’s economic growth.

NMC’s logo, the Proa, is the signature sailing canoe of the islands’ indigenous Chamorros and Carolinians. At one point in history, the Proa was the fastest, most agile, and therefore, most envied vessel in the Pacific, taking ancient Chamorros and Carolinians far and wide throughout Micronesia. It is fitting that the Proa is our college’s logo, for we, too, hope to take our students far and wide in their dreams, aspirations, and hopes.

But, as with any sailing vessel, it’s not always smooth sailing. We sometimes lose our way in storms, currents sometimes lead us awry, and at times, we, in the canoe, row in competing directions until we row our way into a standstill, leaving us dead in the water.

Likewise, NMC’s accreditation history has not been smooth sailing. In the past five years, NMC has twice been placed on Show Cause sanction by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) under the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). More recently, at its June 9”11, 2010 meeting, the Commission took action to place the college on Show Cause status. At its January 11”13, 2011 meeting, the Commission took action to continue the Show Cause status. The Commission issued the Show Cause order because it determined that NMC did not comply with Commission Eligibility Requirements and did not meet Commission Standards in three key areas: institutional autonomy from outside interference, institutional financial management and integrity, and institutional governance and accountability.

It wasn’t until recently that the Commission took action to lift the Show Cause order. Based on NMC’s March 15, 2011 Show Cause Report to the Commission, NMC’s May 31, 2011 Supplemental Report to the Commission, and the report of the April 13”14, 2011 evaluation team visit of Commission representatives, at its June 8”10, 2011, the Commission took action to remove the College from Show Cause and impose Probation. The Commission also took action to require NMC to submit a Follow-Up Report by October 15, 2011 to be followed by a visit of Commission representatives.

Indeed, while much work has been done, much more work remains to be done at NMC. With a dedicated faculty and staff and a Board of Regents that has set a new, positive direction with the hiring of a new president, NMC is fully committed to complying with Commission requirements, meeting accreditation standards, and having its accreditation reaffirmed. We will do all we can to preserve our institution’s autonomy, secure financial stability, and uphold the highest standards for governance and accountability. Our Proa may have run off course, but we now sail forward, together.

Sharon Y. Hart, Ph. D.

Northern Marianas College

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Notice to Persons with Disabilities

Northern Marianas College (NMC) is committed to ensuring that all persons have equal access to its programs, opportunities, and information resources, including those on its institutional website in accordance to the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

We apologize for any inconvenience as we work on bringing NMC’s website into full compliance. For immediate assistance, please contact Lucille Deleon Guerrero by email [email protected] or by calling (670) 237-6874.

If you wish to report an issue related to the accessibility of any content on NMC’s website, including a complaint about the accessibility of a document, form, or statement, you may do so by contacting the NMC’s IT Department by email at [email protected]. In your email please include the following information:

  1. The URL you are having accessibility issues with;
  2. The accessibility issue your are experiencing;
  3. Your name, phone number, and email address.

If you would like to file a formal grievance against the Northern Marianas College pursuant to the requirements of Section 504 and Title II, you may submit such grievance to the Office of the NMC President, P.O. Box 501250, Saipan MP 96950 or email [email protected].

You may also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) Office for Civil Rights. More information about filing a complaint with USDOE can be found at