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NMC Leaders Participate in National Summit (February 11, 2009)

In an effort to advance support and advocacy for the Northern Marianas College and other community colleges, NMC Board of Regents Chairman Charles Cepeda and President Dr. Carmen Fernandez are currently in Washington D.C. to attend the 2009 Community College National Legislative Summit.

The Summit provides participants the opportunity for community college leaders and trustees to help shape national policy and, more importantly, advocate for critical legislative and funding support. The event coincides with Congress’s deliberations of allocations that are part of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package.

“In light of the national and local economic downturn, our participation in this important meeting ensures that the needs and priorities of community colleges are communicated clearly to the new Administration,” said Chairman Cepeda.

Cepeda also added that Congressman Gregorio “Kilili” Sablan will also be informed about what is being requested from other colleges around the country so that the needs of NMC are also considered in actions that will be taken in the U.S. Congress.

The National Legislative Summit, which is being held from February 9 to February 11, is organized by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), a non-profit educational organization of governing board members. The organization represents more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States.

In addition to visits to members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Executive Branch, the Summit agenda includes policy sessions on earmarking strategies, addressing budget challenges, and effective advocacy. The program also includes presentations and speeches from a variety of notable individuals, including new U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

President Fernandez’s participation in the Summit is funded by a grant from the Pacific Postsecondary Education Council (PPEC), which is composed of CEOs and presidents of the region’s colleges and universities.

The PPEC’s purpose includes encouraging and developing regional planning of postsecondary education throughout the Pacific; serving as a forum to address common educational issues and fostering cooperation in solving common problems facing Pacific people and their environment; and encouraging the sharing of resources and expertise among member institutions to promote the wise utilization of limited resources.

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