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NMC: Accreditation Team Visit Went Well (October 29, 2009)

The accreditation team visit to the Northern Marianas College earlier this week went very well, according to NMC President Dr. Carmen Fernandez.

“The team members had to compress their schedule because of the storm, but they were able to complete their planned meetings with key employees and College groups,” said President Fernandez.

The visiting team from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) comprised of Dr. Sherrill Amador, ACCJC Commissioner / Team Chair and Dr. Worku Negash, ACCJC / Team Member.

The team met with members of the NMC Board of Regents, the NMC President, leaders of the constituent groups (Staff Senate, Faculty Senate, ASNMC), members of the College’s shared governance groups (College Council, PROAC, Budget and Finance Committee), and others.

The purpose of the visit was to follow up on plans that the College submitted in its 2006 Self Study Report. The visiting team also followed up on the progress the College has made in resolving team and Commission recommendations for improvement.

“The team praised the progress and accomplishments that the College has achieved,” added President Fernandez. “At the same time, they also had very valuable recommendations about how we can further improve.”

“Dr. Negash also noted a considerable improvement in campus grounds and facilities from the first time he was here in 2006,” added President Fernandez.

In an email to the campus community, President Fernandez commended all employees and students for their hard work in preparation for the visit.

“We now wait for the acceptance of the report by the Commission in its January 2010 meeting,” said President Fernandez. “In the meantime, we will continue the College’s momentum toward becoming the premier learning institution in the region.”

Earlier this month (on October 15, 2009), the College submitted its Mid-Term Report to ACCJC and to the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (ACSCU).

Pursuant to accreditation requirements, all institutions are required to submit periodic reports to the Commission. The Mid-Term report is normally due in the third year following the evaluation team visit.

The College’s accreditation was recently reaffirmed by the ACCJC in its June, 2009 meeting.

To prepare for the team visit, NMC officials continued the work it had initiated when the College was placed on show cause status in January of 2008.

This work included the strengthening of the linkage between planning, program review, and resource allocation.

The College has also been continuing its progress on institutionalizing a systematic program review process. In fact, the College recently begun its third cycle (Cycle 3) of program review.

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