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NMC Hosts First-of-its-Kind Regional Summit for Adult Basic Education Leaders (February 11, 2008)

To underscore the value of collaborative training and resource sharing, the Northern Marianas College recently hosted the first Adult Basic Education (ABE) Regional Administrators Leadership Meeting and Training. The summit, organized and sponsored by NMC’s ABE Program, intended to increase and enhance the skills of ABE program administrators from Guam, American Samoa, the Republic of Palau, and the CNMI.

“In today’s fast-paced environment, our capacity to provide the best possible service to our adult learners depends heavily on our ability to collaborate with others with diverse experiences, backgrounds, and skills,” said Tee Abraham, Dean of Community Programs and Services (COMPASS).

One of the discussion items that was introduced as recommended by ABE insular area administrators included grants management, which was presented by David Michael Tate, Program Administrator of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Office of Adult Basic Education. Other topics, facilitated by a host of other NMC professionals, included federal grant compliance management, raising disability awareness, resiliency, marketing, and developing collaborative partnerships with other stakeholders.

In addition to ABE administrators, representatives from the Ayuda Network, the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, the Workforce Investment Agency, the San Antonio Man Hoben Center, the Department of Corrections, the Public School System Advance Development Institute as well as members from the NMC communities of Rota, Tinian, and Saipan also participated in the conference.

“We were very pleased with the turnout of the event,” Abraham added. “We are especially glad that representatives from other key CNMI agencies were able to attend and share their wisdom while simultaneously learning about how to improve and augment their services.”

One of the highlights of the meeting was the participants’ recognition of Ross Manglona, who is a graduate of the NMC ABE program and the current director of the NMC Cooperative Research Extension and Education Service. Manglona served as the event’s keynote speaker and gave an emotional testimonial about how the ABE Program provided him with a second chance to finish his high school education and put him on a journey to pursue higher education that culminated in a master’s degree.

The summit, which occurred over a three-day period beginning January 14, was funded by an ABE Insular Grant. The grant is used for professional development, technical assistance, and other staff development needs.

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