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Accreditation Efforts Focus of Recent Board of Regents Meeting (February 28, 2009)

As part of its heightened efforts to closely monitor the College’s compliance with accreditation requirements, the Northern Marianas College Board of Regents”at its most recent meeting”tackled key issues and concerns that have been raised by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC).

“We want to ensure that we are providing the level of assistance that the College needs to overcome the Show Cause status,” said Joey San Nicolas, Acting Chairperson of the Board of Regents.

During the meeting, the Board members received an update from NMC President Dr. Carmen Fernandez about the different activities that she and her staff have been undertaking to meet accreditation standards. The President also briefed them about the legislative bill that was recently introduced to infuse critically-needed funds to repair many of the school’s physical structures, as well as the approval of a federal grant in the amount of $400,000 that would upgrade the College’s information technology infrastructure.

“The additional funds that these sources will provide directly address the concerns from the accrediting commission,” San Nicolas added. “Rest assured we will be working diligently to ensure the swift passage and processing of the availability of funds.”

Raaj Kurapati, Chief Financial Officer and Administrative Officer, informed that Board that the College has already addressed many of the recommendations from previous audits. Other recommendations, on the other hand, will require legislative action, which the Board members promptly agreed to address by meeting with legislative leaders.

The Board members also received a briefing about program assessment and evaluation”chief ACCJC concerns”from Dr. Debra Cabrera, Acting Dean for Academic Programs. At the conclusion of Dr. Cabrera’s report, the Board committed to undergoing an assessment training especially designed for board members.

Members of the Board of Regents also welcomed news about the outpour of support from the community. NMC President Fernandez reported that the College has received expressions of support from the Governor, Legislature, other Commonwealth leaders, students, parents, and community members.

“We are overwhelmed at the support that we have received in the past few days,” San Nicolas said. “We will continue to openly and publicly report our progress to meet accreditation standards in a frequent and timely manner.”

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