Leaders of the region’s higher education institutions recently met at the Northern Marianas College as part of collaborative effort to share ideas, address mutual concerns, and discuss the expansion of current partnerships.
Members of the Pacific Postsecondary Education Council, or PPEC, tackled a variety of issues on their agenda, including grant opportunities and articulation of issues, at NMC’s As Terlaje campus.
The PPEC is composed of chief executive officers and presidents of the region’s colleges and universities, including American Samoa Community College, the College of Micronesia-FSM, College of the Marshall Islands, Guam Community College, Palau Community College, the University of Guam, and the University of Hawaii Community College System.
“The college is pleased to welcome the leaders of postsecondary institutions in the region. Not only does this give us an opportunity to sit down and discuss areas of mutual concern, but the meetings also allow us to discuss accreditation, which is of particular interest for all Pacific institutions,” said NMC president Sharon Y. Hart, Ph.D.
Accreditation is always a major focus of PPEC meeting agendas, Hart said, since the colleges that are represented in the meetings are accredited by either the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges or the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.
The objective of PPEC is to encourage and develop regional planning of postsecondary education throughout the Pacific.
The PPEC rotates throughout the region, meeting about three times a year. This past meeting’s agenda included a discussion about the National Science Foundation – Advanced Technology Education Partnership for Advanced Marine and Environmental Science Training for Pacific Islands, Guam buildup opportunities, and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
PPEC members also voted to ratify formal commitments regarding the reversal of the epidemic of non-communicable diseases in the U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands.
The next meeting will be held in September in Pohnpei with the convocation at the College of Micronesia-FSM, and part of the agenda will include a meeting with Dr. Barbara Beno, ACCJC president.