Acting governor Jude U. Hofschneider signed yesterday at the Northern Marianas College campus in As Terlaje a proclamation declaring November 2013 as College Month in the Commonwealth.
Hofschneider inked the proclamation in front of a crowd of students inside the college’s D-1 classroom.
And since it was Oct. 31, students and a sprinkling of faculty wore Halloween costumes ranging from a storm trooper, to Picachu, and various goblins and ghosts.
According to the proclamation read by NMC student Jojo Cruz, earning a college degree provides students more career options, a higher income, and generally a better life.
Statistics also show that the more education one receives, the more income he or she makes over his or her lifetime. On average, a person with a four-year degree earns nearly twice as much as someone with only a high school degree and no college education.
By 2018, two out of three job openings will require workers with at least some college education.
The islands’ lone institution for higher education provides accessible and affordable college education to CNMI residents. Through the College Access Challenge Grant, for instance, NMC continues to assist students enroll and succeed in college by providing financial assistance, tutoring, and counseling services, academic advising, and other programs and services.
Hofschneider wasn’t lost on the importance NMC plays in the Commonwealth’s future. “We’ve gone through the college’s inception to present day with the college facing some challenges. I take off my hat to NMC’s leadership for keeping it going and accredited,” he said.
The acting governor also said the presence of international students speaks a lot about the quality of education at NMC.
“I want to thank students for going to NMC and supporting it because it’s the only institution of higher education in the CNMI. We encourage them to be here but if it’s not for them, we also encourage them to seek education elsewhere. However, always remember that the CNMI is home. So wherever you’re at and how ever long you’ve been gone please come back and serve the community.
NMC president Dr. Sharon Hart said the college is preparing a number of activities this month to attract high school students to look at NMC or other institutions of higher learning. “Our goal really is to be that gateway to help our students access higher education.”
She also thanked NMC students for their continued faith in the institution despite the accreditation woes it has faced the past couple of years. “Our brighter future rests in all of you. We are here to serve you but you are our future.”
NMC Board of Regents members Elaine Orilla and Michaela Sanchez from Rota and Tinian participated the proclamation signing via teleconference.