The volume of students currently enrolled at the only community college on island remains a bit low compared to numbers in previous terms, based on the latest registration record of the Northern Marianas College obtained yesterday.
At the closing of the registration period on Friday, NMC had a total of 1,095 full-time equivalent, or FTE, students. This is a slight drop compared to the 1,171 FTEs in the spring 2013 semester.
NMC president Dr. Sharon Y. Hart attributes the decline to the accreditation issues of the college, which remains on show-cause status. She hopes for a positive decision by the accrediting commission when it decides NMC’s fate next month.
Records obtained by Saipan Tribune show that the bulk of this semester’s enrollees is from the liberal arts program, with 41 percent of students. The college’s only four-year degree program, the School of Education, has the second highest enrollment with 21 percent.
Some 14 percent of students are enrolled in the business department; 10 percent are with the nursing program; 6 percent, criminal justice program; 1 percent, English language institute program; and 3 percent, NRM program.
Meantime, 4 percent of students are taking non-degree programs this semester.
According to NMC, students are still being allowed to add classes this week and the numbers may increase.
Hart said the college initially expected an approximate 10 percent drop in this semester’s enrollment. She is elated that the final numbers show only a very slight decline. In the fall 2013 semester, the college recorded an 8-percent drop.
“While it is important that we look at the number of students served under our credit programs, it is equally important that we look at the numbers served in our non-credit programs like the Community Development Institute and the Adult Basic Education Program. The college has served thousands of individuals in these programs,” said Hart.
She emphasized that NMC continues to play a pivotal role in the community.
“There is no mistaking that the college continues to play a central role in educating and training thousands of individuals each year, and this has been accomplished through our academic programs and other community programs that focus on training and development,” Hart said.