Evangelista wants NMC to be more accessible to Tinian, Rota students


Newly appointed Northern Marianas College Board of Regents chair Michael N. Evangelista wants the lone community college in the CNMI to become more accessible to students from Tinian and Rota.

“A priority for me and I am sure for the other regents as well is making sure that NMC is more accessible to the residents of Tinian and Rota. After all, this is all just one Commonwealth and the residents of Tinian and Rota should not be at a disadvantage when it comes to getting their degrees from NMC,” said Evangelista in an interview with Saipan Tribune last Nov. 10.

According to NMC spokesperson Frankie Eliptico, campuses at both Tinian and Rota have an absence of academic class offerings and students there only have access to online learning from NMC’s Saipan campus.

“We have campuses there but of course the offerings of classes is not accessible as it is on Saipan. Some of them have to move over to Saipan just to speed up their graduation time,” said Evangelista.

He said that NMC must be equally up to standard throughout all the campuses, and not just on Saipan. Evangelista even considers using improved online learning capabilities for residents of Tinian and Rota to get their degrees faster.

“We have to look into and improve existing long-distance learning capabilities and have online classes of those sorts and revisit that. We have to act, we need to increase that level and improve everyday. We need to come to a point in time where the residents on Rota and Tinian are at a level playing field in regards to access to NMC and making sure that it is also affordable,” he said.

“We are just one Commonwealth, so there should not be any reason for residents of Tinian and Rota to be lagging.”

Evangelista believes that online learning may reduce the problem to just being a lack of facilities on Tinian and Rota.

“In long-distance learning, the students could physically be [on] Tinian and Rota, but may be plugged in with online instructors here. We need to overcome the challenges of geography and the ocean. Of course it is always faster to move over to Saipan and live here, but some cannot afford to do that,” he said. “As the new chairman for the NMC Board of Regents, I will be pushing for that initiative.”

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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