The Northern Marianas College expects an accreditation visit from the Western Association of Schools and College from Dec. 1 to 3.
According to NMC president Dr. Carmen Fernandez during a Board of Regents meeting last Oct. 28 at the As Terlaje campus, the WASC Senior Commission will look at the college’s conformance with certain criterions for review, which are statements that help to explain standards of accreditation.
Prior to applying for WASC accreditation, NMC was already accredited by the WASC Junior Commission, also known as the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior colleges.
The ACCJC only allows colleges to offer one bachelor’s degree to be accredited. At that time,
NMC’s only bachelor program was BS in elementary education.
However, in recognition of the CNMI’s CW-1 crisis, NMC began offering a bachelor’s degree course, Business Management. Because of this, NMC had to apply for accreditation with the WASC Senior Commission.
In order to comply for accreditation, a few board policies had to be amended, one of which was the selection of a new board member where the “Regent Nominating Committee” was formed to help identify, recruit, evaluate, and nominate qualified individuals to the NMC Board of Regents.
Fernandez has been working with NMC Accreditation Liaison officer Dr. Brady Hammond to address these changes while keeping in contact with the Senior Commission.
“I have been meeting with Dr. Brady Hammond. Brady has really done a good job in reviewing, evaluating, bringing forward, and communicating with our staff liaison at the commission to be able to…come with what is required for us to secure our accreditation, to really be able to ensure that we are in full compliance during our accreditation visit,” said Fernandez.
“Certainly, I have looked at what Dr. Brady has proposed, and just really added some more supportive measures to ensure that…we cover all bases. Again, I would like to mention that the three major areas of concern are: the regent nominating committee, the committee structure, and the assurance that there is a standard process for filling board vacancies and that it is in compliance with the law,” Fernandez said.