NMC readies to resume AM classes

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Posted on Feb 08 2019

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The 19 temporary classrooms are completed at the southern area of the Northern Marianas College’s As Terlaje campus in preparation for the return of their students on Feb. 20, 2019. (Erwin Encinares) 

With the end of the fall semester afternoon and evening classes in sight, the Northern Marianas College is preparing for the resumption of its morning classes at its As Terlaje campus starting Feb. 20, 2019.

NMC interim president Frankie Eliptico said yesterday that NMC would be resuming its delayed morning classes for the fall semester at the 24 temporary classrooms that have been built at NMC’s As Terlaje campus.

Meanwhile, registration for the 2019 spring semester will start on Feb. 19, 2019.

“This news was communicated to students last week,” he said.

He noted that hybrid classes—classes that are taken both on- and off-campus—are scheduled to start as early as Feb. 11, 2019 up to March 27, 2019. Both the morning classes and the hybrid classes share the same grade due date of March 27, 2019.

As of yesterday, the 24 temporary classrooms—19 buildings in the southern area of the campus and five in the northern portion—have been completed and are now fully functional.

“This will be the first time that our students will come back to take classes here since Super Typhoon Yutu, said Eliptico. “It is going to be great, welcoming back our students…to the As Terlaje campus.”

According to Eliptico, NMC students in the afternoon and evening classes have been taking their classes at the Saipan Southern High School campus; the high school students have their classes in the morning.

In order to accommodate more NMC classes, Eliptico noted that its V building in As Terlaje was recommissioned and now houses several possible classrooms such as a space for education majors to plan activities and study as well as two computer classrooms with about a hundred new virtual computer systems.

In the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yutu, 22 of NMC’s 27 buildings on campus sustained severe damage. The T building in the northern area of the campus, according to Eliptico, was damaged beyond repair and needed to be demolished immediately. Of the 37 available classrooms prior to the typhoon, only two were able to survive.

Included in preparations for the influx of students on Feb. 20, 2019, are about 700 tables designed to allow for better maneuverability when it comes to group projects.

Making up for lost time

Eliptico clarified that even though the morning classes for the fall 2018 semester have been delayed, accreditation would not be affected since both the morning and hybrid classes would be implementing increased “contact hours.”

Contact hours refer to the time that college instructors meet their students.

“It is really important that NMC maintains the minimum contact hours,” he said. “Now that we are shortening the semester, we have to increase the length of the classes.”

In simpler terms, the morning and hybrid classes would be extended beyond the regular scheduled hours. With the increased time of instruction, Eliptico said that he made sure program leaders, academic advisors, instructors, counselors, and tutors are standing by.

For more information, students are advised to call the NMC hotline at 285-7651 or 285-2089 for assistance.

“We are deeply appreciative of the help and assistance the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other agencies that are providing to help us resume our classes at the NMC As Terlaje site,” Eliptico said.

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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