NMTI aims to expand course offerings


The Northern Marianas Trades Institute has plans to expand the number of courses it currently offers.

Speaking at the Rotary Club of Saipan meeting last Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency Saipan, NMTI CEO Agnes McPhetres said there is still a pressing need for trained individuals in specific fields like dentistry, office technology, among others.

Since the NMTI was established in 2008, the institute has primarily offered technical courses like auto mechanics, construction crafts, hospitality, culinary, and many more courses that deal with electro-mechanics.

McPhetres said she noticed that educational institutions in the Commonwealth do not offer courses for specialized fields. She then found out that the Guam Community College offered these kinds of courses.

McPhetres said she proposed a partnership with GCC to possibly expand certain courses to the Commonwealth and to offer these courses at NMTI. The partnership would allow students to gain college credit from GCC, but they would be taking their classes here in the Commonwealth at NMTI.

Since GCC is accredited, federal Pell grants, local scholarships, and even federal scholarships are accessible for interested participants and could cover the cost of the course, McPhetres said.

The goal is to bring GCC programs to the Commonwealth via NMTI.

“We are trying to make available trainings that are not available,” McPhetres said of her goal for this partnership.

According to McPhetres, instructors here who are qualified will teach the courses in the Commonwealth. Qualified instructors will be certified at GCC in Guam to be able to teach here in the Commonwealth.

As of now, NMTI is currently in negotiations with GCC for the issuance of a memorandum of agreement and the process it would take for all of this to pull through. McPhetres hopes to finalize negotiations within the next three months.

McPhetres said the Commonwealth and NMTI is ready for the final decision and is ready to carry out all the proposals. The institution is just waiting for the approval of GCC.

McPhetres is certain that although the approval process is slow and long because of the uncertainty of something new, it will still certainly happen.

Kimberly A. Bautista

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