Online option smoothens NMC registration

The Northern Marianas College has gotten “positive feedback” on its new online registration, which was started for continuing students this spring semester, according to director of admissions Manny Castro.

Students told Saipan Tribune that the online option was “super easy” and was much “better than waiting for two hours” like in past semesters.

“It was so easy this semester. It was so awesome because if we didn’t want a class, we could just change, drop the class and add a new class,” said Cassy Deleon Guerrero, a junior pursuing business administration at the college.

The website “shows you the timing of the classes” and “has a feature where it shows you the days of the week,” she said.

The best part of website, she said, is that it can tell you if classes a student wants are conflicting

Her advice is for students to understand the registration process, and check with their adviser before registering online.

Castro said registration was only open to ongoing students because “most of them have a set [individualized degree] plan” and a “path laid out for them,” versus new or returning students who may not have taken their placement tests in math or English yet, and are not informed of what classes are there.

He said 465 students registered for classes online for this spring semester, from about 1,000 students at the college.

He said the college’s IT Department is looking to integrate financial aid, the Finance office, and testing information into the website in the future.

Right now he said the online portal is “kind of like shopping online.”

He said it helps advisers also because “no longer do they need to pull out a file,” as there is an advising tab that contains their student information.

He said issues the college had in the past were “huge bottlenecks” in trying to get students the information they needed.

He said the online registration gives advisers more time to work with what they have, and helps teachers gauge what classes they have are filling up before the semester starts.

They are working to have online registration out “two months ahead” of school next time around , he said.

He described the new online option as “full-360,” with its scheduling, academic planning, and finance features, among others.

According to Castro, they had the software for the program since 2001, but faced an infrastructure issue with the college’s Internet capacity.

He said the college now has the human capacity of a “complete team” at the college’s IT Department, with network, database, system administrators, and a director who are all “very skilled in what they do.”

He described the launch of the online option as a “good team effort,” pooling the college’s Finance and Financial Aid offices, and its administration and faculty to together.

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at dennis_chan@saipantribune.com.

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