Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 10 Dec 2019 12am

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    Monday, December 9, 2019-12:02:37P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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NMC: Initiative 17-12 is important to the college

(NMC) — Universities and community colleges across the nation typically have a mission statement that indicates the institution’s aims, values, and reason for existing. In order to remain effective, these institutions of higher education revisit their mission statements periodically to ensure that the statements are relevant, appropriate, and reflective of the community that the colleges and universities serve.

As it stands now, Northern Marianas College’s mission statement — established more than 25 years ago — is currently fixed and embedded in the CNMI Constitution. Because it is written into the CNMI Constitution, the college is limited in its ability to revisit the mission statement on a periodic basis to make necessary adjustments to reflect evolving community needs.

To change this, the college worked with the members of the CNMI Legislature in drafting an initiative that would amend the Constitution to give NMC the authority and flexibility to establish the college’s mission statement, something that other universities and colleges are able to do.

The college received support from the Legislature in passing the legislative initiative so that voters can decide on this important issue.

“Effective organizations, especially post-secondary institutions, must evolve responsibly in order to continually improve and grow as a reflection of the communities that they serve,” according to Leo Pangelinan, NMC dean of student services. “Just as Northern Marianas College must evolve and grow to reflect the community it serves, the changing economic landscape of the CNMI, and global trends in education, so, too must its mission statement.”

The passage of Initiative 17-12 also helps the college to better comply with accreditation standards, according to NMC President Dr. Sharon Hart.

These standards state that Northern Marianas College should have a mission statement that defines the institution’s broad educational purposes, its intended student population, and its commitment to achieving student learning.

Equally important, accreditation standards require that the mission statement of Northern Marianas College should be reviewed on a regular basis using the institution’s governance and decision making processes and should be revised when necessary.

Without the passage of Initiative 17-12, the college will be limited in its ability to review the mission statement on a regular basis. Without 17-12, the college will not be able to make any updates to the mission statement without undergoing a constitutional amendment, which can be a lengthy and arduous process.

“We hope that voters see the importance of passing this initiative for the college” said Barbara Merfalen, dean of academic programs and services.

Northern Marianas College has been hosting outreach activities to help educate voters about the initiative, including having an information booth at the Sabalu Market, the Tuesday Market, and the Thursday Street Market.