Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 21 Feb 2019 12am







    Tuesday, February 19, 2019-4:41:18A.M.






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NMC, governor to identify goals for educating workforce

NORTHERN Marianas College President Dr. Sharon Hart said she will meet with Gov. Eloy S. Inos next week to identify the goals for an educated workforce in the CNMI.

Hart, who was the Rotary Club of Saipan’s guest on Tuesday, said providing the community with an educated workforce is one of the goals of the college.

Hart said “Imperative Three” of NMC’s five-year strategic plan, which is “Accelerate Time to Completion,” focuses mainly on the national level and is a component of President Obama’s completion agenda.

States and territories are asked to identify what their workforce education needs are, and what their goals are.

Hart said 11 of the western states have already identified their goals and the CNMI is expected to do so soon.

“We are meeting with the governor next week to resolve what exactly the CNMI’s goal are for educating the workforce, and what we are going to do in the next five or six years to get to those goals,” she added.

She said this is the perfect time especially with the CW situation, referring to end of the federalization transition period this December if the U.S. Department of Labor does not extend it.

Hart said based on employment statistics, the states that are doing the best are those who have the most educated workforce.

“We are right below the 50th state and the50th state is doing the worst,” she noted.

Hart said in the past it didn’t matter where the student went to college — if they qualified for federal financial aid, they would get the maximum amount whether they enrolled at NMC or Harvard. But all of that is going to change, she added.

President Obama, she added, wants the federal government to grade colleges and universities.

“If we were graded today we wouldn’t do so well. The questions are ‘Are your students completing on time? Are your students able to enter the workforce within six months of graduation? Are they earning a livable wage upon entering that workforce?’ We will be compared against peers, and we will receive a grade.”

A university or college with higher grades will receive more federal financial aid.

“So we need to close the gap, get our students educated, get them graduated and send them to work to earn a livable income,” Hart said, adding that NMC will work more closely with the Public School System.

“You are going to see courses with more flexible schedules to meet the workforce needs of the local community. We want to be here for the long term as a top institution.”

NMC’s five-year strategic plan for 2015-2020 includes Imperative One which is to increase the college’s relevance to CNMI workforce and community needs; Imperative Two which is to ensure continued accreditation; Imperative Three which is to accelerate time to completion; Imperative Four, which is to improve student success and support; and Imperative Five, which is to strengthen operations and resource development.