Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 10 Dec 2019 12am







    Monday, December 9, 2019-1:07:24P.M.






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NMC to offer 19 new degrees, certificates

NORTHERN Marianas College will soon offer 19 new degree and certification online programs in addition to its regular associate degrees.

This is the result of NMC’s major partnership with Rio Salado College Tempe, Arizona college and also the college’s collaboration with CNMI Department of Labor Secretary Edith Deleon Guerrero in identifying the needs of the local workforce.

In a press briefing yesterday, NMC President Sharon Y. Hart told reporters that among the certificates and associate degrees Rio Salado College will offer through NMC are those of public administration, law enforcement, addiction and substance use, professional addiction, paralegal, computer usage applications, networking, digital design, web design, adult development and aging, e-learning, dental office management, creative writing, K-12 e-learning design and STEM for K-12.

Based on information from the CNMI Department of Labor, NMC said 100 percent of the web-design jobs in the CNMI are occupied by foreign workers, as well as 42 percent and 75 percent of paralegal and networking jobs.

“The partnership with Rio Salado allows our students to take their general education or core classes at NMC and then transfer to Rio Salado if they wish to pursue degrees that we don’t currently offer, like an associate degree in public administration, law enforcement, addiction and substance abuse, paralegal, dental office management, and more,” Hart said.

For example, she said, to earn a public administration degree, an online student needs to get 64 credit hours.

The student can get 43 credits at NMC and pursue the remaining 21 credits through Rio Salado’s online class.

“It is a win-win situation for NMC, for our students, and for the commonwealth,” Hart said.

Rio Salado College, she added, offers its online degree and certificate programs beginning every Monday morning instead of the traditional start date of 2-3 times per year.

“What makes this an even greater benefit for our residents is that now that the CNMI is a member of WICHE, they can enroll at Rio Salado at a significant savings,” Hart said, adding that Rio Salado’s tuition rate for WICHE students is $121.50 per semester hour, which makes the courses affordable for CNMI students.

The CNMI’s membership in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education or WICHE qualifies residents for discounted tuition rates at colleges and universities in 15 western U.S. states.

Rio Salado College is a recognized national leader in higher education innovation specializing in distance learning, and is the largest online public community college in the United States.

Established in 1978, it now serves nearly 70,000 students annually and offers more than 600 online classes and over 100 programs.

Its current president is Dr. Chris Bustamante.

Rio Salado College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.

NMC is currently accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and is seeking accreditation with the Senior Commission of WASC.