Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 17 Dec 2019 12am







    Monday, December 16, 2019-6:27:50P.M.






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NMC says enrollment growing

DESPITE funding issues, Northern Marianas College says it continues accepting students for the fall semester and has recorded an 8 percent increase in the number of students enrolled this year compared to last year.

The college had 1,171 students during the 20113 fall semester compared to 1,268 enrolled students as of Tuesday, 39 of whom had signed up for the new bachelor’s degree program in business.

“Enrollment is expected to continue to grow and to level off around the projected 14 percent mark, which we have been anticipating,” NMC President Dr. Sharon Hart said.

NMC Dean of Student Services Leo Pangelinan said enrollment for NMC’s other academic programs has also significantly increased.

Among the academic programs that saw a significant increase in the number of students are the English Language Institute with a 250 percent increase; Liberal Arts, 23 percent; Criminal Justice, 27 percent; and business classes, 10 percent.

Pangelinan said under the F-1 visa rules for foreign students, some foreign students are required to get English credits.

Some of the English placement results, he added, show that some students need to continue developing their English skills.

As for the increase in the number of students enrolling in the Criminal Justice program, Pangelinan said this can be attributed to the increasing popularity of such television dramas as “CSI.”

He said many students were also encouraged by the Department of Public Safety’s hiring policy which requires officers to have a degree in Criminal Justice.

“Many students are encouraged to take the course due to the DPS hiring requirements — the attainment of rank and increase in salary among police officers is increasingly tied to degree attainment,” NMC said.

The college attributes the increase in Liberal Arts enrollment to its “aggressive campaign strategies” that encourage students to enroll in a course that will be helpful if they decide to transfer to a degree program at a 4-year institution.

But NMC said the challenges of sustaining the new bachelor’s degree in business program will be seen next semester when the college is scheduled to hire more faculty to expand course offerings.

NMC said they must take responsibility for ensuring that its students are able to progress toward completing their degree plans in a timely manner.

“The lack of funding to hire more faculty to teach the next set of courses in sequence for this program will compromise our ability to move students forward toward graduation,” NMC added.

This semester, NMC launched the accelerated courses program to help students complete their college degree.

Fourteen remedial classes are available for students who want to get ahead in the current program they are enrolled in.

The classes include remedial level math and English.

NMC said it wants to offer more subjects that will help a student to be “accelerated.”

“Students who opt to enroll in accelerated courses are likely to complete their degree programs in time if not sooner,” NMC said.