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Community Development Institute (CDI)

CDI Logo

The Community Development Institute offers services from three programs. They are the Community Service and Personal Enrichment (CSPE) Program, Extended Degrees and University Partnerships (EDUP) Program, and Workforce Development and Certificate Training (WDCT) Programs.

CDI provides services directly to residents and organizations throughout the CNMI. CDI is unique from the rest of the college in that it is a community-based learning venue that does not follow a traditional semester calendar. Most CDI courses may be tailored to meet customer needs and expectations. This includes customized training, specialized academic courses, and outreach activities and services.

  • Course Customization and Development;
  • Creative Scheduling: courses are created with your time and date in mind;
  • On-Site Instruction: We bring NMC to you;
  • Courses are offered on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota;
  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs): Professional Course Sanctioning;
  • Access NMC Courses, Services and Facilities;
  • Accelerated NMC Academic and Non-Academic Courses and Certification;
  • Short-courses tailored for personal, professional, and career needs;
  • Bachelor, Masters, or Doctoral Degree Program Facilitation;
  • Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps (SROTC) – U.S. Army;
  • Course or Service Proposals and Memoranda of Agreement/Understanding

The services listed above are conducted through CDI’s three main programs:Community Service and Personal Enrichment (CSPE) Program, Extended Degrees and University Partnerships (EDUP) Program, and the Workforce Development and Certificate Training (WDCT) Program.

Community Service and Personal Enrichment (CSPE)

The CSPE program provides an opportunity to individuals to gradually adjust to the college classroom setting. Students do not have to be officially admitted to NMC in order to avail in CSPE classes. The program is opened to anyone interested in life-long learning and personal enrichment. Certificates of participation or attendance are awarded upon successful completion of classes.

Personal enrichment classes include subjects such as Computer Skills Development, Office Management, Writing, Math, Cultural Enrichment, Ukulele, Lei-making, Arts, and Dancing, etc. Other classes include leadership and supervision, health and wellness, diet and nutrition, pre-vocational preparation, youth leadership development, and many other valuable, life-skills building and enhancing classes. Developmental Language Courses are the most marketable courses offered by CDI. Language course levels range from conversational to advanced College level English. Languages taught include Carolinian, Chamorro, Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin), Korean, Tagalog, English and Russian, etc. Individuals learn the basics of communicating in these languages through conversational, writing, reading, and listening exercises.

Extened Degrees and University Partnerships (EDUP) Program

The EDUP program provides opportunities for academic and career education and training in collaboration with secondary and postsecondary educational institutions, professional organizations, and specific federal programs. Primary activities include the facilitation of baccalaureate and graduate degree programs and services such as collaborative relationships and internships.

Accredited U.S. institutions of higher learning export, through EDUP, programs and activities into the CNMI. Current educational partnerships include:

Framingham State University (FSU) believes that striving for excellence in institutional diversity and inclusion efforts requires a high quality, comprehensive approach for achieving an inclusive and welcoming community. It means attending to both the demographic diversity of the institution and also to the need to foster climates and cultures that provide every student with the opportunity to thrive and succeed.

FSU offers a Master of Education in International Teaching and is preparing to implement a Master of Education in Special Education. Highly qualified FSU instructors from throughout the United States travel to Saipan to meet their students and conduct courses. As of the printing of this catalog, 10 cohorts and nearly 200 individuals have successfully completed the program requirements and were conferred a M.Ed. degree.

For more info, visit the Framingham State University Website

University of Guam (UOG) Senior ROTC offers Military Science Courses at the Northern Marianas College through a partnership that was forged in 1998. From this partnership, CDI offers basic course cadets top-notch instructions from the Cadre and Assistant Professors of Military Science.

Army ROTC is a college elective not like any other course offered at NMC. ROTC training goes beyond the typical classroom. Cadets may be leading classmates on a tactical “mission,” or taking part in outdoor adventure training designed to improve individual abilities to solve problems under stress. Students hone skills on motivating others, coping with the unexpected, and organizing large, complex tasks. They also develop skills that are highly valued in the civilian and business world today. Skills such as teamwork, tact, and effective communications are lifelong skills that are time-proven qualities of successful leaders.

Members of the “Triton Battalion” supplement traditional education with a high sense of duty, honor and the attributes of character inherent in leadership with an emphasis on integrity, discipline, and motivation to succeed. Vastly developed mental and physical stamina and fitness is a way of life for the cadets. Those who complete the basic program may continue as an Advance Course Cadet at the UOG campus. Cadets who successfully complete the 4-year Army ROTC program are commissioned as Second Lieutenants and find success in every branch of the U.S. Army Officer Corps.

University of Hawaii (UH) provides two services the CNMI, the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and the Area Health Education Center (AHEC). Both are funded entirely by federal grants.

The Area Health Education Center (AHEC) is an extended service provided by a grant through the UH. This service focuses on developing awareness and promotes health fields and careers as well as provides health related courses available at NMC to the community.

Collaborations with other regional and national institutions of higher education in business management, accounting, nursing, criminal justice, public administration, education, health, and other disciplines are also being explored. Any postsecondary institutions that wish to conduct certificate trainings or offer on-line or resident degree programs beyond the associate level within the CNMI are encouraged to register with NMC through CDI.

Workforce Development and Certificate Training (WDCT)

The WDCT program functions and services include the facilitation ofaccelerated academic courses, law enforcement academies, customized training, and the Area Health Education Center (AHEC). The WDCT program is industry based and strives to improve industries available in the CNMI, more specifically in the fields of Education, Health, Public Safety, Tourism and Hospitality, Business, and General Workforce needs. In full understanding of the continually changing educational environment and the need for non-traditional educational experiences, CDI works closely with NMC’s Division of Academic Programs and Services to cater to the needs of the CNMI diversified workforce. This program provides completion of certificate (academic and non-academic) and degree programs through an accelerated program arrangement. The program is designed around the schedule and needs of interested individuals, while maintaining the academic rigor and requirements needed for successful completion of such courses or certification.

Customized Training is provided to meet the particular training and education needs of individuals, and public and private sector workforces. CDI stands to tailor or customize all requested training to accommodate clients. Training programs may be arranged through proposals or Memoranda of Agreement at any time of the year. Training schedules are flexible and can be provided during the day or evening hours, on weekdays or weekends, on campus or at the jobsite; the needs of the client determine the training schedule. Preparatory courses leading to certification such as PRAXIS, NCLEX, SAT, ASVAB, English and Math Placement, and Computer Skill Assessments, etc. can also be arranged and offered under CDI.

Education to Go

In partnership with ed2go, NMC makes it convenient to take high quality, noncredit online courses no matter where students are located. Hundreds of courses are available on many topics including accounting and finance, business, computer applications, health care and medical, language and arts, law and legal, personal development, teaching and education, technology and writing. Ed2go is a division of Cengage Learning, Inc.

Programs are designed by a team of professionals from each respective field, providing effective web-based learning programs. Instructors/mentors are actively involved in the online learning experience, responding to any questions or concerns, as well as encouraging and motivating students to succeed. Well-crafted lessons, expert online instruction, and interaction with fellow classmates help students gain valuable knowledge at their convenience. They also have the flexibility to study at their own pace combined with enough structure and support to complete a course. Courses may be accessed 24/7 from any location with an internet connection.

Online career training programs are available to start anytime. The duration these programs range from three to six months. An extension period is available if necessary. Many programs include an industry certification. Although web-based, expert instructors provide office hours and quick responses to any student questions. Students may get more information and access the ed2go courses through the NMC web site at www.marianas.edu.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

According to the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), Prior Learning Assessment is a term used to describe learning gained outside a traditional academic environment. PLA recognizes and legitimizes the often significant learning in which adults have engaged in many parts of their lives. This process involves students’ writing and critically reflecting on past professional and, in some instances, personal experiences and, through PLA, is awarded academic credit for this learning. Up to 30 college credits may be obtained through PLA which may be applied towards an academic degree or certificate from NMC.

Students who enter the PLA program are expected to register and complete BE 200 course. (College admission and registration requirements apply.) During the course, a qualified instructor guides the class and instructs students on the process of gathering evidence of experiential learning and developing a portfolio. Ultimately, the completed portfolio is the key instrument that demonstrates and explains past experiences and training and supports the petition for college credits.

Continuting Education Units (CEU)

CDI, in collaboration with the Dean of Community Programs and Services (COMPASS) and Dean of Academic Programs and Services, offers Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for individuals, agencies, or any professional organization that need the professional sanctioning of their trainings or workshops. CEUs are valuable in order to keep professional certifications and/or comply with local, regional, or national standards.

Index of Programs

Contact Information

    Community Development Institute
    AHEC/Workforce Development and Certificate Training Program
    Bldg. P
    Tel: (670) 237-6810
    Fax: (670) 234-4966

    Vince Merfalen
    Director, Community Development Institute
    Bldg. P
    Tel: (670) 237-6764
    Fax: (670) 234-4966
    [email protected]

    Queanna Sablan
    Program Manager, AHEC
    Bldg. P
    Tel: (670) 237-6809
    Fax: (670) 234-4966
    [email protected]



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