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Tinian Residents Participate in NMC’s Climb Higher Summit (February 24, 2013)

Residents on Tinian recently participated in the Northern Marianas College’s Climb Higher Summit, which was aimed at helping “non-traditional students”””who are usually balancing jobs, limited budgets, and parenting””advance their professional careers by earning a college degree or obtain more training.

According to the College, a large number of today’s college students across the U.S. no longer fit the traditional model of students who are usually between the ages of 18 to 22 and are typically attending college right after high school.

“Today, there are many more students that are considered ”˜nontraditional’ students who are enrolling in college,” according to NMC President Dr. Sharon Hart. “These students are usually older, have delayed enrolling in College because they entered the workforce right after high school, have full or part-time jobs, or are juggling other obligations like caring for children.”

The purpose of the Climb Higher Summit, made possible through the College Access Challenge Grant Program (CACG), was to provide these nontraditional students with the information they need to earn their degrees through the availability of flexible class schedules and instruction delivery, more financial aid options, and other resources that are specifically designed for individuals are trying to balance work, family, and personal commitments.

“Earning a degree has never been more important than now,” said Maria H. Aguon, NMC Program Coordinator - Tinian Instructional Site. “High school graduation is no longer a sufficient path leading to a good paying job. More and more jobs are requiring college degrees now.”

“There’s no doubt a college degree can lead to higher salaries, more job prospects, better opportunities for promotions, and more marketable job skills,” Aguon added.

The Climb Higher Summit featured information about online educational opportunities. It also featured a discussion about the CNMI’s membership in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), which affords CNMI residents discounted tuition rates at many colleges and universities in the western United States.

The Northern Marianas College hosted two sessions of the Climb Higher Summit last week on Tinian. In addition to presentations from College representatives, the Summit also featured discussions about various community resources like the IT&E Lifeline Program, the Tinian Municipal Scholarship Program, the CNMI Scholarship Program, and the Nutritional Assistance Program.

"We are very grateful for all those who helped make this event possible," added Aguon. "We are especially grateful to Tinian Mayor Dela Cruz for his support and for encouraging his staff to take advantage of the information presented at the Climb Higher Summit."

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