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NMC Granted 6-Year Initial Accreditation by WASC Senior Commission (July 9, 2014)

Northern Marianas College announced today that it was granted Initial Accreditation for a period of 6 years, through June 2020, with the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

At the same time, the College also announced that its proposal to offer a second bachelor’s degree in business management was approved by the Senior Commission.

“This marks a historic milestone in the Northern Marianas College’s 33-year history,” said NMC President Dr. Sharon Hart.

Northern Marianas College had already been accredited in good standing with the Junior Commission of WASC (i.e. the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, or ACCJC). In fact, the Junior Commission reaffirmed NMC’s accreditation earlier this year in February after ACCJC found that NMC had addressed the concerns and recommendations that were raised by the Commission and evaluation teams.

“One of the main reasons we were seeking accreditation through the Senior College and University Commission is that the College is poised for significant growth and development,” said President Hart.

“Part of this growth includes the addition of a bachelor degree program in business management, one of the priority fields that has been identified by the community as a major need for the CNMI, especially as so many of the present baccalaureate degree holders are here on CW status,” said President Hart.

The College initiated the movement from the Junior Commission to the Senior Commission of WASC as part of its effort to meet community and workforce needs. Under ACCJC, the College was allowed to offer only one bachelor’s degree program. WASC Senior Commission allows the College to expand its program offerings.

The new bachelor’s degree in business management will be offered this fall 2014 semester.

NMC Board of Regents headed by Frank Rabauliman endorsed the college plan to submit its petition to offer another bachelor program to the WASC Senior Commission. “From our students and alumni, to our faculty and staff, to our regents and stakeholders, today’s announcement reaffirms NMC’s commitment to our community.”

President Hart also took time to acknowledge the College’s former accrediting agency, ACCJC.

“The College acknowledges and is grateful for the guidance from ACCJC, its President Dr. Barbara Beno, Commissioners, and visiting team members,” said President Hart. “The College has grown to where it is today because of their support.”

“Northern Marianas College is committed to ensuring that it continues to provide high quality programs and services to students and we have worked very hard to meet or exceed the standards and eligibility requirements set by ACCJC,” said President Hart. “Our commitment to continuous quality improvement will not change now that NMC has designated WASC Senior as its primary accreditor.”

A copy of the visiting team report and WASC action letter from the review of Northern Marianas College will be available on the WASC website at www.wascsenior.org and NMC website www.marianas.edu under Resource Documents.

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