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SaipanTribune: SHEFA to fund PLA program. (August 31, 2017)

The Saipan Higher Education Financial Assistance plans to offer a Prior Learning Assessment program at the Northern Marianas College.

The PLA program is a program that incorporates on-the-job work experience into actual college credits.

According to Saipan Higher Education Financial Assistance board chair Oscar Babauta, the technical aspect of the program is currently being worked on.

“We are currently now trying to clam down on the technical aspects of how we want to proceed in doing the PLA,” he said.

Babauta said that the establishment of the program would not serve as a conflict in their policy and their regulations, but if the program does result into a conflict, amendments will be made to accommodate the students who are under the program.

“If it need be, we will have an emergency amendment on our regulations to accommodate these students,” said Babauta.

According to Babauta, the committee is trying to fast track the program.

“It’s a unique program that academically enhances their skills on their job,” said Babauta.

SHEFA board member Raymond Muña hopes that by spring 2018, a solid program will be set in place at the Northern Marianas College.

The plan is to mimic the program that was already established by the CNMI Scholarship Office to further assist the students that are eligible to be a part of the PLA program.

“With the funds that we have now, we can try to help our students but we have to secure funding,” said Muña.

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