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Alliance on College and Career Readiness Sets 2018 Priorities (January 10, 2018)

Representatives from Northern Marianas College and other members of the CNMI Research Alliance for College and Career Readiness and Success recently met to set priorities for 2018 that would help ensure that more CNMI students are ready to succeed as they graduate from high school.

“The discussions that we had at the recent meeting of the Alliance was very productive,” said NMC President Dr. Carmen Fernandez. “Key representatives from each of the Alliance members were able to build on the tremendous progress we have already achieved in order to further advance student success in 2018.”

The members of the CNMI Alliance include NMC, the CNMI Public School System (PSS), and the CNMI Department of Labor. Representatives from the CNMI Scholarship Office and the Saipan Higher Education Financial Assistance (SHEFA) program also participated in the Alliance meeting.

President Fernandez stressed that NMC’s partnership with PSS has already resulted in the launch of new programs that are aimed at helping high school students make a successful transition to college. These programs include the early admissions program, college placement tests being conducted at the high school level, and the strong alignment of curriculum between the two institutions.

“We continue to make important progress to help ensure that the CNMI ranks high in educational attainment when compared to other states,” said President Fernandez.

Two of the priorities identified at the recently-held Alliance meeting include co-designing English and math courses for 12th graders to help them be better prepared to pass credit-bearing college courses and learning more about and measuring students’ social-emotional learning.

The objective of the Alliance, which meets quarterly, is to strengthen the collaboration between K-12, college, and workforce sectors in the CNMI and continue to align their improvement efforts. The meeting discussions were informed by studies conducted by the Regional Education Laboratory of the Pacific (REL Pacific) in collaboration with the Alliance. REL Pacific’s priority areas include college and career readiness and success, early childhood education and early reading, and professional learning for teachers.

REL Pacific’s representatives, Dr. Phillip Herman, Dr. Daisy Carreon, and Mr. Juan Babauta from McREL International, facilitated the Alliance meeting. Dr. Paul LeMahieu from the Carnegie Foundation for the Improvement of Teaching was a guest speaker.

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