SURVIVING turbulent waters, the Northern Marianas College proa has established a rich 40-year legacy of thriving in higher education, providing high quality, affordable and accessible educational programs and services for the people of the Commonwealth.
Building on that legacy, I am extremely excited to share with you my vision for the future of the college.
The next three months
To begin, we will continue assessing what our community needs. This will include workforce needs, innovative approaches to higher education, and expertise to guide the socio-economic and cultural growth of the Commonwealth.
Based on what we learn from our community, we will launch the college’s next Strategic Master Plan. This plan will establish clear, concrete, measurable, and meaningful goals and objectives for the college to accomplish in the next three to five years.
Within six months
The college will reinforce its commitment to meeting workforce needs by collaborating with employers to provide accelerated, short-term courses at work sites with more online options. We will customize our programs so that employees can earn certifications or degrees in a way that fits their work schedule, addresses real-world scenarios in their work, and takes less time than campus-based programs.
Recognizing that how we teach is as important as what we teach, the college will also continue improving instructional quality with training, mentoring, monitoring, and accountability measures that will help all instructors become better teachers.
Within one year
From humble beginnings in a few classrooms at Marianas High School through numerous typhoons, the college is finally moving forward with a brand new, state-of-the-art campus at As Terlaje. This new campus will also modernize the IT infrastructure and build technological capacity. Following the great work done by the college’s Facilities Planning Group, we will begin implementing our Facilities Master Plan by breaking ground on at least one of the plan’s buildings, if not more, within one year.
In addition to new facilities, Informed by our community needs assessment and the new strategic master plan, we will roll out one new bachelor's degree program in time to launch during the 2022-2023 academic year.
We will build on the college’s proven track record in nursing, business, and education by improving student achievements across the institution. Guided by research into promising practices, we will collaboratively improve or develop preventative programs and interventions to boost retention, program completion, and graduation rates.
In addition to short-term programs that meet immediate workforce needs, we will also expand the research capacity and the number of 4-year degree programs. With more research capacity, we can contribute to our Commonwealth’s economic, social, and cultural growth. And, by offering more four-year degree programs, we can help our students start smart and finish wise right here in the Northern Marianas.
I have no doubt in my mind that we can and we will bring this vision to life. The college proa has endured countless challenges, proving that we are Proa Strong. And in our strength, in our endurance, in our legacy, we have helped thousands of students and countless others in our community lead productive, meaningful, fruitful lives. Indeed, as we sail ahead with a focus on learning first, let us lift the tide for everyone.
Thank you and Biba NMC!
GALVIN S. DELEON GUERRERO, EdD
President, Northern Marianas College