Sunday, October 26, 2008

College grade

Could the Northern Marianas College actually shut down? I've been on Saipan long enough that I'm used to brinksmanship; thinking the current 'show cause' status was just another example of mañana meeting reality.

Despite the article in today's Saipan Tribune about a closure plan I was still in denial about NMC losing accreditation.

I'm not alone, though. The article includes the incredible statement that some officials "are aware officials are coming, but didn't know they would be using that visit to help determine NMC's future." Why else would they be coming?

Just a minor thing, a comment in Must be the Humidity woke me up. I went back and gave the story a closer read. This is not good.

The CNMI has a small population, and NMC has already had to shut down its Rota and Tinian campuses. Maybe we just don't have the resources, or the will, to support a community college. I hope that's not true.

BTW: Governor Benigno R. Fitial has extended the State of Emergency for the Commonwealth Health Center Pharmacy. Mañana.


Lil' Hammerhead said...

Kind of disturbing when a headline like that is put out, simply to use fear to grab attention.

We still have a population of over 50,000. Plenty reason to support a reasonably sized community college.

I'd guess the community would be fairly disturbed by any talk of closure. Whether the political will is there to support it is another thing.

Saipan Writer said...

This has been in the news for anyone who reads. The loss of accreditation threat is very real, and the accreditation team last time required that the next plan/report (this one) include a section on how NMC would handle closing.

The possibility of closure is very real and very sad.

I've never been a big fan of NMC and have usually encouraged kids to try for scholarships for off-island education. But the reality is that many college-ready kids do stay here for many different reasons, and NMC fills a very important need in the community.

I sincerely hope they keep their accreditation.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Keep it or not, they don't have to close. Besides, there are other accrediting agencies.

It sounded to me like WASC itself asked them to have a standard closure plan available, implying that WASC requires it as part of their (already ridiculous and interminable) requirements. Who for example cares what the building looks like? Maybe an accrediting agency should pay attention to whether the students are learning and whether the instructors are worth a dip or what their library resources are. How the linoleum stacks up against USC? Who cares?

Rack up the headline to the usual fearmongering.

KAP said...

This is not fear-mongering, it's pointing out how serious the situation is.

Without accreditation there are no federal funds and credit cannot be transferred to other schools. A closure plan is required because without accreditation NMC becomes one of those flaky storefront schools we've been touting as 'development'.

I hope the new president has succeeded in addressing what seems to be WASC'S main concern: "whether the students are learning". The college has neglected to do that over the years.