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REL Pacific

Returning to the CNMI in the Wake of Super Typhoon Yutu

REL Pacific
Laura Ostrow
March 11, 2019


Stakeholders in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) have identified college and career readiness as a high priority. Educators in the CNMI are particularly focused on finding solutions to help ease students' transition from high school to college and careers, as many students in the CNMI are placed into developmental coursework, rather than credit-bearing classes, upon entry into Northern Marianas College. To support this work, REL Pacific staff have been working closely with the CNMI Partnership for College and Career Readiness and Success to design and implement mathematics transition courses, which help students transition from high school to college coursework, to better prepare students for success in college-level courses after high school.

Damage to Northern Marianas College from Super Typhoon Yutu

Damage to Northern Marianas College from Super Typhoon Yutu.

In October, REL Pacific's work in the CNMI was put on hold when Super Typhoon Yutu struck the islands and caused damage to 90% of Northern Marianas College, a key partner in the transition course work in the CNMI. However, stakeholders in the CNMI are eager to get the work back on track while recovery efforts continue and to move forward with their plan to pilot a transition course in the fall of 2019. To keep the work moving, REL Pacific Managing Researcher Dr. Max Altman will travel to the CNMI to facilitate a two-day training session on March 22–23 to restart this collaborative work, which will focus on creating course content for the proposed transition course. REL Pacific is pleased to be returning to the CNMI to continue the pilot so soon after the typhoon and is looking forward to supporting stakeholders as they work to ensure that students are prepared for credit-bearing college coursework.

What would it mean for Pohnpei if more students were able to graduate from COM-FSM? Participants noted that this type of change would improve the work force and individual outcomes in ways that could better support communities in Pohnpei and match local graduates to needed employment. REL Pacific looks forward to continuing to work with these dedicated educators to meet this goal, with student success as everyone's highest priority.

Learn more about the CNMI Partnership for College and Career Readiness and Success here: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/pacific/partners-cnmi-cc-readiness.asp.

Interested in joining a Partnership, or want to learn more about existing Partnership work? Contact us at relpacific@mcrel.org.