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By Marian A. Maraya Staff Reporter

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (July 27, 2001 – Saipan Tribune)---Northern Marianas College has officially signed a Sister-School Agreement with Japan’s Miyazawa International Education Institute, cementing friendship and educational ties between the two institutions.

NMC officials met with their MIEI counterparts in Yokohama, Japan last week to seal an agreement that promotes the continuous exchange of student and faculty-related activities and educational programs.

These programs are designed to contribute to the mutual benefit and development of both organizations.

"We are happy to form an affiliation and enter into a formal Sister-School Agreement between NMC and MIEI. It is our shared intention that through this new partnership and collaborative relationship, we will strengthen the educational programs and the student support services at both of our institutions as well as enhance the relationship between the CNMI and Japan," said NMC President Jack Sablan in a speech delivered at the signing ceremony.

NMC officials are optimistic that the sister-school relationship will create opportunities for Japanese students to pursue studies in the CNMI, and for local students to do the same in Japan.

NMC Institutional Development Director Tony V. Deleon Guerrero said the agreement opens more chances for Japanese students to attend a credible U.S. community college, especially with NMC’s open access admission policy.

"Unlike other U.S. universities and colleges, we don’t have entrance examinations. Rather, we have placement tests that are administered only to gauge the level of the incoming student," said Deleon Guerrero, who has been tasked by the college to promote NMC as an international educational choice among Asian Pacific student markets.

Under the sister-school accord, NMC and MIEI will promote quality education and training programs for students and faculty members at both institutions through various international exchange activities.

Part of their mission is to encourage academic program personnel from both entities to explore innovative activities to augment the classroom learning of students through various cooperative projects.

In addition, the alliance is also aimed at improving the learning and teaching environments of both institutions by incorporating internationalism and multi-culturalism in appropriate courses and cooperative research studies.

Furthermore, both institutions vow to develop effective institutional advancement programs which will produce mutual benefits, and assist both institutions in meeting their respective educational missions and goals.

As sister schools, NMC and MIEI will maintain and facilitate the communication and exchange of academic materials, publications and other pertinent information for continuous quality improvement purposes.

For additional reports from The Saipan Tribune, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Saipan Tribune.

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