News Release

Emmanuel College of the Northern Marianas Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Oct. 19, 2007

The Emmanuel College of the Northern Mariana Islands will open next month to an eager batch of local nursing students who have earnestly waited for classes to start.

The college, the first private higher learning institution in the Micronesian region to offer the fastest way to becoming a nurse, is now processing the registration of its first batch of students, 100 percent Saipan-based.

[PIR editor’s note: Emmanuel College reportedly is a vocational nursing school operating out of a former hotel in Saipan. The private school, which has a three-year provisional license, is funded by a group from California. ]

Classes are scheduled to start on Nov. 19, 2007.

"We were approved by the Board to open registration and are now ready for enrolment," said Emmanuel College nursing program director Cherry Castro, adding that more than a hundred inquiries were received from within the CNMI and overseas.

"Inquiries from outside the Northern Marianas mostly came from parents in the U.S. mainland who want to send their kids to a nursing school in a U.S.-based college," she added.

Castro is both a medical doctor and a registered nurse with a Master's degree in nursing and long years of experience in the healthcare profession.

EC-NMI also received inquiries and applications from Korean and Chinese students, according to college president Sedy Demesa.

Demesa holds a doctoral degree in Healthcare Administration, Master's degree in public administration, and an undergraduate degree in Medical Technology. She is an accredited instructor by the Bureau of Private Post-Secondary Education in California.

Demesa has strong ties with China- and Korea-based education specialists that will handle information dissemination programs about the nursing school in their respective countries.

EC-NMI will initially limit the size of classes to at least 30 students, and will offer scholarship grants to three deserving local students through the Ben Fitial Foundation.

"We are looking at a ratio of one scholar for every 10 students," said Demesa. She pointed out that the scholars-as well as the paying students-will be thoroughly screened as part of efforts to reach the goal of 100 percent program completion rate.

Emmanuel College has also devised payment plans for tuition and other fees to make its 11-month extensive nursing program more accessible to as many students as possible, said Eli Arago, EC-NMI board member and auditor.

Other officials of Emmanuel College are: Ding De Lima, board member, who has a Master's degree in Nursing, BS degree in Nursing from the University of the Philippines, and an accredited instructor by the Bureau of Private Post-Secondary Education in California.

Ramon Dizon, also a board member, handles the business office and the information system management department.

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