Program Review-HCOP

Program Review (National Campus)

AP Full Official
Campus Location: National campus
List all degrees awarded: Liberal Arts/Health Career Opportunity Program

Institutional Mission

Historically diverse, uniquely Micronesian, and globally connected, the College of Micronesia-FSM is a continuously improving and student centered institute of higher education. The college is committed to assisting in the development of the Federated States of Micronesia by providing academic, career and technical education opportunities for student learning.

Program Goal

  1. Provide basic knowledge of human biological sciences in preparation for a career in health.
  2. Promote health and well being as they relate to the development of individuals, families, and communities.
  3. Orient students of employment opportunities in health systems supporting preventive and curative actions.

Program History

The Federated States of Micronesia was in serious need of indigenous medical and health Professional. So as to achieve that need the College of Micronesia-FSM formerly Community College of Micronesia, was given the task of recruiting the best and the brightest young Micronesian minds of the country to major in health and medical fields.

For the past many years, since 1980, the COMFSM Health Career Opportunity Program has graduated a few hundred students. Quite a number were able to continue and finish their bachelors in prestigious universities and colleges in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. Most of those who continued abroad are back to their home island to be a contributing citizen for the development of the country. Not all continued in health or medical field; Graduates of electrical engineering, Geodetic Engineering, masters in accountancy, Criminology, Political Science, Business Administration, Computer, Meteorology,

A great number were not able to continue to get their Associate degree or Bachelors degree because of many reasons. Top of the list is the financial constraints; most of the participants have a disadvantaged background. A number would quit or change major on sophomore year after they found out that the advance courses are too tough for them especially science and mathematics. A few were sent home; disciplinary action due to intoxication and breach of other campus rules and policy. The women tend to give up due to pregnancy or early marriages. Many transferred to schools abroad before earning their COMFSM Associate degree.

Members who earned their Associate Degree but did not have a chance to go abroad for the bachelors’ degree worked as practical nurses (after a few months of training), teachers and office workers. The US military is also career choice.

HCOP intent is to prepare students for transfer to a four year college. Many above average students were chosen and most accepted to be a part of the program. One of the main attractions why they joined was because of the stipend that each student received for two years. It was not much but it was enough to encourage them to join. Initially, the program chooses five students from each state of the FSM and five each from Republic of Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. In 1997, the HCOP funding was not renewed and the college lost a funding of about $80,000.00 a year. Recruitment stopped, the summer intensive and extensive training and stipend ended. The college continued the program minus the recruitment, summer training, and stipend. The coordinator recruits only on the Island of Pohnpei. The states campuses directors are encouraged to do the recruitment for the program.

The effect of the lost funding is very evident. The quality of the participants has gone down. The summer training made a huge difference in the English, Math, and Science in the placement test of the students. Most, if not all, took advance courses on their first semester... Without the stipend, the above average students tend to go directly to the States which is a mistake because many would return without a degree; due to lack of financial support, they stop to work (hoping to go back to school) or because of the growing family, more children than they can afford to support while in school.

Since the advent of the program, the list of honor students, a number were from the program. For many years the valedictorians were HCOP members.

For two times the College sent proposals to renew the funding, but it was turned down. The Country is still dependent on foreign doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. We need monetary backing to continue the program so as to attract extraordinary student and have better prepared students for a more rigorous training abroad. The loss of the grant has greatly affected the quality of the students and recruitment is limited in the island of Pohnpei only.

Program Description:

This program aims to strengthen the opportunity for students who wish to pursue health-related profession. The program offers solid foundation of health-related courses necessary.

Program Mission Statement

The mission statement of the HCOP is to build relationship with motivated and talented students and to unswervingly guide these students' involvement in the academic training and exposure to events or people that lead to increased knowledge or skills toward careers in health and medical profession. We will serve as advocates for students and prepare them with academic and social skills to compete for admission, enroll, progress and graduate from health profession programs

Program Goals

Upon successful completion of the HCOP program, students will be able to:

  1. Possess essential basic knowledge and understanding of the general structure and functions of the human body.
  2. Have solid foundation knowledge of basic biological sciences.
  3. Discuss, analyze and interpret fundamental and current issues relevant to human life sciences and health problems, and demonstrate ability to engage with technology for effective and efficient use of information and communication.
  4. Describe health care and allied profession and prepared to work with health professionals and be able to work effectively in groups to solve human life sciences and health problems.

Program Admission Requirements

  1. High school graduate or have GED certificate. Have a minimum high school grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, or a minimal score of 35 on each section and an average score of 45 on all five sections of the GED test.
  2. Be accepted by the COM-FSM admissions board.

Program Degree Requirements

  1. Satisfactory completion of the applicable General Education core - 29 credits
  2. Satisfactory completion of the prescribed major courses - 34 credits
  3. Open Elective - 3 credits
  4. Graduation requirement – 66 credits

Program Faculty

Dr. Don Buden - Math/Science, B.S., University of Miami, Florida USA
M.S., Louisiana State University, USA
Ph.D., Louisiana State University USA
Dr. Mihai Dema - B.S., University of Medicine, Romania M.S., University of Medicine, Romania
M.D., University of Medicine, Romania
Dr. Kathy Hayes - B. Sc., University of Liverpool UK
Ph.D., University of Leeds, UK
Ms. Magdalena Hallers - AA, Community College of Micronesia
B.A., University of Guam
M. Ed., University of Guam
Ms. Jazmin Gonzales - BS. Central Philippines University
M.A., University of the Philippines

Program Courses

SS/PY101 General Psychologoy
ED/PY 201 Human Growth & Development
Sc.101 Health Science
Sc.120 Biology
Sc.112 Nutrition
Sc.122a Anatomy and Physiology 1
Sc.122b Anatomy and Physiology 2
Sc.180 Microbiology
Sc. 230 Chemistry

Program Learning Outcomes: The Students will be able to:

  1. Acquire a basic knowledge and understanding of the general structure and functions of the human body.
  2. Acquire a solid foundation in basic biological sciences.
  3. Discuss, analyze and interpret fundamental and current issues relevant to human life sciences and health problems, and communicate information in a critical, scientific and technologically advance manner.
  4. Describe health care and allied professions and be prepared to work effectively with health professionals in groups to solve human life sciences and health problems.
  • I=Introduced
  • D=Demonstrated
  • M=Demonstrated at mastery level appropriate for graduation
Course PLO1 PLO2 PLO3 PLO4
Sc.101 Health Science I I I,D I,D
Sc.120 Biology I I I,D I
Sc.122a A and P1 I,D,M I,D,M I,D,M I
Sc.122b A and P2 I,D,M I,D,M I,D,M I,D,M
Sc.180 Microbiology I,D,M I,D,M I,D,M I,D,M
Sc.230 Chemistry I I,D,M I,D,M  
Sc.112 Nutrition I I,D,M I,D,M I,D,M
Ss/Py 101 Gen.Psychology     I,D,M I,D,M
Ed/Py 201 Human Growth     I,D,M I,D,M

Program Learning Outcomes

Describe the structure, function and basic pathologies of the human body Through the courses in Health Science, Anatomy and Physiology the students were given written exam and practical test to identify the anatomy of the human body and explain the function of the body organs.
Acquire solid foundation in basic Biological sciences Assigned chapters notes were checked before every lecture to Assure preparedness before lectures and discussion. Written exams is given to measure retention lessons Several unit tests, midterm and final Exam were given
Discuss, analyze and interpret fundamental and current issues relevant to human life sciences and health problems and communicate information in a critical Scientific and technologically advance manner. The students have to answer work book in every laboratory classes and work in groups. Written test and practical test were given after every unit done.
Describe health care and allied professions and be prepared to work effectively with health professionals in groups to solve human life sciences and health problems. Guest speakers invited to talk about the health profession, lectures and Video after which the students give a written report and test were given. Each group were assigned topics to work on and present class.

Comparative Program Result

With HCOP Funding and Summer Enrichment Program (six weeks of extensive and intensive instruction Mathematics, English and Science)

Year 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
Registered 25 25 29 23 30 22
Graduated 9 9 14 13 11 15
Withdraw 5 15 9 9 5 4
Transfer (Before Graduation) 1 0 2 1 3 0

University or 4 year college 8 1 9 5 7 11
One Year Nursing Training   5

Without HCOP funding and no Summer Enrichment ProgramYear

  1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Registered 23 26 24 29 22 33 32 18 28 22
Graduated 13 10 4 9 4 8 19 6 21 8
Withdraw 5 11 7 11 7 9 14 6 15 12
Transfer(before graduation) 2 4 3 1 1 2 1      
University of 4year college   8 13 13 9 6 11 13    

The above information is students list that are listed in my record book. There are students who took up HCOP but did not bother to see me as their adviser.

A number of students finished after two and half years or three years.

It is difficult to find out whether the student dropped out of school, came to continue and those that transferred and came back.

To get hold of the former participants was the most difficult thing to do , the few that I was able to contact through phone calls and emails was trying, and for them to respond to the request was frustrating, either they are too busy or just no response at all.

Barriers to Higher Education

  1. The high cost of achieving an education in a health or medical fields

    Disadvantaged students may have the academic ability but does not have the monetary assistance to continue their education in the health profession. And if there are financial aid and scholarships available it is limited and very competitive that many cannot avail to it.

  2. Lack guidance and encouragement from family and in high school.

    Many students have no encouragement from parents. Many parents do not have the education to give the advice and support.

    The exposure to health profession through high school teachers and counselor is limited or non-existent

  3. Relatively high failure rate after matriculation.

    Students have inadequate academic preparation for higher education, high deficiency in English, math and science. The young minds did not have proper training during the early years of their education.

  4. Most high school students have limited information about health careers.


Program Objective

Goal 1 - Prepare students for a more advance and meticulous training in Science, Math and English that will help them focus to continue their studies in health and medical fields.

Program objective:

Encourage and support students whose educational background gives them difficulty in passing courses that makes doubly harder for them to continue their studies in the health fields.

Talent Search

So as to have a rich source of manpower, the training for the future medical professionals should not start from the first year of college but from the high school freshmen. Or even from the intermediate grades. Early identification program would involve both the prevention of academic deficiency and lower the challenge of remedial assistance for students. Creating a pipeline from high school to health or medical fields is important in increasing the number of students who are serious in going to medical or health professions.

How to identify these students is a challenge. Early identification program would entail a lot of field work and follow up of students progress must be done as often as possible. The selected students must have a higher cut off score in English and Math compared to the test scores of other students

In recruiting students a number of motivations should be given such as:

  1. Awards should be given such Monetary Award to students with a GPA no lower than 3.80.
  2. A stipend or allowance of $1.00 or whatever amount an hour. Three hours a week during the counseling and study hour. At the end of the study hour student must report on what was studied and assignment done. Student must be present all the time in order to avail for the allowance. Absence means deduction.

    If the allowance is 1.00 an hour that would be $12.00 a month and in seventeen week that would be about $50.00 plus a semester. The number of students must be limited to number that is manageable.

    In the past 30 students got $240.00 for the two years at COMFSM but there was no rule regarding attendance or maintaining a higher GPA or deduction if absent from the study hour. Hence absences were pretty high.

  3. The most important motivation is the promise of a full scholarship that would support the students throughout college, until they graduate from a health or medical field. But the student should maintain a grade point average of no less than 3.0 to continue to enjoy the financial assistance and must finish within the number of years required by their major.
  4. A reasonable dormitory fee should be included. An area should be for HCOP members only where they live, study and work and socialize with each other. Peer support will be good for the students.

Activities and Work Plan

  1. A college representative will visit all high schools in the country for information dissemination regarding the HCOP plan.
  2. The principal will appoint the adviser. The adviser will choose possible students that have the intelligence, the discipline, and focus, and encourage them to major in Health or medical fields.

    (Should the extra responsibility for the teacher be paid or should it be considered part of her job? (If paid where will the money will come from?) Advisers will give a monthly report on activities.

  3. After graduating from High school, selected students will attend the six weeks summer enrichment program to prepare the participants for the regular school year and to strengthen participant’s performance on standardized test such as MCAT.

    This summer program should be designed in away that will help build self confidence and strengthen Science, English, physical science and Mathematical skills.

    (How many students should be selected from each island? How much should the summer stipend be?)

  4. If possible the students should be in the same class in all courses.
  5. A one hour study hour every other day is requirement with counselor or tutors available to give help to the students.


College of Micronesia-FSM offers programs that are designed to prepare students for entry into a career or for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. One of the many programs is the Health Careers Opportunity Program which is intended to address the pressing need for health care professionals of the country.

This summer program will target 20 high school senior students from Chuuk, Kosrae, and Pohnpei and Yap (5 students from every State). These 20 students will be fully involved in a comprehensive intervention planned to help them successfully enter advance courses in their first year at the college. The training will be at the satellite campuses of the college. Participating students will receive reasonable allowance for the six weeks duration. The 6 weeks enrichment program will take place in the month of June and July. The summer training is having advance skills in English and Math that will make them do well in other courses.

At the end of the summer enrichment program, students will enroll in a two year liberal arts/science degree program


The six weeks summer program is to provide dally enrichment activities designed to enhance skills in Mathematics, English and Foundation in Natural Science (Chemistry, Human Biology, Physical Science) so as to prepare students for a more rigorous instruction during the regular academic year.

The general goal is to prepare students academically, socially, and emotionally for their upcoming college career.

Students participating in HCOP summer training program:

  1. High School graduate.
  2. FSM citizen
  3. Student must demonstrate academic potential (High School GPA of not less than 3.0).
  4. Student is willing t o commit an adequate amount o time to program activities.
  5. Student must write an essay on why he or she is interested in joining the summer training program.
  6. Resume
  7. Two letters of recommendation
  8. Must take pre test and post exam

At the end of the six week training, the participants:

  1. Know the many educational pathways that could lead to health and medical fields.
  2. Apply English usage in research and preparing papers and reports
  3. Does Advance mathematics so as to be able prepare and analyze data.
  4. Know the importance of time management, practice time management as well as test taking.
  5. Demonstrate a foundation in basic Human Biology and Chemistry and Physical Science.
  6. improved confidence and self worth
  7. Must understand what their attitudes are, their level of commitment, and compassion.
  8. Improve study skills.

This project is designed to meet these needs by:

  1. Create a structure that provides a barrier free bridge between high school and college and health care work places.
  2. Provide academic programming that enable students to develop and to demonstrate basic and prerequisites skill level needed to successfully complete and gain admission to associate and baccalaureate degree in allied health programs.
  3. To increase retention of HCOP pre-matriculating in health and allied Health professional program.

Six Weeks Summer Training

  1. Students attend six weeks of classes in Math, Science, and English.
  2. Professional talks with students about the different health careers and the education required for these careers.
  3. Students spend one a week in the hospital with different divisions exploring health careers in depth and two hours discussion on what was observed
  4. Student must have a journal of the daily activities including thoughts, observation and suggestions.
  5. Student must attend all mandatory HCOP activities.
  6. Students must take standardized pre-test and post –test.

HCOP Coordinator of each campuses responsibility:

  1. Coordinator provides personal support, encouragement and reinforces student’s academic success by serving as a role model.
  2. Coordinator shows academic competency.
  3. Schedule daily activities including Hospital visits and invite speakers from different health profession.
  4. Check the daily journal of the participants.
  5. Interview and hire teachers for math, English and Natural Science.
  6. Schedule social and recreational activities
  7. Provide support to the needs of the professors.
  8. Prepare report and submit to the VP of Instructional Services.
  9. Request transportation from the college student activity program
  10. Assign and arranged rotating schedule for students visit various divisions and activity sections within the hospital.
  11. Responsible in gathering the comparison data in pre-test and post test in Math and English from the professors
  12. Receipts for all expenses must be provided

    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday For six weeks.
    8:00 -9:25 Preparatory English
    9:30-11:25 Preparatory Math
    1;00- 2:25 Foundation in Allied Health Sciences
    3:00-4:30 Character Development (might include computer training)
    Wednesday – Hospital visit

    Students take standardized Pre-test in math and English
    Orientation Session
    Get to know social gathering.

    Post-test in English and Math and Farewell party

    Number of Personnel and Remuneration

    Coordinator $1,400.00 $1,400.00
    English Professors   $1,000.00
    Math Professors   $1,000.00
    Science Professor   $1,000.00
        Six Week
    Allowance for 20 Students $3.00 per student $60.00 $2,880.00
    Materials   $500.00
    Class room and Office Supply   $400.00
    Book English $75.00 $1,500.00
    Mathematics $75.00 $1,500.00
    Foundation of Allied Health Science $ $75.00 $1,500.00
    Miscellaneous   $1,000.00
    Total   $1,360.00
    Summer Enrichment Program Application Form
    Assessment Plan Worksheet#2
    Total #of Students who Completed, Withdrew from HCOP Classes Fall 2007-Summer 2011
    Row Labels Competed Withdrew Grand Total
    Anatomy & Phys I 92   95
    2007.3 21   23
    2008.3 21   21
    2009.3 21   22
    2010.3 29   29
    Anatomy & Phys II 85 2 89
    2008.1 20 1 21
    2009.1 20   21
    2010.1 16 1 17
    2011.1 29   30
    Chemistry 211 18 251
    2007.3 19 1 21
    2008.1 13 5 20
    2008.3 28 4 37
    2009.1 28 2 33
    2009.3 8 2 10
    2010.1 29   35
    2010.2 12 1 14
    2010.3 34 1 37
    2011.1 20 2 24
    2011.2 20   20
    General Psychology 983 77 1216
    2007.3 87 6 108
    2008.1 66 6 100
    2008.2 40 1 43
    2008.3 76 4 94
    2009.1 88 8 116
    2009.2 55 5 62
    2009.3 102 10 125
    2010.1 131 18 164
    2010.2 50 2 54
    2010.3 147 11 172
    2011.1 123 5 159
    2011.2 18 1 19
    Health 1031 176 1450
    2007.3 105 13 142
    2008.1 51 8 73
    2008.2 71 1 79
    2008.3 88 19 135
    2009.1 66 22 107
    2009.2 56   58
    2009.3 120 34 183
    2010.1 73 25 141
    2010.2 70 1 71
    2010.3 176 24 234
    2011.1 112 29 180
    2011.2 43   47
    Human Growth 700 31 785
    2007.3 63 3 73
    2008.1 56 4 65
    2008.2 52 1 55
    2008.3 63 4 71
    2009.1 56 1 60
    2009.2 40   41
    2009.3 77 3 90
    2010.1 81 6 93
    2010.2 51 2 53
    2010.3 42 3 76
    2011.1 66 4 58
    2011.2 53   58
    Human Nutrition 411 8 481
    2007.3 36 1 50
    2008.1 1   1
    2008.2 20   21
    2008.3 44 1 49
    2009.1 20   27
    2009.3 48   54
    2010.1 28 1 30
    2010.2 28   30
    2010.3 62 2 78
    2011.1 74 3 86
    2011.2 50   55
    Microbiology 124 3 139
    2008.1 21 1 24
    2009.1 21 1 25
    2009.2 13 1 14
    2010.1 23   25
    2010.2 11   11
    2011.1 20   25
    2011.2 15   15
    HCOP Enrollment Fall 2007-Fall 2011
    Term Total of Identify HCOP
    2007.3 77 77
    2008.1 69 69
    2008.2 47 47
    2008.3 84 84
    2009.1 73 73
    2009.2 64 64
    2009.3 94 94
    2010.1 102 102
    2010.2 85 85
    2010.3 104 104
    2011.1 88 88
    2011.2 81 81
    2011.3 117 117

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