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December 6, 2000 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 173

Board of Regents meeting. A regular meeting of the COM-FSM Board of Regents will be held December 6-8, 2000, in Pohnpei. A draft agenda was attached to Update 172. Copies are also being posted on the National Campus and Pohnpei Campus bulletin boards as well as around town. The primary areas of focus for this meeting are the FY 2002 budgets and the proposed tuition increase. Faculty, staff, students and interested community members are encouraged to sit in on these discussions. All sessions are open with the exception of the executive session.

Campus Directors Meeting. As mentioned in Update 172, a meeting of the Campus Directors will be held from December 4-5 at the National Campus. Major topics to be discussed include the following: review of FY 2002 operations budgets; proposed COM-FSM Capital Improvement Projects Budget Plan (2001-2006); current policy on program extension; Curriculum Committee recommendation regarding the IEP program; US student financial assistance (Region IX technical assistance representatives); strategic plan (Planning Council); business/finance issues; personnel issues; and a series of miscellaneous/administrative issues. Like the Board meetings, these meetings are also open to anyone who would like to sit in.

Midterm Accreditation Visit. A member of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), former Guam Community College President John Cruz, is scheduled to visit the College December 11-12, 2000. Mr. Cruz will be reviewing documents and meeting with staff and students to validate the Midterm Report that was submitted on November 1, 2000. The primary focus of this visit was outlined in Update 171. I encourage anyone who is interviewed by Mr. Cruz to be open and candid. Also, let's all do what we can to make him feel welcome. Thank you for your assistance.

Chuuk Campus Update. According to the October/November update from Chuuk Campus, Acting Chuuk Campus Director Switer Eter and vocational instructor Stephen Richmond attended a Legislative hearing on November 9, 2000, on a measure to appropriate $100,000 for Chuuk Campus infrastructure that is included in the State FY 2000-2001 supplemental budget submission.

From October 30 - November 4, 2000, Chuuk Campus Director Graceful Enlet, Assistant Director Eter, and Administrative Specialist Herner Braiel attended the Professional Development Session in Hawaii which was organized by the American Evaluation Association.

One of the vocational education instructors, Stephen Richmond, participated in the FSM Hospital Assessment tour to identify maintenance needs of the hospitals and the associated training needs of maintenance personnel in the FSM. Sponsored by OMIP, the results of the assessment will be used to develop specific training programs to be implemented in each of the states. It is anticipated that Chuuk Campus will play a role in such training.

The Chuuk Campus English Department conducted in-service training for Chuuk Campus faculty and staff on October 24, 2000. Topics included using multiple intelligences, thinking maps, performing text, and KWL - a study/reading method. A total of 16 faculty and staff participated in this training.

Students enrolled in ED 215 Introduction to Special Education have been visiting Iras Elementary School in connection with units on inclusion of students with disabilities in the regular classroom.

Students earning failing grades in their math classes are being offered tutoring services in the Math and Science Department. Students in the Upward Bound program have also been invited to participate.

Chuuk Campus reported a total of 577 officially enrolled students for fall semester with 71 classes and a total of 269 credit hours taught by 24 instructions including - 11 part-time instructors and 13 full-time instructors.

In November a total of 191 students at Chuuk Campus took the COM-FSM entrance exam. The results were not reported in the update.

The results of the Chuuk Campus Student Body Association election of officers for SY 2000-2001 are as follows: Vicky Bualuay Jicko - President; Ingkeny Eter - Vice President; Joyce Ruben - Secretary; Ansine Dawe - Treasurer; and Readly Net - Athletic Manager.

The Chuuk Upward Bound Program has received approval of $85,600 in supplemental funds which allows the program to serve an additional 20 students this year resulting in services to a total of 80 students at Chuuk High School. This approval was attached to the official Grant Award Notification for $342,467 for this year's program operations. An additional $10,000 was also awarded for hardware and software purchases and staff training. Academic instruction under the Upward Bound Program began on October 7, 2000, and will be offered once a week on Saturdays for 30 weeks until May 19, 2001. Eight (8) part-time instructors have been hired to teach math, science, English, and computer applications in a total of 20 sections. In addition, 16 tutors have been identified to assist project students after their regular classes at Chuuk High School and on Saturdays.

The Land Grant Youth Development Program sponsored a training program for 41 youths who had dropped out of high school. Presentations and lessons were provided by the Health Services Office, the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program, the Family Planning Program, the Small Business Program, the Health, Nutrition, and Food Safety Program (Land Grant), the Family and Community Resources Program (Land Grant), and the Agriculture and Natural Resources Programs (Land Grant). During this training, extension assistants continued to provide counseling services to the participants. Instruction in the areas of English reading and writing, social studies, science, and math were also included in this training. Numerous training sessions were also provided for other community groups from September through October in areas such as prevention of food borne illness, food sanitation and certification, food safety and quality, family food production and nutrition, diet and health, sustainable food production, agro forestry and food crops production, home gardening, small business training, and sewing. In all, a total of 125 training sessions were provided during this reporting period. In addition, three extension assistants attended a three-day training program on artificial insemination of livestock.

Mid-year graduation. Mid-year commencement exercises have been scheduled for December 21, 2000, at 2:00 p.m. at the National Campus. The commencement speaker will be Fr. Francis Hezel. In addition to students scheduled to graduate upon completion of this semester, students who were originally scheduled to graduate in May, 2000, but were unable to due to cholera outbreak, are being invited to participate in the mid-year ceremony.

World AIDS Day. An observance of World AIDS Day was held at the National Campus on December 1, 2000. A moment of silence was observed at the beginning of the program followed by the opening prayer offered by Fr. Joseph Cavanaugh. I then shared opening remarks followed by special remarks by Her Excellency Diane Watson, US Ambassador to the FSM. Benson Moses explained the UN theme for this year's observance which is: "AIDS: Men Can Make a Difference." (COM-FSM adopted the theme of "AIDS: We Can Make a Difference.") Presentations were then made by members of the guest panel comprised of the following: Dr. Albertina Lemuel (Facts About AIDS); Paulino Rosario (HIV Testing in the FSM); Dr. Than Aye (Oral Manifestions of AIDS); Captain Scott Nicloy (HIV and Substance Abuse); and Goldi Myers (AIDS Prevention - a Positive Approach). After a question and answer session, readings were provided by Peer Educators Rachel Solomon and LJ Rayphand. Special thanks to Benina Ilon, Morehna Rettin-Santos, Goldi Myers, Benson Moses, SBA officers, and Peer Educators for organizing and implementing this program.

Peer Counseling Center. In a November, 2000, newsletter entitled, "Peer-to-Peer on Health," students and staff were informed that the Peer Counseling Center is once again open for services. These services are especially designed for COM-FSM students as well as students from the elementary and secondary schools in the community. The newsletter stated that the purpose of the Center is to "promote positive experiences and a health future for adolescents and youth." The Center is staffed by Peer Educators who are recruited and trained to reach students with information that focuses on health education and prevention in an atmosphere that fosters understanding, sensitivity, trust, respect, and fairness. The primary aid is to help students understand and analyze issues that affect them to enable them to make healthy choices for a better future. Issues addressed include, but are not limited to, STD's, drugs/alcohol, teenage pregnancy, careers, contraceptives, AIDS, education, marriage, jobs, and parenthood. Current Peer Educators include Rachel Solomon, LJ Rayphand, and Mitaro Simina. Center hours are 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and the Center's phone number is 320-8450. Students who wish to seek counseling or who would like to become Peer Educators are encouraged to get in touch with Center staff.

Commendation to Security Staff. In a November 27, 2000, letter to Mr. Flomeno Ifamilik, Owner/Manager of Sokehs Islands Security Company, Director of Maintenance Francisco Mendiola expressed sincere appreciation for the exceptional performance of the security staff in the investigation of a burglary that took place at the female dormitory on November 24, 2000. In the letter, Francisco states that he was impressed with Mr. Ifamilik's leadership, performance and efforts which led to the recovery of the stolen items in less than 24 hours. He concluded the letter by extending sincere appreciation to the security staff and the Sokehs police officers who assisted in resolving the case. Good work!

SBA Meeting. According to the minutes of the November 23, 2000, meeting of the Student Body Association, the following old business was discussed: amendments to the SBA Constitution (completed); enforcement of the betel nut policy; and assignment of designated areas for clean up. New business items focused on the student activities including the development of the School Activities Calendar, cleaning of the huts, proper use of the gymnasium, and the December 1st social night.

Staff Senate Christmas Party. The Staff Senate hosted the staff Christmas party which was held at Across the Street on December 1, 2000. Special thanks to the Staff Senate Executive Committee for their hard work in organizing this enjoyable event. Of special note was the speech given by Staff Senate President Jonathan Gourlay and his special rendering of the poem "T'was the Night Before Christmas."

Christmas Card Design Contest. A contest to select the design for the College's Christmas card was announced in Update 172. Judging of the submissions was held on November 29, 2000, and the winners are as follows: first prize ($100) Jason Gaarad and Timothy Chugen (jointly drawn); second prize ($50) Jason Gaarad; and third prize ($25) Timothy Chugen. Judges included: Ideia Sackryas, Joseph Saimon, Arleen Dumantay, Norma Edwin, and myself. It was difficult to select the winners as there was a range of very good drawings submitted. If your drawing was not selected this year, please try again next year. The Christmas card with the prize winning drawing is currently being printed. Congratulations to the winners!!

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