COM-FSM Seal College of Micronesia-FSM
Federated States of Micronesia
Computing · Directory · Home · Jobs · Library · News
    July - Palikir, Pohnpei


July 11 , 2007

To:         All Concerned 

From:     President, COM-FSM 

Subject: Update #295


The President of the College of Micronesia-FSM received a letter from the President of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges on July 9, 2007, informing him that the Commission has reviewed the Focused Midterm Report at its June 6-8, 2007, meeting and accepted it. The Commission also required the College to submit another progress report by October 15, 2008. The Progress Report should be focused on the institution's resolution of the recommendations and the Commission concerns as given below:

Recommendation #5: Identify and Assess Student Learning Outcomes

The College must develop and implement student learning outcomes across the six sites in order to determine the effectiveness of college program and services on student learning including

  • Instructional programs at course, programs, degree and certificate levels (Standards IIA. 1c, and IIA. 2i),
  • Student services throughout the students' matriculation at the College (Standards IIB, IIB.3, and IIB.4),
  • Links between student learning outcomes and the planning process (Standard IB);
  • Mechanisms for measuring student learning outcomes (Standard IIA, 2A, and
  • Mechanisms for using those measurements to improve courses, programs, and services (Standards IIA.1C, IIA.2e, and IIA.2f).

Recommendation #6: Create Continuity

The College needs to standardize instruction, student services, learning environments, and quality of instruction across the college's six sites. Specific areas that require greater continuity at this time are:

  • The delivery of comprehensive and consistent student services at each of the college's sites (Standard IIB.1, and IIB.3a), and
  • The provision of adequate facilities at all sites; at this time, the college must immediately provide adequate facility for student learning at the Chuuk site (Standard IIIB.1 and IIIB.1b).

All issues related to continuity at the college's sites are to be regularly evaluated to establish a cycle of improvement.

Recommendation #8: (from Focused Midterm Report) and Recommendation 2 (from June 2006 Commission Action Letter): Secure Permanent Campus for Chuuk

The College must make significant progress in securing the High School Campus as the site for COM-FSM's permanent Chuuk state campus or, if it is unable to within its deadline of 2008, find another site.

Commission Concern 1: Communication

The College should update the Commission on all work done since the Focused Midterm Report to continue to improve communication, providing evidence of those efforts. The college should systematically evaluate the effectiveness of the measures taken in order to facilitate a cycle of continued improvement of communication.

The next comprehensive evaluation of the College of Micronesia-FSM will take place in Spring 2010.

I would like to congratulate and thank the members of the College Community, especially the Accreditation Working Group and Accreditation Liaison Officer for this major accomplishment.

Single Audit for Fiscal Year 2006

We did again! The summary of the Auditor's Results on COM-FSM audit report for fiscal year 2006 included the following:

  • The Independent Auditor's Report on the financial statements expressed an unqualified opinion.
  • No reportable conditions in internal control over financial reporting were identified.
  • No instances of noncompliance considered material to the financial statements disclosed by the audit.
  • The Independent Auditor's Report on compliance with requirements applicable to major federal award programs expressed an unqualified opinion.
  • The audit disclosed no findings required to be reported by OMB Circular A-133.
  • COM-FSM did qualify as a low-risk auditee.

This is the second year in a row that the college has been qualified as a low risk auditee. Kudo's to comptroller, business office staff and members of the college community that assisted and contributed to the success of the fiscal year 2006 audit. Let us continue to work together as a team so we can continue to qualify as a low risk auditee.

Board of Regents Recently Concluded a Teleconference

The College of Micronesia-FSM Board of Regents had a teleconference on July 4, 2007 and adopted the following directives:

  • Moving the construction of Yap Campus Vocational Education Center from Fiscal Year 2008 to 2006,
  • Use of Fund Balance for the following at the Campuses:

$105,000 to supplement the construction of the PBDC

$130,000 for rebuilding the prefab building into a tutorial center, SSSP, Peer counseling, and art classrooms; and

$154,700 for fuel and utilities at National, FSM-FMI, and Pohnpei Campuses.

Articulation of Courses with the University of Hawaii at Manoa

President James met with Acting President of the University of Hawaii, Dr. Linda K. Johnsrud, Vice President for Community Colleges, Dr. John Morton, and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Mr. Mike Rota on July 3, 2007 to follow up on articulation of courses between the College of Micronesia-FSM and University of Hawaii at Manoa. The meeting was productive in that the officials at both institutions agreed that the recently established matrixes on articulation of courses between two institutions are official. This means that University of Hawaii has articulated 104 courses from the College of Micronesia-FSM and twenty four (24) are still pending upon the receipt of course outlines and syllabi from the COM-FSM.

The list of articulated courses are already posted on the University of Hawaii website and transfer students that may encounter problem regarding their credits from COM-FSM transferring to UH at Manoa should contact Dr. John Morton, Vice President, Community Colleges at Bachman Hall at telephone number (808)956-7038

Status of the Permanent Site for the COM-FSM Chuuk Campus

A letter has been received by Regent Henry Robert, then Acting Chairman of the COM-FSM BOR, from Senator Helbert Dereas, Chairman of the Committee on HEW of the House of Senate , Ninth Chuuk Legislature instructing the Board of Regents to discontinue its course of action to move Chuuk Campus to Chuuk High School.

The Board of Regents did not select the Chuuk High School site as the future site for the COM-FSM permanent site. The site was offered to the College by the Chuuk Government and the Board of Regents accepted it.

New Development Regarding the Current Site of Chuuk Campus

The College has negotiated with Mr. Roger Mori for additional land on the north end of the current site for construction of more facilities for vocational classrooms and offices. The site of the store that has been removed from the center of the current site has also been included in the negotiations and can also accommodate additional facilities for classrooms and offices.

The College has recommended for the modifications of the current lease to include the extension of the current lease when it expires on December 31, 2007 to another 25 years. The College is waiting for response from the land owners on its proposed amendments on the current lease.

Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Development

The departments, campuses, and activity heads will be using the March 2007 Board of Regents approved budget guidelines and procedures and the planning council's developed 2009 institutional priorities to develop unit budgets. The deadline for submitting the unit budgets will be during the early part of November 2007 as the Board of Regents will be acting on the fiscal year 2009 budgets at its December 2007 meeting.

Updates on Small Business Development Centers

The construction of Small Business Development Center at Kosrae Campus has been completed and the dedication of it has been tentatively scheduled for August 3, 2007.

The construction of the Small Business Development Center at Pohnpei has been delayed for sometimes and we hope that construction can commence as soon as the new MOU between Pohnpei State and COM-FSM is signed hopefully during the week of July 16-20, 2007.

Updates on World Park

Information published in the President Update #294 about $300,000 for the World Park need to be corrected. The corrected version of that information is:"COM-FSM and MSU are collaborating on raising funding to assist the FSM States in World Park planning and results look promising. The FSM States will need to continue to seek funding for the 12 month planning phase and if successful additional funds may be available through the COM-FSM and MSU efforts".

Student Exchange Program with the University of the Ryukyu

The Director of International Student Center at the University of Ryukyu in Okinawa has informed COM-FSM President's Office that Ms. Charlene Alexandrea Arthur has been accepted at the University of the Ryukyu commencing October 2007. Ms. Arthur has also been accepted as a recipient of JASSO scholarship. Ms. Arthur will be the first exchange students from the COM-FSM that will be accepted at the University of the Ryukyu through the Student Exchange Program between the two institutions.

Program Planning Conference

Background: The college is faced with making difficult decisions during the budget development process for fiscal year 2009 and for future years. With the decline in funding under the compact to the FSM, the college is unlikely to see additional local support and may even see a reduction in the level of local assistance. There are also concerns over the level of graduation and retention rates, equity issues, quality or programs and services and of our graduating students.

Generally, are we meeting our mission and contributing to the development of the FSM?

As the only Institute of Higher Education (IHE) in the FSM, what steps can we take to improve our offering of programs, quality of those programs and still maintain financial stability and increase the quality of our programs and services and the abilities of the graduates of the college?

Issues: There are a number of issues affecting programs and staffing patters at the college:

  • How do we ensure quality of programs delivery across all campuses?
  • How do we ensure attainment of course outcomes across all campuses?
  • How do we ensure viability of programs across all campuses?
  • What programs should be offered at the college?
  • How should programs be delivered at the college?
  • What is the role of distance education in program delivery?
  • What partnerships might be considered with other IHEs to meet program development and delivery needs?
  • What programs should be consolidated?
  • What programs should be considered for elimination?
  • What new programs should be considered?
  • What staffing patterns can we expect in existing programs?
  • What should be acceptable level of full versus part time instructors?
  • What are the criteria and guidelines for designing programs?
  • What facilities are needed to support existing programs and potential new programs?
  • How do we determine the needs of the nation and its states for meeting workforce development needs?
  • What are the the criteria and processes for decision making on programs?
  • What type of data/evidence is needed to make informed decision making on programs?
  • What are cost benefits issues that should be considered in program decision making?
  • How do all of the above issues interact as the college moves to becoming a learning and student centered institution?

Program Planning Conference: To address the above issues, the college will convene a Program Planning Conference on August 30-31, 2007 at the national campus in conjunction with the August 2007 Board of Regents meeting. The Program Planning Conference is designed to address the fundamental issue of what programs should be delivered by the college across its various campuses over the next 3-5 years and what are the staffing and financial needs to support those programs. Participants will include: cabinet, state campus directors, office heads, division chairs, instructional coordinators and other interested parties.

Thank you.