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February 20 , 2008

To:         All Concerned 

From:     President, COM-FSM 

Subject: President's Update #306

COM-FSM Seeks Supports from Health Services for Implementation of AS Degree Program in Nursing and Other Health Related Areas

The Director of Health Services from the FSM States, Secretary for the FSM Department of Health and Social Services, Assistant Secretaries, and key staff met in Pohnpei during the week of February 12-15, 2008 . The Vice President for Instructional Affairs, Mrs. Jean Thoulag, has been participating in their meetings. Mrs. Thoulag and President James had a breakfast meeting with the group and sought their assistance and commitments on funding for the implementation of the AS Degree Program in Nursing. The College President informed the group that if funding can be secured during Spring Semester 2008 then the College will work with them on implementing the program during Fall Semester 2008. The implementation of the program also depends on the approval of the substantive change report that the COM-FSM has to submit to its accrediting commission in June 2008.

The mood of the Director of Health Services in the FSM States and the Secretary for FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs were encouraging and supportive of the program.

The FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs has recommended to FSM Congress, especially to the HESA Committee, to approve $50,000 for partial implementation of the Nursing Program at the COM-FSM.

Scholarships at UH at Manoa for Pacific Island Students

The University of Hawaii System increased tuition by150% over the resident tuition or what the State of Hawaii citizens pay for Pacific Islanders at UH System. This increase in tuition created a commotion among leaders from Micronesian Islands as well as members of the Pacific Postsecondary Education Council (PPEC) from Micronesia . The members of the PPEC learned in October 2007 that University of Hawaii at Hilo has put in place the scholarships for Pacific Islanders there to assist them with increases in tuition. However, the PPEC members also learned that UH at Manoa has not implemented the scholarships for Pacific Island students attending UH at Manoa.

As chair of the PPEC, I was asked to write President McClain and find out the status of the scholarships. I wrote President McClain on October 29, 2007 , and received a response on my letter from Dr. Virgina S. Hinshaw, Chancellor, at University of Hawaii at Manoa on January 18, 2008 . The process for determining the financial aid awards at UH system for students from PPEC institutions is as follows:

"After a student completes the FAFSA and is determined to need financial aid, we award an amount equal to the additional tuition increase which is 150% of what is charged to residents of Hawaii . The student automatically receives aid for the additional 50% above the other financial awarded. If a student does not have inancial need, we do not make an award.

A computerized listing is generated every two (2) weeks to capture those who have completed their file and are eligible for financial aid. Students who are charged 150% of the resident tuition are automatically packaged with the Pacific Islander scholarship once their financial need is determined. We award based upon fund availability. To our knowledge, all the students from the Pacific Islands who meet the eligibility criteria have been awarded. Information for 74 students from the Pacific Islands indicates that 31 did not file a FAFSA. Of the 41 with a filed FAFSA, 29 were awarded a scholarship. Of the remaining 13 students who were not awarded, two (2) were not seeking a degree with us, three (3) did not enroll, four (4) did not complete their FAFSA or their financial aid file, two (2) received sufficient financial assistance for outside scholarships to convert all of their expenses, and one (1) was determined not to have financial need based on the information of their FAFSA.

We have 331 students from the Pacific Islands who were not charged the increased tuition, based on our agreement to allow these students to graduate under the tuition collection practices that were in effect when they first enrolled"

FY 2009 Budget Hearing with FSM National Government Budget Review Committee

The College of Micronesia-FSM has submitted its BOR approved Fiscal Year 2009 budgets on January 15, 2008 to the FSM President Office for review and submission to the FSM Congress for approval. The College FY 2009 budget submission included the following:

1. Operations of five (5) campuses
2. Operation budget for FSM-FMI
3. Infrastructure Development Plan
4. Board of Regents Budget

The administration of the College has been asked to appear before the FSM National Government Budget Review Committee on Thursday, 2/21/08, at 9:00 a.m. in FSM President's Conference Room to defend its FY 2009 budgets submission.

Staff Development Day at National and Pohnpei Campuses

 The Staff Development Committees at the National and Pohnpei Campuses had schedule the Staff Development Day at both campuses on Friday, 2/22/08: The topics of discussions for the Staff Development Day at National and Pohnpei Campuses are as follows:

Topic Time Campus
Work Ethics 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Pohnpei Campus
Image of the College 8:00 am to 4:00 pm National Campus

The State Campuses are supposed to also have their Staff Development on the same day, however, information have not been received on topic(s) of discussions.

We Make A Difference

 The College of Micronesia-FSM is offering courses and programs that may help you to start a new career or change your life style. For example learning computer skills or computer information system is one of the most popular course or programs at the COM-FSM. A good number of students have graduated with good computer skills and have landed jobs in both private and public sectors. Some of them have transferred to off island institutions and continued to major in computer programming.

The College campuses have been able to provide short term trainings in computers that are tailored to the training needs of the private companies and governments.

Shown below are photos on students at the National Campus using skills they learn in computer classes to do research online.

Contact following Campus Directors, Vice Presidents, and President at the following telephone number if you are interested in learning more about computer courses and programs available at the College of Micronesia-FSM .

Joakim Peter, Director, Chuuk Campus Tel. #:330-2167
Kalwin Kephas, Director, Kosrae Campus Tel. #: 370-2807
Matthias Ewermai, Director, FSM-FMI Tel. #: 350-5244
Penny Weilbacher, Director, Pohnpei Campus Tel. #: 320-3795
Lourdes Roboman, Director, Yap Campus Tel. #: 350-5149
Jean Thoulag, VPIA Tel. #: 320-2480 Ext. 127
Ringlen Ringlen, VPSS Tel #: 320-2480 Ext. 129
Jim Currie, VPCRE Tel #: 320-2480 Ext. 138
Spensin James, President Tel #: 320-2480 Ext. 117

The next President's Update will be featuring the Electron AAS Degree Program in Telecommunication Technology at State Campuses.

Thank you.