The College of the Marshall Islands 29th Commencement Exercises at the newly renovated SSG Solomon Sam Basketball Court featured 180 college-level graduates and the awarding of 217 certificates and degrees.
President David Kabua and Minister of Education Kitlang Kabua were on hand to congratulate the graduates, along with keynote speaker Broderick Menke.
Besides the awarding of degrees and certificates, the event was highlighted by CMI President Dr. Irene Taafaki’s special announcements:
• The Upward Bound Program has been extended for the next five years by the US Department of Education.
• The US Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has approved CMI’s request for a new campus on Ebeye, which will be known as the CMI Kwajalein Campus, and the introduction of two new vocational programs in Construction Trades and Automotive Service Technology. This is an achievement for the College after the last Ebeye campus was forced to close a few years ago.
The new programs will be available and are Pell eligible for Ebeye students, high school graduates and working students with a high school diploma. Taafaki extended her appreciation to Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Elizabeth Switaj for the work preparing the application.
• The AS degree in Agroforestry Education for Health and Sustainable Livelihoods had also been approved by the Board of Regents, along with the strong support of the Ministry of Health and Human Services for the forthcoming certificates qualifying Community Health Outreach Workers and Outer Atoll Clinical Assistants.
• The CMI Maritime Center also received news of two new programs that were approved. Deck Technology and Maritime Engineering have been added to the program, which is designed primarily to meet the needs of the Marshall Islands domestic shipping industry.
“We at the college hope that these five new programs will captivate the interest of students and ensure that talents are not wasted at CMI,” Taafaki said.
Taafaki also announced that the Board of Regents approved the implementation of the new single salary structure for all non-faculty, raising CMI’s minimum wage rate from $3.00 to $4.04/hr. Part of this included the board’s approval of the college’s request to provide a $2,000 annual increase for all instructors effective in August 2022.