- Year In Review
Jeff Martinez-Spelich holds the distinction of being the first student to graduate from UNM-West. He graduated with a degree in criminology and psychology. UNM-West offers both 8- and 16-week upper division courses through a variety of delivery methods including face-to-face, interactive television, online and also through correspondence.
Representatives of the University of New Mexico and Central New Mexico Community College signed several transfer agreements in 2008. Students will be able to apply credits and courses from CNM directly toward graduation requirements at the UNM.
Students will be able to apply credits and courses from CNM directly toward graduation requirements in the appropriate UNM school or college. For CNM students who follow the course and credit requirements, they can enter the UNM college as juniors.
Susan Murphy, CNM vice president for Academic Affairs, said that CNM has 3,600 declared associate of arts students. “CNM transfers approximately 1,000 students to UNM each year. With the majority destined for the College of Arts and Sciences, this creates a path to success for students. With the agreement, we will improve completion rates, create a significant pipeline to UNM and motivate students to complete a degree program.”
Suzanne Ortega, UNM provost, said the agreements have implications for both schools in Rio Rancho. “With the courses also being offered at CNM in Rio Rancho, we can expect those students to feed into our institution in large numbers,” she said.
“What this agreement does is put the responsibility on institutions to make sure the transfer process is seamless for students, a component often overlooked. At the heart of the agreement – for UNM and CN M in Rio Rancho – is for us to work together to create programs students can start at CNM with their 100 and 200 level courses, and then transfer to UNM for upper division coursework and graduate work. Community assessment and needs will drive what programs will be available in Rio Rancho,” said Beth Miller, special assistant to the UNM vice president for Rio Rancho operations and branch campus academic affairs.
Miller said that the “2+2” program will help students stay on track to graduate in four years. “By their second year, students should know their intended major and be able to take 200 level courses at CNM to ready them to move into their majors at UNM. We want to instill in the minds of both students and the community that if students follow the core curriculum and course sequencing, keep up their GPAs and receive good advisement, they can transfer to UNM to complete degree in two years.”
The Chase Foundation recently awarded the University of New Mexico’s Enrollment Management division with a $50,000 grant to enhance student success for students from southeast New Mexico and other rural areas. The grant is in addition to the Chase Scholarship that provides the opportunity for Artesia High School students to attend a college or university with tuition assistance that also includes the New Mexico Lottery Success Scholarship and matching funds from higher education institutions.
The University of New Mexico is matching up to $2,500 for each student, the highest of any participating school. However, improving retention rates for those students from initial enrollment through graduation is a critical next step of the program.
“The Chase family has been so generous and such a great partner for educating the students from southeast New Mexico and this progression of their support addresses not only the financial issues of our students but will dig deeper into the challenges they face from a sociological standpoint as they transition to a large university in an urban area,” said Terry Babbitt, associate vice president, Enrollment Management. “We believe this initiative will ultimately help a large number of students be successful.”
The Enrollment Management division will provide a research-based student success program to identify academic and social needs unique to southeastern New Mexico students, and will also work collaboratively with those students and existing university resources to create effective, integrated support programs that will ultimately improve rural student retention. A provision within the grant calls for a review of funding for the second year after portions of the study are completed.
Enrollment Management will develop learning communities during the first year of the program, i.e. cohorts of southeastern New Mexico students, that will a) provide peer support opportunities (informal pathways); b) formally guide students to existing academic, health, and social support programs as needed; and c) recruit students to participate in surveys and outreach programs. Students will be involved in research collection and some analysis, and will have the opportunity to participate in outreach activities in their hometown.
UNM received its first and largest corporate donation for the Science and Mathematics Learning Center’s new Visualization Lab in the College of Arts and Sciences. The $250,000 grant was awarded by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, for construction of the facility, which will be built using green building standards.
The Visualization Lab will provide greater space for UNM’s growing population of science students, featuring state-of-the-art computing and media equipment that will provide researchers in mathematics, science and engineering a new tool to study complex phenomena modeled by computational means. A full range of students will utilize the facility, from future scientists from K-12 schools to postdoctoral professionals.
UNM President David Schmidly, Jemez Pueblo Governor Paul Chinana, Walatowa High Charter School Board President Ryan Toya and Principal Tony Archuleta signed a memorandum of understanding to solidify a partnership creating dual enrollment opportunities for Native American students.