University meets community needs
Extended University is further extending its reach to serve
more New Mexicans.
University has six field centers some co-located with
UNM branches in Gallup, Los Alamos and Taos, as well as in Santa
Fe, Rio Rancho and at Kirtland Air Force Base. Several communities
throughout the state also have the capacity to support the delivery
of one-way video, two-way audio instruction. In addition to
satellite-downlink instructional television, Extended University
courses are also delivered on-line via computers, via correspondence
and via traditional classroom settings, depending upon local
capabilities and resources.
University coursework is also available to UNM main campus students
who are employed full-time or who otherwise experience scheduling
University, which began operations at UNM in January 2000, is
actively seeking ways to provide student support services in
addition to delivering degree completion and upper division
and graduate programs to students, especially those at remote
locations in New Mexico.
more student-focused than ever before, says Jeronimo Dominguez,
Ph.D., UNM vice provost for Extended University and dean of
Continuing Education and Community services. The Extended
University staff is working hard to ensure that all student
service support systems are available to distance education
students. We realize that access to library resources, bookstore
services, technical support, advisement and other student services
is critical for students who are far away from main campus.
he says, the Extended University staff is trying to package
and provide degree completion programs that are needed by local
communities. Were now master planning three-to-five
years out, not just year-to-year. Were using an organizing
approach that follows a sequential order so that students can
complete degree courses, he adds.
and programs are developed to serve the identified needs of
individual communities, including credit toward UNM degrees
in engineering, education, nursing and the Bachelor of University
of the Extended University field centers, the one located in
Gallup is where were seeing the most substantial
growth. A big part of that is because Gallup is the largest
of the UNM branch campuses, Dominguez says.
University staff has selected Gallup as a site to offer the
Bachelor of Business Administration degree in conjunction with
UNMs Anderson Schools of Management. As part of the three-year
pilot program, now in its second year, regular main campus faculty
drive to Gallup to teach courses. However, we want to
grow the capacity for teaching those courses at that end. We
want to use local resources, he says.
some 190 UNM main and branch campus faculty have been
supported to teach Extended University courses, our capacity
to grow faculty at local sites is important to Extended Universitys
success, he points out. Expanding partnerships with the
states local community colleges is also key.
is also occurring in Farmington where were hiring
two faculty members whose appointment will be through the UNM
College of Education, but their home base would be the San Juan
Community College, Dominguez says.
New Mexico meet its need for teachers and nurses is a big priority,
he says. Currently, there is a need for some 1,500 teachers.
The state has recognized this and we very much appreciate
the support weve gotten from the state, he says.
Further, Dominguez says, Extended University has converted from
satellite delivery to a fully on-line, web-based program in
nursing leading to Registered Nurse/Bachelor of Science in Nursing
(RN/BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing Administration (MSN)
degrees. These students take all their coursework online and
perform their clinical internships and practica in hospitals
and clinics throughout New Mexico.
with the UNM Civil Engineering Department, the Albuquerque Technical-Vocational
Institute and the Construction Advancement Institute, Extended
University is preparing to offer an online certificate program
in Construction Supervision. The benefit is the construction
industry gets a high-quality product on-line which will help
boost the economic development of the state. Its another
program that will help develop the states human resources,
says Richard Howell, Ph.D., special assistant to the Vice Provost.
Senior Program Manager Melissa Hilleary says another advantage
is that Extended University operates from a centralized management
system. UNM hasnt added more money to the overall
distance mission, but through coordinated programming there
is added value at the other end, she says.
projects that, by the end of the 2003 spring semester, about
16,000 students will be engaged in UNMs Extended University
online course offerings. Of this number, approximately 1,300
students will be enrolled in an estimated 65 wholly online courses.
However, Extended University is still working to overcome barriers
such as funding and infrastructure issues. Were
trying to figure out how to provide computers to students who
need them. Theyll also need technical support for those
computers and the local communities need to have telephone systems
that support access to online courses, he says.
also the question of how fast we can develop emerging technologies.
For example, now that KNME-TV (PBS, Ch 5) has converted to digital
technology, their ability to broadcast educational programming
via KNME-TV will significantly expand the reach of Extended
Dominguez sees Extended University as an asset for both UNM
and the state. It allows us to help the state develop
the way it needs to develop, both educationally and economically.