Years after closing, Northern New Mexico College is reopening the El Rito campus as a hub for career and technical education.

    Courses began this week on the campus as it opens the co-located branch community college.

    Frank Loera, Chair of the Department of Technical Trades, said they are preparing to receive dual credit and community college students.

    According to an Aug. 12 press release, the College will offer Electrical Technology and Plumbing programs that were approved by the Higher Education Department.

    He said they hope to have plumbing instructors and courses ready for the Spring 2021 semester if the campus can safely be opened to in-person instruction. This semester, the College is offering general education and support courses virtually, which Loera said includes English, Math and Microsoft Office.

    In 2005, the College phased out career and technical programs as part of a transition to a four-year program when it became Northern New Mexico College rather than Northern New Mexico Community College.

    A 2019 law allowed the College to create a branch community college. Rather than building a new campus in a new community, College officials will use the existing El Rito campus. The community college branch will be co-located with the four-year school.

    College President Rick Bailey said funding for the campus came from a $750,000 gift from the ECMC Foundation in Los Angeles, and through a Mill Levy Tax voters passed in November 2019.

    The College held a virtual info session for dual credit students on Aug. 11 and posted the video to the College’s YouTube page.

    Loera said the College is coordinating with dual credit partner districts, which include Española, Pojoaque, Chama, Mesa Vista and Jemez Mountain. He expects to have about 50 percent of students be dual credit high school students.

    “The dual credit students take advantage of these programs,” he said. “It’s a win-win for them. Some of those credits are allowed for their pathway in their high schools and it gives them a head start on trades or certificates and degrees. And it’s paid for them, there’s no cost to the dual credit student.”

    The College held a virtual info session for dual credit students on Aug. 11 and posted the video to the College’s YouTube page.

    For community college students, the programs are available for $110 per credit hour. Both programs are working with local unions to develop curriculum, Loera said.

(1) comment


Who wants to travel all the way out to El Rito? 🧐

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