…Highlights include increasing scholarships, support for teachers, growing workforce and more
SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Higher Education (NMHED) recognizes the many accomplishments made in 2021 to advance student success and higher education statewide and looks forward to continued progress in 2022 Towards the Advancement of Free Colleges, Student Support and Workforce Development in New Mexico.
This year has been a hallmark of higher education in New Mexico, with students enjoying expanded access to free college with the Opportunity Scholarship and the reinstatement of the Lottery Scholarship to 100 percent, and a record level of financial support provided to teachers, “NMHED said Secretary Stephanie Rodriguez. “I am grateful to Governor Lujan Grisham and our partners in higher education, community and state for working together to improve higher education in New Mexico and look forward to doing even more. for New Mexicans in the coming year. “
“As we look back to 2021, the New Mexico Department of Higher Education has focused on accessing and creating supports for student learning as New Mexicans pursue university education. or professional, ”said NMHED Deputy Secretary Patricia Trujillo. “The agency is dedicated to supporting the infrastructure of higher education so that higher education institutions in New Mexico have access to the resources necessary to make our colleges and universities welcoming and prosperous learning environments. We strive to prepare students and their families to make the most of their higher education experience so that they can graduate with confidence, build careers that provide a living income for the family, and galvanize students. communities across the state.
Extend Free College
Tens of thousands of New Mexicans pursued higher education and vocational training thanks to an investment of $ 18 million in the Scholarshi Opportunityp, which was expanded to include returning and part-time students pursuing vocational certificates up to four-year degrees. the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship was also reinstated to cover the full tuition fees of recent high school graduates for the first time since 2016 and was expanded to include students graduating from state-approved home schools. The agency is calling for full funding of free college programs in 2022, which would benefit up to 35,000 students.
Support teachers and the workforce
A record number of teachers have benefited from the Teacher loan repayment program, which provides up to $ 6,000 a year for delinquent student debt and interest for New Mexico teachers working in high-need subjects and schools. Nearly 600 teachers were recognized in 2021, and the agency is requesting $ 5 million in the coming year to meet the needs of teachers statewide. Over 2,000 teachers have received support from the Affordable Teacher Preparation Scholarship and Grow Your Own Teachers programs and $ 5 million are requested in 2023.
The Higher Education Department has partnered with the Workforce Solutions Department to create New Mexico loan, a free resource that connects New Mexicans with employment opportunities and professional education paths that lead to family careers in high-demand industries right here at home. Seven new accelerated vocational training programs were created under Ready NM in partnership with employers in high-need areas such as smart manufacturing, information technologies, hotels and fiber optic installation. More than 150 New Mexicans have registered for these trainings and nearly 115,000 New Mexicans have visited ready.nm.gov to explore training programs and employment opportunities.
The department has joined forces with the Hunt School of Dentistry at Texas Tech University in El Paso tackle the dentist shortage and access to dental education in New Mexico by allowing New Mexico students to earn dental degrees at lower tuition rates in the state.
Investing in student success
New Mexico students were able to save time and money for further education this year after the department announced that credit for all general education courses students completed at state public colleges and universities would be accepted to any other public institution when a student transfers. More university students have also become eligible for SNAP Dietary Benefits and public aid via the TANF Education Works Program.
The agency has adopted a consumer protection law requiring private colleges to disclose graduate cost, debt and income information to prospective students, and waived all transcript fees for 146 students affected by Vista College’s unexpected closure.
Broaden college and career preparation
On the university preparation front, the EQUIPMENT program was revived in New Mexico and launched in seven partner districts to deliver college and career preparation activities and academic preparation to rural, low-income, and historically underserved students across the state. More than 18,000 New Mexico high school students have had the opportunity to earn free college credit through the Double Credit program during the 2020-2021 school year.
The agency has also partnered with the New Mexico College Access Foundation, New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation, College Connect New Mexico, and the Public Education Department to provide virtual and in-person services. university fairs and financial aid workshops to students and parents and celebrate current students statewide College and career signing day.
Helping adult learners succeed
The New Mexico Department of Higher Education has served more than 5,000 adult learners in partner adult education programs statewide and has provided vouchers and test materials for nearly 600 Neo -Mexicans seeking their high school equivalency diploma (HSE). More than 300 students have received an HSE diploma and more than 400 students have enrolled in higher education or a vocational training program.
Financing and higher education policy
The ministry convened a task force earlier this year to review and finalize adjustments to the higher education funding formula, commonly referred to as education and general education (I&G) funding, and the adult education funding formula.
The Department also recommended $ 214.3 million for higher education institutions and state-wide infrastructure, and launched a new and improved program software system for higher education capital projects.