NMSU branding

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center




New Mexico State reaches out to community colleges

A new distance education program at New Mexico State University will help 68 of New Mexico's community college administrators, instructors and staff members obtain graduate degrees without having to travel hundreds of miles from their homes, said Roy Rodriguez, interim dean of the graduate school.



Sandra Taylor, director of the Small Business Development Center at Clovis Community College, left, and Ronald Biddle, a communications instructor at Clovis Community College, enjoy an orientation program at New Mexico State University for the Community College Leadership Doctoral Program, a new distance education program that started in January. (New Mexico State University photo by Darren Phillips)

"New Mexico's community colleges are relatively isolated, so their personnel don't have the chance to get advanced degrees," Rodriguez said. "This program is extending our campus across the state."

Rodriguez said there are 23 community colleges in New Mexico and most of the administrators and instructors have a huge interest in obtaining a master's degree or a doctorate.

The Community College Leadership Doctoral Program, which started in January, has 60 students enrolled to pursue a doctor of education degree and eight working towards a master's in educational management and development. The courses for the spring semester will be taught using interactive television, WebCT and team learning. Other methods of distance learning also will be utilized during the three-year course of study.

The students can attend class at six different locations -- the main campus in Las Cruces, Clovis Community College, San Juan Community College in Farmington, New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, the Workforce Training Center in Albuquerque and New Mexico State University at Carlsbad. Some of the students enrolled in the program are from the host communities. Others are from Alamogordo, Artesia, Espanola, Mora, Roswell, Taos and Tucumcari.

"There is much diversity in New Mexico," said Ramon Dominguez, a professor of educational management and development and director of the program. "So many areas of the state will be represented in this cohort of students."

Students admitted to begin course work this spring are part of the first cohort of students participating. The university will admit students to the program every two years. Cost of the classes is $145 per credit hour, which is a slight increase from the $134-per-credit-hour cost of a traditional on-campus course, Dominguez said.

The students will meet once a month on a Friday afternoon and evening and all day on Saturday for two courses this semester, Dominguez said.

"We want this program to be accessible for working professionals," Dominguez said. "A lot of the course work will be done in teams."

"New Mexico State is the only university in New Mexico to offer a program for community college administrators and instructors," Rodriguez said.

Sandra Taylor, director of the Small Business Development Center at Clovis Community College, said she appreciates the opportunity to pursue one of her goals -- obtaining a doctorate in education. "This program will allow me to complete a degree program without so much travel," she said.

Ronald Biddle, a communications instructor at Clovis Community College, said, "I have been in leadership all of my life. This program was an opportunity to continue in that path."
For more information about the program, call Dominguez at (505) 646-3481.

Photo is available at http://ucommphoto.nmsu.edu/newsphoto/taylor_sandra.jpg.
CUTLINE: Sandra Taylor, director of the Small Business Development Center at Clovis Community College, left, and Ronald Biddle, a communications instructor at Clovis Community College, enjoy an orientation program at New Mexico State University for the Community College Leadership Doctoral Program, a new distance education program that started in January. (New Mexico State University photo by Darren Phillips)

Julie M. Hughes
Feb. 7, 2002