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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU programs reach thousands of K-12 students and teachers

More than 60,000 New Mexico K-12 students and teachers benefit from programs or support from New Mexico State University in a typical year, according to a report presented to the university's Board of Regents July 29.

ort, compiled by Marvin Pershing, NMSU College of Education coordinator for assessment, and Associate Dean for Education Michael Morehead, identifies the educational support efforts New Mexico State provides to public and private schools in the state. The report includes more than 200 programs from 49 different NMSU departments and agencies.

"It's impressive for a research university to have so much interaction between its faculty and public schools," Morehead said. "As university faculty and administration change, the institution continues to support the children and teachers of New Mexico."

The report contains information from the 2001-2002 academic year and is representative of the on-going educational support efforts of the university, Pershing said. It does not include programs such as the College of Agriculture and Home Economics' extensive 4H program, which reaches more than 54,000 children in New Mexico.

More than 300 NMSU faculty and staff are involved in the programs and contributed more than 8,000 volunteer hours, according to the report.

The programs included in the report demonstrate direct assistance and support to more than 17,000 teachers in New Mexico. The amount of support funds provided by grants and contributions exceeds $6 million. These funds are augmented by tens of thousands of dollars budgeted within the departments, the report states.

Pershing said only verifiable numbers were used to compile statistics. The report is an update to a similar report that was prepared in 1994.

"Every county in the state is affected by some NMSU program -- some are grant sponsored and some are more traditional," Morehead said. "Additionally, technology-based programs have emerged in the last few years."

Programs such as Native Americans in Computer Science focus directly on students. Each summer about 20 selected high schools students come to campus to learn computer science, math and Website development during a three-week camp. The goal is to encourage capable Native American students to enter the computer science field. Ten faculty and staff support the effort with assistance from a five-year $500,000 National Science Foundation grant.

PREP is a seven-week, academically intense summer program designed to prepare pre-college students for careers in science, engineering and mathematics. The program incorporates academics with hands-on activities and field trips. For summer 2003, the program accepted 140 students. The program is part of a national consortium of Hispanic Institutions called Proyecto Access, funded by NASA through the University of Texas at San Antonio.

MathStar is a U.S. Department of Education funded project aimed at redesigning middle school mathematics curriculums to make them more culturally responsive to students as well as more meaningful and exciting through the use of technology. Teachers from four New Mexico schools have been provided with computers and assistance in improving mathematics learning opportunities for students.

Programs such as the Regional Education Technology Assistance (RETA) Program focus on training teachers and administrators in the use of technology to promote student learning. With six resource centers across New Mexico the RETA Program has connected several generations of New Mexicans to technology. Teachers and school administrators attend six workshops through the academic year and learn about the World Wide Web, e-mail, multimedia, desktop publishing, media literacy and technology integration.

Arts programs also are represented in the report, including the Theatre for Young Audiences Program and Writers-in-the-Schools project, which has NMSU English Department faculty and graduate students in the Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program providing writing workshops for public school students. The workshops introduce students in elementary and middle schools to techniques to improve creativity, communication skills, reading skills and writing skills by composing and reading original stories and poems.

For more information about New Mexico State University programs, visit www.nmsu.edu.