A howling success

By Bill Knief

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As I always like to say, we take fun seriously here at UNM-Taos.

And that’s no joke.

For the second year in a row UNM-Taos Student Government Senators came through with balloons, candy and a float in the Fiesta parade, where, much to the delight of the crowd, they were joined by Louie and Lucy Lobo, who drove all the way up from Albuquerque just to shake paws with some local folks. Despite the rainy weather Louie and Lucy said they had a great time and promised to be back again next year.

“Just give us a howl and we’ll be there,” the shaggy duo said.

As freewheeling ambassadors of post secondary pedagogy they got the attention of many a youngster, and we thank them for it. A decade or so from now when those same kids are signing up for classes at their community college, perhaps they’ll remember their first slightly soggy canine contact with higher education at the 2010 Fiestas.

Meanwhile, as Summer begins to lose its grip on the high country and we rush headlong toward the first day of fall classes, August 23, I asked UNM-Taos Information Resources Manager Anne Landgraf how the fall semester was measuring up. As usual, the data diva had plenty to share.

I knew we had a record breaking Spring 2010 semester turnout and our summer enrollment was up more than thirty percent over the previous year, but Landgraf pointed out some very interesting long term statistics as well:

Our overall fall headcount has gone up 16.53 percent over the last five years. Impressive, yes, but even more important is the fact that full time head count—the number of students taking a full load of 12 credit hours or more per semester—has gone up 84.17 percent over the last five years, and up 36.17 percent between fall 2008 and fall 2009 alone. This is a strong indication that students are becoming more serious about their educational goals, and sure enough, our first time degree-seeking head count is up 86 percent over the last five years. That represents an increase of 106 percent for first time degree-seeking Hispanic students and an 87.5 percent increase in first time degree-seeking Native American students.

Since opening its doors, UNM-Taos has awarded a total of 707 degrees and certificates, creating a profound positive impact not only on the economy of the region but also on the quality of life of individual citizens and the health of our entire society.

It also means that if you’re thinking about taking classes this fall, you’d better get busy. Pressured simultaneously by an increasing student body and a decreasing budget, UNM-Taos classes are filling up fast. You can no longer wait until the last minute to enroll and expect to find an opening in every class you want to take.

Study the updated Fall Schedule of Classes insert in this week’s Taos News. It will give you course descriptions, help you enroll online at, get you started on financial aid, give you a timeline of important dates (such as the all-important New Student Enrollment on August 17 from 12:30 to 4 p.m.), show you how to set up an appointment with an advisor and much more.

All student services and enrollment activities are now located out at the Klauer campus south of town in the new Pueblo Hall facility. Come see us between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, or give us a howl—at 737-6200.

About The Bill Knief