By Bill Knief
The mission of UNM-Taos as expressed in the recently completed five year plan is “to provide quality educational opportunities that transform the lives of our students, enrich the lives of our culturally diverse citizenry, and strengthen the regional economy”. An important but often overlooked component of this mission is our commitment to helping students transfer to other institutions once they have completed their two year associate’s degrees at UNM-Taos.
In the past, this has been accomplished through “Transfer Day,” a one-day event when representatives from various UNM departments and a few regional universities are on campus explaining their programs and advising students who are just about to graduate. But this year, given how important it is for students to make the transition from lower division to a bachelor’s degree, UNM-Taos and UNM Bachelor and Graduate Programs staff have joined forces to produce three days of activities on campus, starting with a Commit to Complete pledge signing event on November 4 sponsored by the college’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
This event, an offshoot of a 2010 White House Summit for Community Colleges, calls for community colleges to produce an additional five million degrees and certificates in the next ten years. The US currently ranks 16th among industrialized nations in the percentage of citizens holding higher education degrees.
“Eighty percent of students say that they plan on completing their degrees, while only 43 percent actually do,” reported Jennifer Miranda, a senior student success associate advisor, “so the kickoff for transfer week will provide students with opportunities to learn about what their options are. Then on Wednesday, regional institutions will be recruiting on campus: Easter, NM Tech, NM State, Highlands, Adams State, Southwest College and IAIA will all be there. Representatives will be available for one-on-one advisement, so that students graduating either in December or May can find out what opportunities are available to them and develop a transfer plan. Also on Wednesday, from noon to 4 pm, we’ll have more specific transfer advisement at the Ledoux campus of Bachelor and Graduate Programs adjacent to the Harwood Museum of Art.”
“We want students to ask questions so we can examine the resources available out there, and help get them to where they need to go,” added Erin Duddy, academic advisor/recruiter for Bachelor and Graduate Programs. “We explore opportunities for staying in Taos while continuing on with your academic studies through online, ITV and live, upper division classes.”
Then on Thursday November 6 there will be a UNM-only Transfer Fair from 11 am to 2 pm on the Klauer campus, complete with refreshments and recruiters from main campus, culminating in a reception at the BGP offices adjacent to the Harwood.
“The campus will be awash with cherry and silver,” Miranda said.
For more information on Transfer Week you can call Jennifer Miranda at 737-6274 or Erin Duddy at 758-2828. They can also help those students who are close to completion but haven’t quite finished all their lower division requirements yet.