Education: who needs it?

By Bill Knief

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The beginning of the UNM-Taos 2011 Fall Semester is less than two weeks away, and classes are beginning to fill. If you are going to make this the year you retrain, sharpen old skills, begin a college career or pick up where you left off, don’t wait any longer. With steeply rising enrollment numbers over the past two years even as funding for colleges and universities has been drastically reduced, it’s not always possible to just open up another section to accommodate every student.

It’s easier than ever to enroll this semester, however. All summer long students have been taking advantage of early enrollment, and close to two thirds of the fall class has already signed up. Many students prefer to enroll online now, and completely avoid the long lines and chaos of the last two weeks in the registration office. For those who are not too computer savvy we have assistants at Pueblo Hall on the Klauer campus ready to guide you through the process on computers solely dedicated to enrollees. You can make an appointment to talk with an academic or financial advisor just by calling 737-6200, and New Student Orientation—a must for first timers—is noon to four p.m. August 16.

Here in northern New Mexico citizens and elected officials are very aware of the value of education, but sometimes that doesn’t extend as far as the Round House in Santa Fe. Both public and higher education have experienced severe budget cuts ostensibly to help cover budget shortfalls, and Jose Garcia, the governor appointed Secretary of Higher Education, has gone so far as to say publicly:

One of the aftershocks of the sixties, I always believed, was a certain reluctance on the part of some people to champion education, if all it was going to do was create social unrest and a generation of resisters to established cultural norms and official policies. This close on the heels of a long and fruitful postwar period highlighted and in some ways defined by an enormous increase in college enrollments and an emerging national awareness of the role that the great land grant universities should play in our developing society.

“Postsecondary education has historically been one of the safest long-term investments we can make in our economic future. Educated workers are more productive, earn more and pay more taxes. Not only is higher education a sure return on investment, but access to postsecondary education has become the arbiter of economic success and upward mobility in our society. More postsecondary education will achieve not only a more dynamic and vibrant economy, but a more equitable society.

Don’t let anyone or any thing stand in the way of your education.

About The Bill Knief