By Bill Knief
It happens every year. Las Fiestas have come and gone. Summer is winding down. You can set your watch by the afternoon monsoon cloud cover. And people’s thoughts turn more and more to chamisa in bloom, golden leaves, cool nights, and school.
It never fails. By the time the parade is over and the UNM-Taos float has been stripped down and converted back into the trailer that hauls our Bobcat, people start getting serious about enrolling for the fall semester.
True, enrollment has been going on for a solid three months already, and by the time this article comes out, close to 800 students will have already enrolled. But the first day of class is August 17; less than a month away. And in that time a thousand more students will come through our doors wanting to talk to advisors, plan their academic strategy, see about financial aid, and get into the classes they need at the times that work best for them. And all that has to take place within the context of jobs, family responsibilities and personal needs. But to make registration even more of a challenge this year, last Friday the college received a certificate of occupation for the Padre Martinez Hall expansion and remodel, and all Student Services are packing up and moving into their fantastic new digs.
Patricia Gonzales has been with UNM-Taos for over twenty-two years. She runs the Office of Student Affairs, and I asked her how her department was going to handle this very special enrollment period.
“It’s getting exciting,” she said, “with all the final inspections and finishing touches— signs for the doors, blinds for the windows—it’s really starting to become a reality. We’re starting to make lists. My people are slated to move in August 3. We’ll do it in shifts, starting with our front line staff so we can keep providing services from our area. Once they are down there in the new building and set up, we’ll move the rest of the staff so we won’t have any interruption of our services.
“Registration has been going on since April, so we do have some courses that have already filled, and there are a lot that are close to being filled. So I always encourage people to register early to reserve their spot in the courses of their choice. In the next couple of weeks we will get busier than we’ve been all summer. So this is the perfect time to come in and still have the pick of what you want. In a couple of weeks it’s not going to be that way.”
If you are a returning student, you can register online by going to taos.unm.edu and clicking on Register for Summer and Fall Classes. If you are a new student or you’d prefer to register in person, come by the Student Affairs Department in Pueblo Hall on Klauer Campus and staff will help you through the process. Financial Aid and Academic Advisors are available to assist you, and you can call (575) 737-6215 to make an appointment. (Beginning July 15 and continuing through the start of the semester you can walk in without an appointment any Wednesday until 4 pm.)
Also, to make it easier for folks who can’t come in during regular business hours, the Student Affairs Department in Pueblo Hall will be open from 5 pm to 7 pm Tuesdays, July 21 and 28 and August 4 and 11. But whatever works best for you, it would be a good idea to get started.