Our big annual weekend of summer celebration is over. Taos Fiestas have come and gone, and as every student knows, that means summer, too, is fast drawing to a close. It’s time to start thinking about fall semester. It’s time to start thinking about the future.
UNM-Taos enrollment has been going on since last April, and more than seven hundred students have already registered for the fall. Now, with the first day of class barely three weeks away, we are shifting into high gear. Over ten thousand copies of the UNM-Taos Fall Schedule of Classes went out across the county with this week’s editions of The Taos News and The Sangre de Cristo Chronicle.
Nothing seems to hold back Taosenos when it comes to higher education. Even in hard economic times everyone from dual credit high school students to senior citizens made the commitment and the sacrifices necessary to continue their education. According to Administrative Officer Anita Bringas, overall headcount for spring, 2012 reached an all-time high of 1,725 students. The number of postsecondary degree-seeking students increased by an impressive 22 percent over last year. This is a particularly encouraging indicator of the health of our community college, as the new funding formula specifically rewards the completion of degrees and certificates.
Dual credit enrollment increased by 27 percent. That is the highly successful free program that allows high school students to take classes for both high school and college credit. Families see considerable tuition savings, making college more affordable for more citizens, while students get a taste of college life and what it takes to be successful. Hispanic enrollment, which makes up 57.74 percent of the UNM-Taos student body, increased by 4.8 percent.
But there is an important message built into these positive indicators: don’t wait any longer to register for fall classes. Since 2008 higher education has experienced substantial budget cuts that have required tuition increases to offset losses and forced colleges and universities to cut back on course offerings. No longer are we able to allow classes with low enrollment numbers to make, and in cases where there is high registration for a popular class, we can no longer simply open up a new section to accommodate the overflow.
As a result, latecomers not only face long lines, overloaded advisors and a slew of last minute frustrations, they just might find it impossible to get into the classes they want and need. Don’t let that happen to you. Call the enrollment office at 737-6200 to figure out what you need to do first and set up an appointment to meet with an advisor. Come see us in person at Pueblo Hall on the Klauer Campus. We have computers and a helpful staff that can walk you through the process. Go online at www.taos.unm.edu for basic information, and, if you are a returning student, you can even enroll online.
Do yourself a favor: find out how partnering with your community college can work for you.