By Bill Knief
Finally, with snow on the mountain, it really feels like winter in Taos. But that doesn’t mean that Spring—Spring Semester at UNM-Taos, that is—is far behind. In fact, by the time you read this we will have already enrolled close to half the Spring, 2013 student body. Why is that important? Because classes, as we continue to remind everyone, are filling up fast.
With ever-increasing demand for a finite number of seats, it’s more important than ever to get in before the rush so you can lock in your place in the classes you need at the times you want. And don’t forget: UNM-Taos, along with UNM main campus, will close the afternoon of December 21 for winter break, and not reopen until January 2. During that time you will not be able to enroll either in person or online.
In other words, the first day of Spring Semester, January 14, is not as far away as you might think.
A few years back I asked Patricia Gonzales, UNM-Taos Student Affairs Director, to tell me what her single biggest challenge was each semester. Without a word, she walked out of the room and came back with a very large, heavy, plastic bin filled with official looking forms, many of them hand written, that she proceeded to set on the table in front of me. “That,” she said, “is enrollment for just this semester alone. Now do you understand why my department gets a little overwhelmed during enrollment?”
I got the point.
Since then, things have changed a lot. With the advent of computer-based enrollment, the process is less cumbersome and more streamlined. Some students, with support from advisors, can enroll completely online at home. But we also have seventeen hundred students taking upwards of fifteen thousand credit hours per semester now, so however you do it, try to at least start the process in the next few days.
“Anybody who waits until the last minute is starting out on the wrong foot,” Gonzales stated recently. “I feel we are setting them up for failure if they enroll after January 14. We try to get a lot of our processes done online, but one of the beauties of UNM-Taos is, we are still small enough to do a lot of one-on-one. So when a student comes in who is not completely computer savvy, we have staff that can sit with them and get them registered. Also, we now have four academic and two financial aid advisors to help students find the path that best suits their academic, financial, career and personal needs.
“If you wish to enroll, you should make an appointment to meet with an advisor, but we also have walk-in advising now on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The registration office in Pueblo Hall on the Klauer Campus is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. including the noon hour to help serve your needs. Take a look at the schedule of classes in print or online at taos.unm.edu, see what classes interest you, and get an idea of what days and times would be good for you to go to school—in other words, decide what works with your personal schedule. Then come see us.”