Santa Fe Community College and the University of New Mexico Announce Streamlined, Increased Degree Options for Santa Feans
From a Santa Fe Community College press release...
On August 23, SFCC President Sheila Ortego and UNM President Bob Frank signed a Memorandum of Agreement tostreamline the process for students who want to earn a four year degree without leaving Santa Fe through the Santa Fe Higher Education Center.
“We are pleased to announce that Santa Fe students looking to go directly from completing their associate degree at SFCC to continuing on with their education now have more options,” Dr. Ortego said. “Our students can talk to UNM advisers about courses of study, financial aid, taking courses online or designing their academic degree plan – right here on campus.”
According to the agreement, UNM will offer courses through its Extended University. UNM students will benefit from facilities, services and resources through the Higher Education Center. The center will provide computer laboratories and library facilities as well as testing and tutoring services at no cost to students. UNM will continue to have an office on site.
“Community colleges are gateways to four-year institutions, said Dr. Frank. “Increasing student demand for programs and services, in addition to economic demands for a highly trained workforce, has created an urgent need for us to increase access for our citizens to higher levels of educational attainment.”
The agreement will enable students to leverage the resources of both institutions though a dual admissions process, known as “two-plus-two.” With this approach, students’ educational experiences should include a seamless transition from associatedegree programs to baccalaureate degree programs. Through the Higher Education Center, students are assured of acceptance of prior college courses at SFCC and are offered a plan for completing a baccalaureate degree at UNM as efficiently as possible.
“Our community wants UNM degree programs to be made available right here in Santa Fe,” said Tina Ludutsky Taylor, the director of the Higher Education Center. “With easily accessible and appropriate advisement, students can identify a preferred degree program tailored to their interests early on and complete an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree in the most economical way.”
Ludutsky Taylor said that streamlining the educational process for New Mexico students is beneficial to students, the community and the economy. The Higher EducationCenter provides the opportunity for more New Mexicans to complete their degree(s) more quickly, at lower cost and prepared to enter the workforce.
The agreement formalizes the Extended University relationship through which UNM offers bachelor’s and master’s degree completion programs via online, as well as a Masters in Public Administration offered through interactive television. The next step is to establish theagreements between UNM’s and SFCC’s courses and degree programs.
UNM Vice Provost of Extended University Jerry Dominguez was instrumental in developing the agreement. He doesn’t want to stop at undergraduate degrees. “We also want to provide opportunities for students to receive advanced degrees that include engineering and the health sciences field,” he said.