On Wednesday, Mesalands Community College President Phillip O. Barry and New Mexico Highlands University President Manny Aragon signed a “memorandum of understanding” which will allow both insititutions to offer coursework on one another’s campuses.
According to Barry this will permit Mesalands students to seek four-year and even advanced degrees they were not able to pursue before the memorandum of understanding.
Barry explained that in the past students would advance as far as they could in Tucumcari and because of the lack of possible avenues in the area they would stop their education. “Now, that will not be necessary,” said the Mesalands president. The advancement come about because Mesalands has added a new phase to its expanding distance education program called the University Distance Education Center, a facility equipped and dedicated to digital interactive television technology. The facility will allow any college or university in the world, with similar equipment to offer classes at Mesalands, and allow Mesalands to offer classes at their locations.
According to Mesalands spokesman John Yearout the equipment means Mesalands will be able to offer a paleontology class at Highlands University while it is offering a masters degree level course at Mesalands.
The instructor of a class has complete control of broadcasting equipment on both ends of the broadcast. The arrangement allows interactive conversation the same as in the traditional classroom. “This is exciting technology that brings one more feature to our growing Distance Education facilities,” said Nancy Nydam, Coordinator of Distance Education at Mesalands.
“With the state’s limited resources and vast distances between towns and cities, it is important that the college seek new ways to enable citizens to participate in higher education opportunities,” said Barry.