Education officials visit Mesalands

Special to QCS

Jose Garcia, cabinet secretary and Mr. Glenn Walters, deputy cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED), recently visited Mesalands Community College. This visit was to better understand the College’s programs and unique offerings.

“I have decided that I needed to visit every single institution of higher learning in the State of New Mexico. I don’t think I can act effectively as the secretary of education, unless I know each individual institution and I know what they’re doing best and what they’re most proud of,” Garcia said. “We [NMHED] are trying to create a funding formula that works for the future for providing a globally and competitive workforce for the state.”

Garcia said some of the possible changes for the new funding formula would include granting subsidies for institutions with increased graduation rates and for those that graduate students with degrees in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) program.

Mesalands recently received a STEM grant in the amount of $777,000 from the U.S. Department of Education and a Wind Center of Excellence grant for $523,000.

“The College is working on a partnership with Tucumcari High School to develop STEM curriculum and a pipeline for transferable credits to a four year institution,” said Mildred Lovato, president of Mesalands Community College .

College staff and faculty directors also gave a brief presentation on their internationally and nationally recognized programs including, Wind Energy Technology, Paleontology, Fine Arts/Bronze, Artistic Silversmithing.

Garcia and Walters also learned about the nationally ranked Intercollegiate Rodeo Team at Mesalands, and took a tour of the world-renowned Mesalands Community College’s Dinosaur Museum.

“This is a little jewel in the middle of Tucumcari, and is in area that is not highly populated and that doesn’t have a strong economy,’ Garcia said. “It’s fascinating that this college has students from all of the United States and from other countries that enroll in some of your world-class programs.”