Special to QCS
Mesalands Community College will offer Wind Energy Technology classes online to Vaughn High School students on a dual-credit basis.
Participating students will receive both high school and college credit for these courses.
Administrators from Mesalands visited Vaughn High School last week to finalize the agreement and to meet with school administrators, teachers, and students.
“We have a first-rate Wind Energy Technology Program at Mesalands. We also have a seven-million dollar facility and an on-campus turbine that distinguishes us from other programs,” Natalie Gillard, vice president of academic affairs said to Vaughn students. “We are just glad to provide this type of training to you at your school, and we hope that when you finish high school that you will come to Mesalands to finish your degree in Wind Energy Technology.”
Mesalands will be offering Introduction to Wind Energy, Electrical Theory I, and Field Safety and Experience classes to Vaughn High. Following these classes, the college will be sending portable simulators to Vaughn High School to give students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience.
Dr. Wilkinson-Davis and Vaughn School Board Members, Rudy Martinez and Floraida Tapia, visited the North American Wind Research and Training Center at Mesalands last January to see the Wind Center facilities, learn more about the Wind Energy Technology Program and meet Mesalands faculty and staff members.
“Vaughn has the best source of wind in this part of the state and we see this as the future for our students. This is a real opportunity for them to be prepared for a good career when they get out of high school,” Davis said. “We appreciate the partnership with Mesalands and all of the other opportunities our students will have through the programs at Mesalands. This is a formula for success.”
Vaughn is located near two wind farms. One is the Aragonne Wind Facility in Guadalupe County, which has 90 wind turbines, and the High Lonesome Mesa wind farm in Torrance County, which has 40 turbines, according to the New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department website. The proposed El Cabo wind farm that will be constructed in Torrance County, would be the largest wind farm in the state, with 149 wind turbines being constructed in the first phase, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
“With wind energy continuing to grow in our State, this partnership with Mesalands and Vaughn High School will be a great opportunity for both parties, and will allow our students to learn more about the wind industry,” said Jimmy Sandoval, vice chair, Mesalands board of trustees. “I have always believed in education and that’s why I have been a Board Member for so many years.”
Esequiel Lucero, 16, explains why he has decided to take these Wind Energy Technology classes through Mesalands this semester.
“Because I think this will help my future a lot,” Lucero said. “I’m going to continue on to get my degree and I probably will be attending Mesalands.”