Mesalands may collaborate on aviation program


October 17, 2018

The president of Mesalands Community College is in early talks with Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell about collaborating with the university's aviation program.

Mesalands President John Groesbeck said during his report Oct. 9 to the college's board of trustees that flights to Tucumcari Municipal Airport from Roswell and back would offer good training to aviation students at both campuses.

Groesbeck said nearly-new Cessna “trainer” airplanes can be purchased for as little as $26,000. He also said the Federal Aviation Administration is allowing more computer-run flight-simulation instruction, lowering potential costs to colleges.

Also, Groesbeck said he hatched an idea to offer an American West English Institute class to prospective international students. The class would tie into the area's ranching and Route 66 cultures.

The program would be a sort of English-as-a-second-language offering, but with trail rides, chuckwagon meals and other experiences that area residents take for granted.

“You're selling the experience,” Groesbeck said.

Groesbeck said offering such classes are a ways off, as the college needs to talk to U.S. government officials on the details.

Finally, Groesbeck said he's casting a wider net to find a faculty member who's well-versed in entrepreneurship and digital business.

He said he sees the need for an instructor with those skills as businesses use more social media, websites and other digital services in the coming years. Groesbeck said he has a few potential candidates in mind but acknowledges finding one with those skills at the associate-degree level is challenging.

“There aren't too many of those critters out there,” he said.

In other business:

• The board approved revisions to the 2018-2019 personnel handbook. Amanda Hammer, vice president of student affairs, said most of the changes concerned grammar, formatting, holidays and updates to the college's organizational chart.

• The board, with one minor revision, updated the trustees' annual calendar of reports.

• The board heard an annual report from Donna Garcia, director of academic affairs, on the college's community-education courses, which range from cake decorating to designing websites.


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