Activity report from week of September 6 – 12

Governor’s Summit on Higher Education

On Wednesday, September 9, a contingent from NMSU, including Mike Cheney, Garrey Carruthers, Renay Scott, Donald Pope-Davis, and me attended the Governor’s Summit on Higher Education.  At the Summit, the Governor highlighted her priorities for higher education, including: increasing the four-year graduation rates of New Mexico universities; better utilizing two year colleges as a first step toward four-year degrees; meeting the specific needs of the regional economy with our graduates; reducing the replication of programs, maintaining low tuition rates; rewarding degree completion in the funding formula; and, building stronger bridges between K-12 and universities.  After the Governor’s talk, I attended two breakout sessions, one focusing on student retention and one focusing on co-requisite remediation.  The session on student retention emphasized the importance of good advising in retention, a message that has been received loud and clear at NMSU, where a new Student Success Navigator Program emphasizes timely, proactive advising.  Co-requisite remediation, the focus of the second session, has proven to be effective on a number of university campuses and is a response to the morass of remedial courses.  In the co-requisite approach, students are placed into math and English courses based on their high school records, rather than placement exams, and provided with the supplemental instruction necessary for them to be successful in the courses.

Hardman and Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center

The best event of the week for me was the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony marking the official opening of the Hardman and Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center. The new classroom building is bright and attractive, a real contrast to the buildings it replaces.  More importantly, the classrooms are state of the art and designed for interactive learning, particularly the Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) Classroom.  I encourage all faculty members to tour the building and determine how you might incorporate one of these classrooms into your teaching program.

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