How The Advisory Board Can Help UNM-LA


The challenges our children face as they near the end of high school are many. The “what to do next” question looms large.

Attending a major, four-year university doesn’t work for everyone. Many of our secondary students come to the conclusion they don’t want to, are not ready for, or simply cannot go to college, at least not immediately.

Some students are looking for a way to enter the workforce as soon as possible. Others need some time and additional preparation as they define more clearly where they want to go and what they want to do. Regardless of motivation or thought process, all of our students should be valued, supported, and encouraged to pursue the avenue that suits them.

This is where UNM-LA steps in. Perfectly placed and equipped to fill the need, UNM-LA enables young adults who are just getting started on their post-high school adventure the possibility of obtaining a certification in highly-valued fields. For example, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certifications offer concrete steps into the professional world. The course work offered at UNM-LA in these fields prepares students to take the certification exams with confidence and equips them to walk into a job. 

Other certification programs offered at UNM-LA include welding, robotics, and electro-mechanical technology. These fields of study appeal to the practical, “hands-on” student. Individuals who pursue these skills at UNM-LA become confident and competitive, demonstrating to potential employers they have a measure of discipline and perseverance. 

On the other hand, some students are looking for a solid, two-year academic program—to get a start in their college career or perhaps to pursue an associate degree. UNM-LA offers a variety of general education courses that compete with the main campus in quality and value. A classic function of the university, this training enables students to develop critical thinking as well as qualitative skills and broader social awareness. Our local university offers affordable, transferable academic credit with small classes and excellent faculty, close to home.

The double-edged challenge UNM-LA faces is being able to offer enough courses to attract students while simultaneously having enough students to offer the courses. Recruitment and retention of students, assisting them with financial aid, and enabling them to complete a degree or certification program are all part of the discussion regarding how UNM-LA can best meet the needs of the wide variety of students in northern New Mexico. 

UNM-LA leadership and staff are addressing these challenges. The Advisory Board can play a part in the on-going process, exploring the options, the impediments, and the potential for enhancing two-year programs and adding four-year degree programs. The Advisory Board may be able to participate in building the support from main campus, establishing partnerships with community entities, and seeking funding sources.

I am eager to be a part of this discussion and the forward movement of UNM-LA. This is why I am running for Position 2 on the Advisory Board. Thank you for your support in this election!

Chuck MCullough