El Rito Campus

Heritage Art Classes move to Northern's Espanola Campus

Rio Grande Style Weaving and Spanish Colonial Woodcarving, two of Northern's Heritage Arts classes, have moved to the Española campus, in bright new state-of-the-art workshop spaces in the Arts Annex building.

LEARN MORE about Continuing Education at Northern on the Community & Continuing Education page.
For more information: Please contact Cecilia Romero, 505-747-5477 and cromero@nnmc.edu

2019 Northern NM Normal School
Alumni Association (NNMNSAA)
Application Deadline: June 30, 2019

The NNMNSAA Legacy Scholarships are for NM high school graduating seniors who have been accepted to a vocational school, college or university. Scholarship amount may vary between $500-$1000 depending on the number of applications received and Scholarship recipients selected by the NNMNSAA Scholarship Committee.

Download the application and full instructions here.
A complete application must be e-mailed in to NNMNSAA by the deadline, June 30, 2019. Late entries and incomplete applications will not be accepted.

NNMNSAA LEGACY Scholarship Requirements
Applicant must provide:

  • An official copy of his/her most recent high school transcript.
  • An official "Letter of Acceptance" from a Vocational School, College or University.
  • A brief essay (750 word-double spaced) in response to the following essay questions:
    • How will your higher education allow you to give back to your community?
    • How will your language and culture benefit you on your educational journey and future endeavors?
    • How will this scholarship help you achieve your educational objectives?
  • Two (2) letters of reference from a school counselor, instructor, teacher, coach, employer, or community member.
The El Rito Campus is home to the El Rito Normal School Alumni archives, memorial and orchard, and continues to be a center for community activities.

Alumni Hall is available year-round for community events, including the monthly New Mexico Food Depot distribution. The El Rito Water Association office is housed in Delgado Hall, and properties on and near campus are offered for rental to the El Rito community. The El Rito campus grounds and park are open to the public daily from 7am to 10 pm.

For more information, please contact Hope Vigil at 575.581.4100.

"The Normal at El Rito, An Enduring Spirit"

The Northern New Mexico Normal School Alumni Association (NNMNSAA) has released a book titled, The Normal at El Rito, An Enduring Spirit. This work depicts the history of the El Rito Normal School, as it was known for many years.The book was compiled by a former El Rito faculty member, Ben Casados, and two El Rito Normal School alumni and former educators, Eileen Gallegos Trujillo, and Cecilia Gonzales de Tucker.

The book traces the history of the school since its founding in 1909 to its final graduating class at El Rito in 1969.  During its 60 years of existence, The Normal provided teacher training for teachers in rural schools and educational opportunities for Hispanic students coming from rural Northern New Mexico and for students from urban centers in the state.

Its opening in 1909 was not without numerous obstacles, described in the book. The then territorial government was not keen on providing schools for the Hispanic population of rural areas in the state. At the urgings of Venceslao Jaramillo, an El Rito resident and territorial legislator, and two other persons, Mr. L. Bradford Prince, a former NM territorial governor, and Solomon Luna from Tierra Amarilla, another supporter for education for Hispanic students, The Normal opened its doors in 1909 with an enrollment of 37 anxious students, dispelling the notion that Hispanics were not interested in education.

Using historical documents, photographs and personal correspondence from administrators, teachers and students, the book provides a fascinating and engaging narrative of the school’s development and growing pains. Starting with a single building whose original purpose was to be used as a reform school, the school, with the aid of the WPA in the 1930’s grew to a beautiful campus of 19 buildings on a forty-acre campus.  At one time during the 1940’s, it enrolled as many as 600 students. Getting an education was not easy in those days; The Normal was a single provider of education in those early years.  Its history is truly inspiring and fascinating. This book offers a well-documented story of The Normal, a true educational icon of the development of New Mexico’s educational system in the early years of statehood.

The book is available for purchase at: Northern New Mexico College bookstore in Española, or directly from Northern New Mexico Normal School Alumni Association. Contact Ben Casados at bencasados@gmail.com

A book review by El Rito Normal School Alumni

January 2019 marks one year from the time 200 books, titled above, were printed, depicting the history of the Normal School in El Rito.  Following are three separate book reviews submitted by alumni from Northern New Mexico Normal School Alumni Association.

My sister Cecilia, and two colleagues have just published this wonderful book which chronicles the century long history of the Spanish American Normal, the boarding school where we received our high school education. It is an impressive compendium of documents, photos and narratives of an exemplary institution which offered a unique and empowering educational experience to several generations of Hispano youth in Northern New Mexico. The book provides fascinating insights into the complexity of ethnic politics and and struggles for self-determination of Hispanos.

Felicidades y Gracias Cecilia, Eileen and Ben for your determination and hard work! Tangible evidence of our presence — the legacy of all graduates, faculty and staff from The Normal, 1909 - 1969.

I realize I did not write you both after I had time to sit down with the book to tell you what an amazing job you did.   I do not think ANY of us "get" what really went into putting all of it together: the time, energy,  money, headaches (literally, probably), road blocks, trouble-shooting, conflicts, sleepless  night, (probably), and on and on.  It is an amazing endeavor, and so important to the history of education, the culture, and of the area that so needed to be documented.

I just wanted you both to know, I do not take for granted your extraordinary efforts. My brothers and cousins feel the same way. Even the cousins who did not attend El Rito. I got them all books which they are grateful to have and told me they are so glad to hand it down to their children and grand children.

This book can be purchased at Northern New Mexico College Bookstore or by contacting Ben Casados at bencasados@gmail.com or Eileen Trujillo at 505-412-0807.

Distant Learning Coordinator

Date: July 9, 2019 Application Deadline: Open until filled Position Title: Distant Learning Coordinator FLSA: Non-Exempt Job Type: Regular/Full-Time Salary: Commensurate with education...

Plumbers & Pipefitters Center of Excellence (PPCoE) El Rito Campus Project Director

Date: June 26, 2019 Application Deadline: Open Until Filled Position Title: Plumbers & Pipefitters Center of Excellence (PPCoE) El Rito Campus Project Director...

Dual Credit Coordinator

Date: June 20, 2019 Application Deadline: Open until filled Position Title: Dual Credit Coordinator FLSA: Non-Exempt Department: Student Services Job Type: Part-time 20...

Safety & Security Officer

Date: June 20, 2019 Application Deadline: Open until filled Position Title: Safety & Security Officer Department: Safety & Security Job Type: Regular/Full-Time FLSA:...

Northern's Dr. Steve Cox and the NNM STEM Mentor Collective featured as model for STEM and Maker Education

Great work by Northern's Dr. Steve Cox and the NNM STEM Mentor Collective, celebrated as a model for STEM education at 2nd Annual...


Date: May 23, 2019 Application Deadline: Open Until Filled Position Title: Custodian FLSA: Non-Exempt Department: Facilities Job Type: Regular/Full-Time Pay Range: $11.20 SUMMARY:...

Assistant Provost for Student Affairs

May 21, 2019 - The Assistant Provost for Student Affairs is the Chief Student Service Officer for the college, and reports to the...

Spring 2019 Commencement Information

For Northern Faculty, Staff, Students, Regents, and Guests Northern’s 2019 Spring Commencement Saturday, May 18, 9am, Eagle Gymnasium You are invited to attend...


  Northern New Mexico College (NNMC) is a public two-year and four-year degree granting institution founded in 1909 by the New Mexico Constitution. ...



Choose us for our value, our quality degree and continuing education programs in diverse areas of study, our experienced faculty, and NORTHERN provides students with unique opportunities for academic, personal and professional growth. “You will have personalized attention, something difficult to get at larger colleges. We provide strong hands-on experiences from day one.” –Dr. Ivan Lopez, Dean, College of Engineering & Technology
The Northern Foundation remains committed to stimulate leadership, promote equity, and grow resources and philanthropy in the Española Valley and surrounding rural areas. Over the past twenty years, we have granted $1.3 million to support over 1,250 NNMC students.