Students, Faculty and staff,
I am amazed at how quickly the semester has reached its final weeks. In no time many of you will be preparing for finals and gearing up for an eventful summer. As is customary, the end of the year is an opportunity for reflection and celebration. Although I know that many of you will be devoted to your studies, I am hopeful that you can participate in activities that will highlight the accomplishments of our Northern community.
Registration for the summer and fall term began last week. Thanks to the hard work of faculty, staff and advisors our enrollment for the upcoming fall 2015 semester is up 23 percent compared to the same time a year ago. I remind students to visit our website to review the new tuition rates for the fall semester and become familiar with the College’s new Tuition Promise program which allows full-time students to lock in their tuition for up to 120 credit hours. The Program, which was adopted by the Board of Regents earlier this month, also simplifies how students are billed for general fees.
This month the Board also provided guidance on the institution’s name change, a topic which has been a point of confusion. Board President Chayo Garcia acknowledged concerns that have been raised about the name change. In light of these concerns, the Board has elected to continue to identify the institution as Northern New Mexico College and re-introduce legislation in 2016 to officially change the name to Northern New Mexico University in statute. I thank those of you who demonstrated tremendous support for the name change in person, on social media and in writing to legislators. I look forward to your continued support in the upcoming session.
For those of you taking classes in the Fall, now is the time to begin working on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Whether you will be attending Northern or transferring to another institution, I encourage you to attend the Financial Aid Application Completion Workshop on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Please also share information on the workshop with a friend or relative who plans on enrolling in a college or university in the Fall.
On May 7, we have combined the Student Senate End of Year BBQ with the annual Academic Research, Creativity and Scholarship Symposium (ARCSS). ARCSS provides a forum for students and faculty to highlight research interests, share mentoring activities, and discuss the role of research and scholarship at the College. Also on May 7, we will issue service pins to faculty and staff who are celebrating several years of service to the College. Student Senate will also be issuing awards to faculty and staff for extraordinary service. Faculty members are asked to use their discretion in allowing classes to take part in these events.
I hope to see you at Commencement on May 16 at 9:00 a.m. in the Eagle Gymnasium. This year we have elected to combine the GED and College graduation ceremonies. We hope that bringing the celebrations together will further enhance the spirit and energy of the occasion. On the evening of May 16, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences will host its annual pinning ceremony. I especially encourage those who have never taken part in this special tradition to participate in the ceremony beginning at 3:30 p.m. in the Nick Salazar Center for the Arts.
Once more, I look forward to meeting with you during the activities planned between now and the end of the semester. Remember to visit our website for more information on upcoming events. I wish you all my very best as you prepare for finals and activities that will take place throughout the summer. Thank you for continuing to make Northern a part of your life.
Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barceló