NNMC COVID-19 Information   [Learn More]
Question: Will Northern ever offer graduate programs, such as MBAs?

Thank you for your question. Graduate programs would not be offered at Northern anytime soon.  Even if a decision to go that route were made today, offering them would take at least two additional years. Graduate programs have a longer approval process with the state of New Mexico, and we would have to change our mission with our accreditors, the Higher Learning Commission.

Question: When will the grounds throughout campus be beautified?

Thank you for your question. If you have been on campus lately, you may have noticed that some of the beautification efforts are already underway, with our Facilities team laying gravel on the Española campus, with special thanks to Gabriel Martinez and GM Emulsion for donating the gravel, as well as to all of the members of our Facilities team for their hard work and dedication to making sure that we have a safe, beautiful campus to support our mission.

We are pleased to begin revitalizing Chacon Park at the El Rito Campus. The park is not only part of what makes our historic campus beautiful, but it is an important part of the community as a whole. We are installing new playground equipment and working with youth volunteer groups from Ghost Ranch’s Outdoor Adventure Program to clean up the park and do renovation work to benches, signs, and other park infrastructure. In addition to this work, we are also pleased to be hosting the USDA Forest Service on campus, as they manage the controlled burn of the Comanche Fire near El Rito, helping to keep our forests healthy.

Also, as part of providing excellent service to our students, we are working with our Student Services team on a new One Stop Student Services center in the Montoya Administration Building. We are excited to announce that materials for the One Stop have been ordered and renovation is set to begin this summer.

Stay tuned for more Northern campus beautification projects!

Question: Is Northern still planing on eventually opening a student housing facility/dorms in the near future as it had ones been mentioned back in 2019? And if so how far away from the current date?

Thank you for your question. As Northern's president, I strongly support creating student housing on campus. We will keep the Northern community informed of our progress.

Question: Is it true that Northern New Mexico College is planning to remodel the campus? And if so when will this take place?

Thank you for the question. As with many other institutions we constantly work to keep our facilities updated. We are not remodeling per se but using funds to upgrade our facilities.

Question: Could the library be opened? It would really help with online classes.

Thanks for the question. We are working on relocating the COVID testing center to the parking lot outside the Nick Salazar Center for the Arts.  Once that is complete, and the library thorough cleaning is finished, we plan on opening it for students.  We hope to have an update on this soon.  Thanks very much for your patience.

Question: With a yes or a no answer; will there be in-person classes in the spring of 2022.

Yes. We already have in-person classes this semester in the trades, nursing, education, and some science labs, and will continue those in the spring. As conditions improve, we will incorporate more in-person courses in the other disciplines. But I cannot promise that we will have as many in-person classes in the spring as we did before the pandemic. Ultimately, we will make decisions based on the health and safety of the community, and will do so with the understanding that some students are really excited about having more options. We will keep you posted. Thanks for the question.

Question: Since the college is planning to open to in-person learning in the fall, why do all of the classes in the schedule of classes say "Blackboard?"
Question: The state has announced that it expects to have more pandemic response mandates lifted by early/mid July (fully reopened state economy); so why are we still going to remain in an online format for the fall of 2021 semester?

Thank you for the question. Because of the nature of the pandemic, and the uncertainty of the possibility of variants, we instructed all of our academic teams to prepare for the possibility of online classes this fall. As circumstances become safer to hold them in person (and we are getting there), there will be opportunities for some classes to move back into an on campus posture. We also are responding to some students who, because of vulnerable family members or other circumstances, are asking to maintain their classes online as much as possible. So we are working hard to provide options for both to the maximum extent possible. We will send more guidance this summer. Rest assured that we will make sure we are keeping everyone safe and healthy, and at the same time remain sensitive to many of our students who are eagle to return to campus.

Question: Why does the nursing graduates get a commencement ceremony but not us? When will we have our turn?

Thanks very much for the question. The event last Friday was not a commencement ceremony for the nursing students, but a pinning ceremony which represents an important milestone in their profession. The nursing graduates will celebrate commencement with all of our Class of 2021 and Class of 2020 graduates at a series of commencement activities planned for mid-September. Please stay tuned for details. Rest assured we will celebrate all of our students' great accomplishments with friends and family, and our entire community.

Question: Why does the administration get to go in-person and avoid all of the trouble that comes with online while us students flunk?

Thanks very much for the question, and I certainly understand the frustration that you and many of our students are feeling after 14 months of challenges with the virtual environment. We have actually been very strict with administration (and everyone else) in terms of physical presence on campus. We needed to keep health and safety at the forefront, and in doing so, we kept very tight restrictions on who could be on campus and when. For most of the last year, we limited the number of staff on campus per day to five people total. And it has worked. After 14 months of this crisis, we are proud that there has not been a single virus case that originated from either campus.  And now that the situation is getting better, we are looking at reopening in a safe and thoughtful way.

In terms of your class challenges, please know that you are not without support. Our entire college is here to support you. If you have any questions about how to engage in grade appeals or any other issues, please reach out to our Assistant Provost for Student Affairs, Dr. Don Appiarius, at don.appiarius@nnmc.edu. He can walk you through the process. Please hang in there – we will be on the other side of the crisis soon.

Question: Will fall 2021 be completely online? If so, is there a way to skip the semester without losing the New Mexico lottery scholarship?

Thanks for the questions. Academic Affairs has been preparing to start courses online in the fall, but the college will consider exceptions for certain classes, particularly if the professor and students have been vaccinated and/or we can mitigate the risks.  As for the continued qualification for the Lottery Scholarship, please contact our Financial Aid office for guidance on that and the Opportunity Scholarship.  Thanks!

Question: Can we keep the Chromebooks?

Thank you for the question. When we purchased the Google Chromebooks, they were intended to be used as a free loan to current students. If you are still a registered student, the IT department has been allowing students to hold on to them. But we ask that once you graduate, please return it so that we can loan it out to other students who are in need. Thanks!

Question: Will there be a Graduation ceremony in May?

Thanks very much for the question. We are committed to holding in-person commencement ceremonies both for the Class of 2020 and for the Class of 2021. We will do so when we can invite graduates, families and friends to do so safely. Our success as a community in vaccination and stemming the tide of the virus will determine the timing of the event. If it is not yet safe to do so in May we will postpone it but are hopeful to do it sometime later this year.

Question: Considering the Covid-19 vaccine roll out, when will the campus reopen? what about in-person learning?

Thanks for the great question.  We are not only keeping an eye on the vaccine rollout, but are also in constant contact with the Office of the Governor and the Secretary of Higher Education.  We will plan to open the campus to in-person learning based on the availability of the vaccine and (just as important) the percentage of our community who receive it.  On our website, we will post information about how to register in advance for a vaccine appointment.  We ask that all of you please do so and receive the vaccine as soon as possible.  When we have a majority of our community members vaccinated, we will be in a position to offer in-person learning again.  Unfortunately I cannot give you a date certain for that yet, but rest assured we are looking forward to that day as much as many of you are.  More to follow -- please stay up to date with my video updates.  I will keep this topic at the forefront of my announcements.  Thanks again, and we hope to see you all in person sometime soon!

Question: When will the bookstore and library reopen?

Both will open when it is safe to do so. In the midst of the pandemic, as difficult as it has been, we feel strongly that public spaces need to be limited to the max extent possible.

This is also in keeping with the governor's pandemic safety guidelines.  In the interim, the Library and Bookstore staff are available to assist student needs. Also, Please don't hesitate to use the chat feature on the nnmc.edu website or reach out to the library and bookstore directly. Contact info is available as well on the website.

  • Library: library@nnmc.edu, (505) 747-2243
  • Bookstore: auxiliary@nnmc.edu, (505) 747-5406
Question: When is NNMC going to consider having and placing Mobile WifI vans or units in the communities where students need a boost in signal, in Abiquiu, El Rito, Ojo , Truchas, Pojoaque, and areas around the pueblos?

Great question. We are working on a few items to help students, faculty and staff with broadband access. First, we are procuring hotspots and jetpacks which will be loaned out for free to individuals who meet certain criteria of need.  We are also working with state and community leaders to explore regional solutions for long-term wi-fi availability.

Question: Is there a way for the college to set up an online bookstore to where we could buy merchandising that the physical book store sold before covid-19 such as t-shirts, banners,etc...?

Thanks very much for the question! Our Auxiliaries Director is teaming up with our Marketing Team to photograph our current inventory of items in stock. We hope to offer an opportunity soon for students, faculty, staff, and community members to purchase items online and have them delivered.  More to come on this!

Question: What are the parameters to be qualified for a scholarship? If the student is taking 6 credits, A+ so far in all classes, above 50 years of age.
Thank you for the question. The Northern Scholarship eligibility requirements are as follows:
  1. You intend to pursue a degree or certificate at Northern
  2. You must enroll in a minimum of six (6) credits during Fall 2020
  3. You have completed a 2020-2021-FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  4. You are not on academic probation
  5. You are in good standing with the NNMC Business Office (no student loan defaults, no outstanding debts to Northern, or overpayments from Department of Education).
Question: Adding a drivers course to NNMC would be very helpful for many students. Do you think the college could add it?
Thanks for the question.  We have been in preliminary discussions with Rio Arriba and Los Alamos Counties, as well as the City of Española, regarding the possibility of future Commercial Driver's License (CDL) courses through our Continuing Education program, or perhaps even in the future through our Branch Community College.  Please continue to keep this on our radar -- thanks again!
Question: With the fall semester going all online due to certain circumstances, will students like myself be charged an online fee for those courses, since they were suppose to be in person and we all trying to figure out our cost for the fall. Thank you!

Thank you for your thoughtful question. The only classes that will still be charged the online fee are classes that were online before the covid-10 transition to all online instruction.

Students taking any class that was formerly (pre-Covid-19) either face to face or hybrid will not be charged the online fee.

Question: Will there still be an in person graduation for spring 2020 when the health crisis is over?

Absolutely. We are committing to holding an in-person celebration of our 2020 graduates. We feel it is important to celebrate your accomplishments with your family, friends, and our entire community. More details will be forthcoming once it is safe for us to hold the event, and we will give plenty of advance notice so everyone can make plans to attend.

Question: Hello, President Bailey. Due to this Coronavirus outbreak, will the class of 2020 be able to have their graduation ceremony, so they don’t feel robbed of their special day?

Thanks so much for the question. Students who meet the requirements for degree completion this semester will graduate and have transcripts available once they are completed by the registrar. While we must monitor the status of the pandemic and cannot give a date yet, the College is committed to hosting a live, in-person ceremony and celebration when it is safe for us to convene again as a community. #FlyLikeAnEagle

Question: Hello President Bailey, I am a current student at the college, and I, like a few others, are not able to drive for various reasons. I live in El Rito, but I am having a difficult time transporting back and forth. I was wondering is there would be a chance for a bus from both campuses that runs till 9ish at night. since this would be a great asset to many who live in the north, and to me who attends classes at night. From Sierra Cook.

Thanks so much for the question, and for highlighting the challenge of transportation.  As a fellow resident of El Rito, I understand that travel to Española is not easy, and is almost impossible right now without a personal vehicle. You are not alone, by the way. On a survey we gave out last year to all of our students, almost 16% indicated that transportation is a serious challenge.  Here are a few things we are doing to try and help.

First, we are working on a transportation network that will take place within the next year to support our community college trades initiatives, and include round trip shuttle service transportation to and from the high schools in our five partner public school districts (Española, Pojoaque, Mesa Vista, Chama and Jemez Mountain). Unfortunately, that may only happen on specific days and times that might not suit your specific needs. The other is an initiative called Up$tart, where through our Financial Aid Office, we try to help low income students with more access to federal and state aid funding (potentially up to $3000 per student per year).  For some, that may be able to assist with transportation costs. Again, I know we are not there yet, but we are definitely working to find ways to tackle some of these pressing challenges. Thanks again for the question, Sierra, and thank you for your commitment to Northern –#FlyLikeAnEagle

Question: Why is the Northern Bookstore closed on Fridays? I was told that I could come by and get book order help and supplies anytime. I took the afternoon off only to find out the bookstore was closed. Please help me understand how this is serving me a student. This was also discussed in class by other classmates. Please advise and please have the bookstore re-open again. Thanks.

Thank you very much for the question. The reason for the new schedule is that the bookstore has had very little traffic on Fridays, and not just lately but for the last few years. We published a broadcast with the new schedule on August 29, and extended the hours on the other days so that more students could take advantage of the service. We do have to be thoughtful about how we spend our precious resources, particularly so we don't raise tuition. That said, because you mention that you are not alone in this concern, please feel free bring this up to our Student Senate leadership. I am happy to have a conversation about the best way forward.  Thanks again for voicing your concern.

Question: Was there an election for Student Senate for this school year?

Thank you for your question. There was a call for Student Senate applications starting late spring semester. There were too few applicants for an election, so they have been appointed. If you are interested in serving in Student Senate, please go to the Student Senate webpage, and fill out the application. To learn more, you can go to a Student Senate meeting, held every Wednesday, 10 am in the Student Government space next to the cafeteria.

Question: Why might a student have an "FTAC Advisement Hold?"

Thank you for your question. First year students, and those with less than 30 credits or three semesters at Northern, are required to meet with an advisor before they can register. Once these students meet with their advisors, the advisement hold will be lifted. If you have further questions or if you think your Advisement Hold is in error, please call the Advisement Center at 505.747.2150.

Question: Hi Dr. Bailey, I am not sure if you are aware, but there was a tragic shooting last Thursday. It involved former HEP/CAMP & EVHS students. I am aware that we do not have counseling services yet, but where can we go to talk to someone about our feelings? Thank you

Thank you for your question. We are deeply saddened by the shooting on Highway 68 last week. Our deepest sympathies go out to Cameron Martinez's family, and we pray for the recovery of those wounded in the incident. We must all stand vigilant against violence in Northern New Mexico, so that we continue to move forward as one united community.

For those of you who are friends with those involved in the incident, please know that we are here to offer support. If anyone would like to talk to someone, please call Ms. Kiersten Figurski at 747-5013 so we can connect you with a caring counselor. Let us move forward from this incident, as an institution committed to a more peaceful and loving community.

Question: Why are classes not offered every semester and at times that are convenient for working parents or at least online to accommodate people who are unable to attend the classroom setting? I have found it very difficult and discouraging finishing my degree with Northern. I have been in school for what seems like forever; and then to add to the frustration, every single year I receive a letter from the financial Aid office saying that I have used a certain amount of my allowable financial aid but it seems like every year I am taking classes that are unnecessary and that don't pertain to my degree just to keep my FT student status. This last semester I took two out of three classes that were completely unnecessary just to obtain my part time student status and then the financial aid didn't cover the total amount and was left with an amount due for classes that I didn't even want or need to take. Is this going to continue to be the case for semesters to come?

Thank you for the thoughtful question. You bring up an issue that is very important, particularly for a small college like Northern. Oftentimes, there are a few classes we offer that have very few students sign up for them. We still try to teach as many of those as we can, but if we did that for every class, we would end up driving our costs up to an unacceptable level (meaning tuition increases, etc.)  So we look for other ways to increase efficiencies, and, most importantly, give our students the flexibility they need to complete their educational goals more quickly.

This summer, Northern signed a Memorandum of Understanding with New Mexico Highlands University to test a class sharing arrangement. We are testing between 4-6 classes this fall which are traditionally low enrollment for both institutions. Rather than cancelling these classes, we will combine them, so that students will participate with the students from the other institution (through Zoom technology). Northern students will still remain Northern students, and Highlands students will remain Highlands students.

If the test run is successful in the fall, we will expand the course offerings for spring and fall 2019.  This is the first arrangement of its kind in the state, and we are incredibly proud to be innovating in this way.

Also, please contact our advisement center (505.747.2150), so that we can assist with your degree plan.

Question: Regarding "Why Education in the Española Valley is Important for Santa Fe," my question is shouldn't we be more concerned about why Education in Espanola is important for Española and the surrounding communities first before we are concerned about Santa Fe?

Great question. Yes, education in the Española Valley is more important to the valley than anywhere else. Believe me – my heart is here. And I know I speak for our faculty and staff as well. All of our efforts are focused on making a difference here in the valley. In my opinion, however, we need the rest of the state to think – and care – about the success of the Española Valley. The Journey Santa Fe event is an opportunity for us to explain to a Santa Fe audience why success for our students at Northern New Mexico College is actually good for everyone in the state, including its capital.

Question: As a former student of NNMC it has been brought to my attention that the athletic program scholarships are enormous, and it is bothersome that the Native American Communities surrounding NNMC tuition waivers are no longer in place. It seems like this is an injustice to our communities.

Thank you for the question. We do offer scholarships to some student athletes, but they are not as enormous as you think. Some student athlete scholarship money is distributed each year based on need, other funding sources, etc. As for Native American tuition waivers, I am happy to report that we passed a resolution last year with our Board of Regents that allows each of our Eight Northern Pueblo neighbors to select a student each semester (fall and spring), and that student earns a scholarship from Northern New Mexico College equal to full tuition. This is very similar to the program you mention in your question.

We are in the process of putting MOUs (Memorandums of Understanding) together with each of the Pueblos who are interested (we already have them in place for Ohkay Owingeh and Nambe, are finalizing one with San IlDefonso, and hopefully will have the others in place by the end of the summer.) Thanks again for the question!

Question: Will the passing grade of  C+ change to a C?

On May 29, Northern's Board of Regents will be voting on the change to the failing grade of  "C- and below" to "D+ and below". If approved, this will be valid only for grades assigned starting in Fall 2018.

Question: President Bailey, What are you going to do for students who travel a big distance and would like to attend Northern. Does Northern provide housing for out of town or out of state students? Thank you

Thank you very much for your question.  Right now, Northern New Mexico College is the only 4-year institution in the state without operational student residences (we do have facilities in El Rito for approximately 100 students, but will need a year or so before those are available again).

The good news is that several potential investors have shown interest in the possibility of a public-private partnership to build student residences on or close to our Española campus.  Our best guess is that we are still about two years away from being able to open a facility like that, but will work diligently to move forward.

In addition, Northern is working on increasing our capacity for distance education.  As the most affordable four-year college in all of the southwest US, we know that we will be an attractive option for those who want quality, fully-accredited programs but have challenges with transportation.  I am excited about the possibility of serving students in Northern New Mexico for whom transportation is a prohibitive factor. I will keep the college and community updated on all of these efforts.

Question: Dr. Bailey, since the number of enrollments have been increasing this past semester, does that mean that there will be a tuition decrease in the near future?

Thank you for the thoughtful question.  It is true — enrollment at Northern New Mexico College has continued to grow over the past two years. This has led us to be one of the only schools in the state not to raise tuition for the FY19 school year. 

We are also exploring a multi-tiered tuition structure, where 1st and 2nd year courses are at a lower tuition and fee structure than 3rd and 4th year. These changes are being considered for the FY20 school year, and we will be looking for input from our students and the public throughout the process.

Let me also say that we take our tuition and fees very seriously.  We continue to be, by far, the most affordable four-year college in all of the Southwest US.  We know we have to stay on the top of that list because of the community we serve.  It is our intention to stay in the number one spot, and we will do everything we can to offer world-class quality, affordable educational opportunities for all of Northern New Mexico.

Northern offers over 50 bachelor's, associate and certificate programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math); Nursing and Health Sciences; Liberal Arts and Humanities; Arts, Film & Media; Business Administration; Teacher Education and Technical Trades.
Northern New Mexico College is the most affordable 4-year college in the Southwestern US. Choose us for our value, our quality degree and continuing education programs in diverse areas of study, and our experienced faculty. We provide students with unique opportunities for academic, personal, and professional growth, small class sizes, personalized attention, and strong hands-on experiences from day one.
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.