NMSU Carlsbad programs aim to improve education in Carlsbad – Carlsbad Current Argus

New Mexico State University (NMSU) Carlsbad had a variety of programs aimed at training, recruiting and improving the quality of teachers in the community and the state. 

New Mexico had long-standing issues with teacher vacancies throughout the state, according to a yearly report published by NMSU. The 2020 New Mexico Educator Vacancy Report showed there was a gradual improvement as teacher vacancies dropped by 23 percent since 2018. 

Even with this progress communities like Carlsbad had trouble filling positions for teachers, said to Superintendent of Carlsbad Schools Dr. Gerry Washburn. 

The Adelante project promotes education degrees to Hispanic, at-risk and low-income students said program manager Ron Morales. Carlsbad’s population is 51 percent Hispanic, according to the United States Census Bureau.  

The program began in 2018 after it received a competitive Title V Grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (DHSI) Program.

Morales said the project encouraged students to pursue Early Childhood Education and K-12 Education degrees and transfer to four-year universities after finishing an Associates degree. 

“Another goal that we have is to increase the educational and support services,” Morales said. 

The program works with the Academic Success Coaching services at NMSU Carlsbad which help students tackle challenges like time management, organization and study skills. Morales said he also tried to help students by sending regular emails, making sure they are ok. 

“Even when they’re silent I think they’re reading, and then when you get that gracious email that says, ‘hey thank you for checking on me,’ I mean, that’s just priceless,” Morales said. 

Dr. Hongxia Zhao started her own project