NMSU Regents approve changes to undergraduate admission requirements

July 23, 2014 by Julie M. Hughes, NMSU News Center

At a regular meeting Wednesday, July 23, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents approved changes to undergraduate admissions requirements subject to the approval of an implementation plan, which will be presented to the board in December.

The new requirements will go into effect for fall 2016.

The approved requirements change the high school GPA needed for automatic admission to NMSU from 2.5 to 2.75. Students who do not have a high school GPA of 2.75 also will be automatically admitted if they have an ACT score of 21 or an SAT score of 990, or they are in the top 20 percent of their graduating class. Other admission requirements would include four years of English (including two years of intensive writing) and four years of math (through Algebra II or higher).

Students who are not offered immediate admission to NMSU may still achieve a four-year degree from NMSU through the university’s Guaranteed Pathway.

The Guaranteed Pathway is designed to enhance the success of students who did not achieve a 2.5 GPA in high school by placing them in one of NMSU’s community colleges. There, students will have smaller classes in a less competitive environment, and will be part of a cohort taking the same classes. Students in the guaranteed pathway will be eligible to transfer to the Las Cruces campus of NMSU if they maintain a 2.5 GPA while earning at least 24 credit hours. After earning 36 credit hours, they can transfer to the main campus with a 2.0 GPA.

Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard, who presented the proposal to the Regents, said the motivation for the change in policy is the knowledge that five out of six of the students with a GPA below 2.75 do not complete an NMSU degree in six years. Students with low GPAs enter NMSU, incur debt, and a high percentage of them are not awarded a bachelor’s degree.

In other business, the Regents approved the creation of Aggie Development Corporation. Aggie Development Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization created under New Mexico’s University Research Park and Economic Development Act. The new corporation will be tasked with real estate development, effective management of NMSU’s real estate and water assets and the creation of new public-private partnerships to benefit both the university and the surrounding community.

Additionally, the board approved the non-instruction and general Legislative requests for fiscal year 2016, including requests for research and public services, agriculture and athletics.

The Regents also heard updates about NMSU’s community college campuses, including enrollment.

NMSU Alamogordo President Cheri Jimeno shared campus highlights on infrastructure at the campus as well as reported on the successful submission of a progress report on student assessment to the Higher Learning Commission and the achievement of a Quality Matters National Award. The campus also has approved four associate degrees and one certificate and hired a vice president of academic affairs. The campus is hosting the 2014 Community College Round Up.

NMSU Carlsbad President John Gratton said Carlsbad is the fastest growing community in New Mexico, which is impacting their campus. They have added additional online courses, shown growth in the dual credit offerings and have new program offerings in health information technology and industrial maintenance technology. They also launched an early college high school to begin fall 2014 and received a full eight-year accreditation following a review visit from the Higher Learning Commission in October 2013.

NMSU Dona Ana Community College President Renay Scott shared with the board that the Higher Learning Commission visited the campus in April and expects a report in August. DACC also has sent a request to the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing for a site visit in 2015. The campus has worked to address previous challenges and is looking forward to the site visit, Scott said. Scott also highlighted retention and student success programs as well as the many certificate programs they offer.

NMSU Grants President Felicia Casados shared highlights on campus renovation projects and shared information about the student body. The campus has a high enrollment of Native American students and serves two primary pueblos and parts of the Navajo Nation. Casados indicated that certificate programs are very important on the campus. She also shared information about the growth in dual enrollment students and said she is particularly proud of their GED programs.

At a strategic planning session July 22, the board presented the Above & Beyond Award to Kevin Boberg, vice president for economic development. The Above & Beyond Award recognizes full-time employees who go the extra distance in service to any and all aspects of the NMSU system. Individuals are recognized for performance that goes “above and beyond” their regular responsibilities and for demonstrating a positive attitude that inspires others.

Boberg has been at NMSU since 1987 and taught courses in marketing, management, international business and industrial engineering. He later became the associate dean for research in the NMSU College of Business as well as president and CEO of the Arrowhead Center. Last summer, he was promoted to vice president for economic development. In that capacity he oversees a wide array of activities and units – each working to enhance local, state and regional economic growth and prosperity.

NMSU recently took part in the public announcement of the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, the genesis of which is traced back to Boberg. His dedicated efforts and belief in the transformative power of this project were instrumental, said Ben Woods, NMSU’s special adviser to the president, who nominated Boberg for the award.

“Kevin Boberg has been an integral part of teams that brought forth many worthy and good things to our university, but he would be the first to tell you that none has the opportunity to transform lives and the future of our state as much as the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine,” Woods said.

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