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NMHU Hot News

Highlands to Help Develop Statewide Early Childhood Learning Needs Assessment

photo of Patricia Jiménez-Latham

Patricia Jiménez-Latham

Las Vegas, N.M. – The Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations at New Mexico Highlands University will play a lead role in developing a statewide early childhood learning needs assessment.

The New Mexico Early Childhood Development Partnership contracted with CESDP to help develop the State of New Mexico’s Early Learning Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan.

“The New Mexico Early Childhood Development Partnership will analyze the information and data gathered through the needs assessment for a 3-year statewide early learning strategic plan that will serve as a roadmap for the new Early Child Education and Care Department which will be fully operational by July 2020,” wrote Kate Noble, vice president for policy and stakeholder engagement with the New Mexico Early Childhood Development Partnership (NMECDP).

Noble also wrote that the needs assessment will gather information and data of the current early learning challenges statewide as well as ideas and recommendations for improvement strategies.

Patricia Jiménez-Latham is the director of the Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations at Highlands.

“The Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations at Highlands is working with the Native American Budget and Policy Institute at the University of New Mexico to facilitate 11 statewide community conversations in communities including New Mexico tribal communities,” Jiménez-Latham said. “CESDP’s role is to lead the facilitation process to ensure a culturally-sensitive and equitable approach in forums as well as conduct one-on-one interviews as part of the Early Childhood Needs Assessment Process.”

Jiménez-Latham said the forums will get input from a wide variety of community stakeholders including parents, tribal leaders, early childhood providers, early learning associations, councils, coalitions, educators, higher education faculty, and others.

“Participants will be invited to in-person forums through existing partnerships and active organizations,” Jiménez-Latham said.

Jiménez-Latham said the project for the community conversations begins in August 2019 and continues through October 2019. She said the final report is due in mid-December 2019.

“The communities selected to engage in the community forums include Las Cruces, Deming, Alamogordo, Roswell, Hobbs, Socorro, Albuquerque, Gallup, Española, Las Vegas and Farmington, as well as several New Mexico tribal communities,” Jiménez-Latham said.

Jiménez-Latham said The Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations at New Mexico Highlands University is an educational diversity center that provides systemic and sustained professional learning for teachers, administrators and parents. CESDP has existed since 1993.