First-Year Experience Learning Communities

Logo, First-Year Experience Learning Communities (FYE LC)

Room: ENGR 150
Office Hours: Mon-Thurs, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Fridays 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sundays 5 – 10 p.m.
Phone: 505-454-3189


Keep up with us through Instagram and Snapchat! @nmhufyelc


What’s your Highlands Hacienda?

Find your Hacienda and LC information by clicking on the Hacienda pages below:


Hacienda Palomino Hacienda Grulla
Hacienda Cremello Hacienda Appaloosa


Our Goals:

Academic Integration

Learning Communities connect multiple courses to guide students in making connections between different fields of study, which is the basis of meaningful learning. You will also apply what you learn in the classroom to real-world situations through field experiences, case studies, and other hands-on activities. You will also have the opportunity to showcase your LC work and gain professional presentation experience at a Celebration of Learning event in the SUB Ballroom.

Research shows that studying with a group increases success, so we’ve made that easy for you. Your Peer Mentors offer over 70 study sessions per week that you and your friends can join to figure out different ways to solve problems like “What do I do with these textbooks?” and “How can I use my class notes to do really well in this class?”

Social Integration

Your Peer Mentors are also there for you socially. They will keep you up-to-date on what’s happening around campus and invite you to be a part of what makes college fun. As first-year students, you help your Hacienda win the First-Year Competitions by being active in social events. Which Hacienda will win the traveling trophy this year? As continuing students, you continue your Hacienda involvement by taking the lead planning events and encouraging first-year students to join in the fun.

Personal Integration

Your Integrative Seminar (iSeminar) course is the place to develop not only your academic and social integration but also to focus on your personal growth on a deeper level. In iSeminar you’ll consider things like what’s the best career for you, what major and minor should you select to learn what you want to learn, how to set goal that you can keep, and what to do about your behaviors that aren’t helping you meet your goals. iSeminar is the place to figure things out in a safe space — you have your instructors, peers, and Peer Mentors there to help you problem solve!


Meet your Peer Mentors!


Noel Totman
Lead Peer Mentor

Roxana Lazaro – Lead Peer Mentor

LCs: Communities, Resilience, and Ecosystems 
Haciendas: Appaloosa

Cassidy Kear
LCs: Get with the Rhythm
Haciendas: Appaloosa

Allen Michel
LCs: Know Yourself: Discovering the inner workings of the body
Haciendas: Appaloosa

Karla Espinoza
LCs: Harry Potter: The Magic of Reading and Writing
Haciendas: Appaloosa

Daniel Ulibarri
LCs: Creating Comics: Studying Graphic Narrative 
Haciendas: Cremello

Amada Samora
LCs: BizTech: Let’s Excel
Haciendas: Cremello

Robert Monclova
LCs: Cultural Discovery 
Haciendas: Cremello

Jason Aguirre
LCs: Lighting the Way
Haciendas: Cremello

Ricardo Martinez
LCs: Teachers for Tomorrow
Haciendas: Grulla

Gerardo Montijo
LCs: Conservation: A Celebration of Biodiversity
Haciendas: Grulla

Diana Venegas – Lead Peer Mentor
LCs: Social Workers
Haciendas: Grulla

Venetia Gutierrez
LCs: Voices
Haciendas: Palomino

Oliver Hoffman
LCs: From the Micro to the Macro
Haciendas: Palomino

Taylor Butler
LCs: From the Micro to the Macro
Haciendas: Palomino

Seth Mender
LCs: In Search of the Extraordinary: Awakening true human potential
Haciendas: Palomino

Bryan Covarrubias
Additional Peer Mentor


What is a Learning Community (LC)?

NMHU’s First-Year Experience Learning Communities (FYE-LCs) create learning experiences based on what research shows about how students learn best and how you become successful in college. Because meaningful learning involves making connections between a variety of topics, our FYE-LCs connect multiple courses to guide you in relating different subjects. You also apply what you learn in the classroom to “real-world” situations through field experiences, case studies, and other “hands-on” activities. The LC faculty work together with a Peer Mentor and adviser to support your success and create an enjoyable college experience. A learning community is about Fun, Friends, Support, and Success!

What is the structure of a Learning Community (LC)? 

The typical LC connects three courses together. Two courses are in the core or a major/minor, including any associated labs, and the other course is Integrative Seminar (iSeminar), which provides a community space for problem solving.

Diagram, Class 1, Class 2, Integrative Seminar equals student success

Your LC is determined based on who you are and what you like;

Icon, I'm interested in culture.

all the same students are in the three courses with you so you make friends with peers who share your interests;

Icon, Culture is interesting!

the faculty work together to help you make connections; and a peer mentor and adviser are linked to the LC to support you in your success.

Icon, Peer Mentor, Professor, and Advisors are here to assist you.

Each LC is part of a “Highlands Hacienda,” a group of 4-5 LCs that share a common brand and goal to win the “First-Year Competitions.” This structure makes it easy to build relationships, enjoy your first year as Highlands Cowboys/Cowgirls, and make connections around campus.

Hacienda horseshoes, 4-5 Learning Communities per Hacienda