January 21, 2015

Thomasinia at HEC[web]
Photo: Rick Loffredo/Highlands University
Highlands Santa Fe Center director Thomasinia Ortiz-Gallegos, right, talks with people who attended the grand opening celebration Jan. 14 for the Santa Fe Higher Education Center.

Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University’s Santa Fe Center is at a new, more convenient location that makes it easier for students to access higher education and complete their degree at a one-stop center.

Highlands Santa Fe is located at the new Santa Fe Higher Education Center, which opened for classes Jan. 12 and celebrated its grand opening Jan. 14. The center is at 1950 Siringo Road – at the northeast corner of Siringo and Yucca Street.

“Our new location across the street from Santa Fe High School is a constant visual reminder to these students that they can pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Highlands right in their backyard,” said Thomasinia Ortiz-Gallegos, director, Highlands Santa Fe Center. “I think this new educational hub in such a central location will inspire Santa Fe people of all ages and stages in life to strive for their educational goals.”

Santa Fe Community College operates the new center that houses four other partner institutions, including Highlands, New Mexico State University, University of New Mexico, and Institute of American Indian Arts.

The 34,000-square-foot Santa Fe HEC was built with funding from a bond issue Santa Fe voters approved in 2010.

“This Higher Education Center is all about making access to education easier and it’s thrilling to be part of this partnership. Highlands has had a center in Santa Fe since 1996 and we will continue to provide affordable academic excellence at this new location,” Ortiz-Gallegos said.

The administrative offices for the Highlands Santa Fe Center are on the first floor of the building. The dedicated Highlands University classrooms – five of the 15 total classrooms – are clustered on the second floor, along with a Highlands workstation equipped with computers and printers for students and faculty.

“Having our Highlands classrooms together builds a great learning community for the students. This is a very warm, welcoming, open building. It’s an exceptional space for student-centered education.

“Our students – many of whom are nontraditional and work full time ¬– are highly motivated. They are very happy to have this new space to call home,” Ortiz-Gallegos said.

Highlands will continue to offer bachelor’s degree programs in education, social work, business and criminal justice in Santa Fe. A master’s degree program is offered in education, while an online MBA program is also available.

Highlands also offers an online RN-BSN program at Highlands Santa Fe for nurses who have earned an associate degree in nursing.

The Highlands classes are taught in traditional classroom settings, as well as via distance education. Some of the classes are in the evenings, accommodating working students.

Ortiz-Gallegos said the Highlands Santa Fe Center provides a full array of services to students, like academic advising, financial aid, registration, an online library, and more.

“Highlands is here to help our students every step of the way,” Ortiz-Gallegos said.

For more information about the Highlands Santa Fe Center’s degree programs visit http://www.nmhu.edu/statewidecenters/santafe/index.aspx

To contact Highlands Santa Fe, call 505.424.9185, or email Ortiz-Gallegos at togallegos@nmhu.edu