Highlands Rio Rancho Center

New Mexico Highlands University’s Rio Rancho Center has been in Rio Rancho since 1997. We house students, staff and faculty in a safe, clean, and friendly environment.

The Rio Rancho Center started out by providing the community with distance learning courses. We have now expanded to offer courses and degrees in teacher education, business administration, social work, and arts and sciences. We specialize in criminal justice, psychology, and university studies. The Rio Rancho Center also  houses the Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations.

NMHU’s Rio Rancho Center leads many outreach and community events, including a transfer partnership with CNM, in addition to other two-year community colleges. We also conduct outreach to local high schools, college and career fairs, and community events.

We always look for ways to develop partnerships with the local business community. In fact, the Rio Rancho Center is available for community groups and businesses to conduct their meetings. Email Charley Ford at clford@nmhu.edu or call 505-891-6910 to check on availability.

We welcome the opportunity to show you all that the NMHU Rio Rancho Center provides. Come and visit us!

Contact us:
1700 Grande Blvd. SE
Rio Rancho, NM 87124
Main Phone: 505-891-6900

Email: riorancho@nmhu.edu

Facebook: www.facebook.com/highlandsriorancho

NMHU Rio Rancho Center is located off Highway 528 (Pat D’Arco Highway) west of Intel, and is accessible from Sara Rd. SE or 19th St. SE.

Questions about Rio Rancho Center operations:

Q: Is the Rio Rancho Center open to students in the summer 2024 (5/13/24-9/9/24) term?
A: Yes! We are open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We are closed Saturdays and Sundays. Services are available in-person or via email, phone, and zoom. Contact Charley Ford, clford@nmhu.edu or Laura LaCour-Johnson, lajohnson@nmhu.edu for student-related questions.

Q: Is the computer lab/ internet available to students at the Rio Rancho Center during the summer 2024 term?
A: Yes. The Rio Rancho computer lab is available Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Curb-side copies and scanning services are also available during these times. Contact the Center via phone at (505) 891-6900 or email (riorancho@nmhu.edu) for assistance.

The parking lot at Rio Rancho is also open to students for WiFi connectivity. Contact the Center Manager for assistance at jamoreno@nmhu.edu.

Q: I am a Rio Rancho student and I need to check out a laptop. Who do I contact?
A: Contact the Center’s Senior Administrative Assistant for assistance with checking out a laptop at leeannromero@nmhu.edu.

Q: I am a Rio Rancho student and I have an ITS-related question, who do I contact?
A: Contact the Center Manager for assistance at jamoreno@nmhu.edu.

Q: Are in-person library services available at Rio Rancho? 
A: No, Helen Robertson (Librarian) is available via email, phone, and Zoom. In-person services are available at Albuquerque. Contact Helen Robertson at (505) 232-6000, or hsrobertson@nmhu.edu for assistance.

Degrees available at the Rio Rancho Center

Undergraduate degrees

Business administration

Criminal justice


Social work

Software systems design

Early childhood multicultural education

Elementary education

Special education

Dual degree in elementary and special education

Graduate degrees

Business administration

Dual degree, MBA and social work

Clinical social work


Curriculum and instruction / Alternative Teacher Certification

Educational leadership

Special education


Course delivery methods

The flexible class schedule for both programs affords students the opportunity to attend on a full-time or part-time basis. Face-to-face classes are offered in the mornings, afternoons, evenings and some weekends. Students may choose to attend either full time days, full-time evenings or a combination of both day and evenings or may attend on a part-time basis.

We also offer online synchronous (at a designated meeting time and day) and online asynchronous (on-demand meeting time and day) for your convenience.

Do you work all week? We also have evening and Saturday courses, so you can plan your studies around your job.

There’s more to come. Check back soon for information about our expanded online degree programs!

The Metro Centers at Albuquerque and Rio Rancho conduct outreach visits in the region. Contact a recruiter below:

Laura LaCour-Johnson
Rio Rancho Center

Student services available at the Rio Rancho Center One-Stop Center


We can answer all your questions right here at the center. Both walk-in and appointment times for advisement are available. Call 505-891-6900 to set something up, or just stop by. We can talk about your future right now!

The Rio Rancho center will also assist with admissions, transferring, and registration. We’ll help you plan your courses of study, your pre-major, and your professional path.

Career Services at the Las Vegas Campus (505) 454-3048

Assistance with obtaining student IDs

Financial aid, including FAFSA, loans, scholarships, VA certification, and payment plans. Contact Charley Ford at the Rio Rancho Center at (505) 891-6910. We also have financial wellness opportunities for our students.

Assistance with navigating the NMHU Banner system, online degree audit, Brightspace, purchasing books, and username creation

Academic help: You will have access to online tutoring at com/d2l/home as well as library resources edu/library/distance-education-library-services.

Has it been a while since your last term paper? We also offer writing support at our edu/writing-center/writingcenter@nmhu.edu

Don’t let anything get in your way. We have accessibility services / (505) 454-3252 to help you in every way we can.

Rio Rancho Center amenities

Computer lab with free printing

Free parking

Kitchen with a microwave and refrigerator

Student lounge to relax, study, or congregate with free coffee, television, WiFi

Campus Life: Giveaways, get-togethers, events, concerts, games, event passes, and much more! Add us on Facebook for more information

Meeting space for NMHU and non-NMHU entities

General Store and Pantry

Who qualifies?
All currently enrolled students can use the free pantry. You don’t have to apply. You’re automatically qualified!

How does it work? 
Bring your NMHU student ID card (or let us know your ID number). This qualifies you to shop the NMHU store once each day. During your first visit, you’ll receive a reusable tote bag, and we’d love to see you bring it each time you shop! There is no charge. Take what you need.

The pantry is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from March 4-May 10. Walk-ins are welcome during these days and times. Remember, all currently enrolled students can use the free pantry.

Where is it?
We’re in the Rio Rancho Center, room 126A. Upon arrival, check-in with the front desk staff.

What’s available, and how much? 
You’re an HU student, so there’s no charge! You can pick up non-perishable items like canned goods, snacks, paper products, and personal hygiene items.

Sponsored by the NMHU Office of Student Affairs and the Metro Center Campus Life committee.

Important Dates

  • 07


    2024 Fall Professional Develoment Days

Alumni occupations

Graduates of NMHU Rio Rancho can be found in the following fields

  • School Principal
  • Head Start Teacher
  • Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor
  • Bilingual Education Coordinator
  • School Counselor
  • Police Officer
  • Small Business Owner

Are you an NMHU alum? Want to give back? Join the NMHU FOUNDATION

Highlands is right for you



We want you to succeed in college and after graduation,
so we have the tools to help begin your career.


NMHU Rio Rancho Center