March 15, 2021
Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University provost and vice president for academic affairs Roxanne Gonzales is a new board member for the University Professionals and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA).
Gonzales assumes her role on the UPCEA board in April 2021. This American nonprofit focuses on professional, continuing and online higher education
“UPCEA is important to Highlands because we have been serving adult learners for many years,” Gonzales said. “This organization focuses on best practices and research in serving adult learners in continuing education in degree programs both in person and online.
“One of my goals is to represent smaller comprehensive universities and Hispanic-Serving Institutions like Highlands, especially those in rural settings,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said her service with the University Professionals and Continuing Education Association will help enhance the way Highlands serves online learners.
“As we move forward with additional online programming, this organization will help guide us with current trends in the field of online learning and support services to online learners,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said currently in New Mexico, there are more than 270,000 individuals who have some college credit but no degree.
“The idea is to offer fully online programming to provide flexibility and accessibility to adults who want to finish a degree for career advancement and attainment,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said Highlands is developing more programs that are specifically geared for online learning.
“Some examples include our MBA program and Master of Social Work program. We’re also currently developing two online degree completion programs for adult learners,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said another benefit of her University Professionals and Continuing Education Association board service is that the Highlands University faculty and staff will have online access to all the services UPCEA offers including conferences, research and webinars.
Gonzales joined Highlands University as provost and vice president of academic affairs spring semester 2017. She came to Highlands from Clarion University in Pennsylvania, where she served as executive dean.
Some previous positions include academic dean in the College of Professional Studies at Regis University; dean of distance learning at Park University; director of education and training at Hanscom Air Force Base; and guidance counselor/assistant education services officer at Bitburg Air Base in Germany.
Gonzales earned her doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts – Boston.
Gonzales is published and presents nationally on adult learning, military/veteran education environments, online learning environments, assessment of learning, and alternative programming for first-generation college learners.