A World of Difference

A World of Difference

April has been a pivotal month for Southeast New Mexico College (SENMC)—and what a difference a few years make.

In April 2021, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed House Bill 212, which created SENMC from what was previously New Mexico State University – Carlsbad.

A year later, the “transfer of functions, personnel, property, contracts and references in law” became effective on April 10, 2022.

By April 2023, the preparations were about to come to fruition as SENMC opened registration for Fall 2023 classes. While there were many twists and turns along the way, we did indeed begin the fall term completely separate from NMSU, offering federal financial aid as an independent college for the first time. To add to what was a very eventful semester, we hosted our ten-year reaffirmation of accreditation visit from the Higher Learning Commission in October 2023 and filed for the final “change of control” that would establish our accreditation singularly as SENMC.

Now in April 2024, we are pleased to announce that everything was accepted as submitted. Like all other state colleges and universities in New Mexico, SENMC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. We are approved to offer certificates and two-year associate degrees, the same as when we were NMSU-Carlsbad. On an even more exciting note, based on the evaluation of the site visit team last fall, our accreditation is now effective through the 2033-2034 academic year. And you do not have to take my word for it. It is public and published on the Commission’s website at https://www.hlcommission.org/ if you would like to do your own research and see for yourself.

We are celebrating all this with the community via our signature event, Taste of Culture, which has been moved to April to coincide with the college’s anniversary. It is an exceptional opportunity to enjoy a visit to our campus because you can park in our new front parking lot—and eat for free! Taste of Culture is an evening of global culinary delights brought to you by our faculty and staff. On Thursday, April 11, from 5:00-7:00 pm, we invite you to stop by and enjoy dishes from around the world with no reservations required. It is an opportunity to feed the family and engage your senses in exploring the exotic aromas and flavors that we will have for you and yours.

Beyond the food, it is a time for fellowship as well. SENMC is a diverse learning community with an internationally accomplished faculty and staff. We are proud to have employees who have lived in Azerbaijan, Chile, China, Colombia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, and Yemen. Many have worked around the United States as well, from Colorado to Michigan, Arkansas to South Carolina, and Iowa to Indiana. But what is most important is that we are a college community deeply rooted in New Mexico, with many life-long natives of Eddy County and even more who now call the greater Carlsbad area home.

This is particularly notable in April, which is Community College Month. There are more than a thousand two-year public colleges in the United States. Each is vital to its region and uniquely tailored to its needs. As the American Federation of Scientists recently noted, community colleges are “engines of economic mobility and dynamism.” As an independent college, SENMC is better positioned to finely tune its offerings to meet the demands for skilled employees that will lead the growth of Eddy County and improve our competitiveness for decades to come.

We hope to see you at Taste of Culture on April 11!

Kevin Beardmore may be reached at kbeardmore@senmc.edu or 575.234.9211.

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