Building Pathways to Access and Opportunity for the Upper Rio Grande Region

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In partnership with University of New Mexico –Taos (UNM-Taos), Adams State University (ASU) in Alamosa, Colorado and New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) in Las Vegas, NM; UNIDOS is designed to increase access to distance education for students who face challenges concerning distance, geography and life style.This opportunity allows them to pursuing a degree or take courses for personal interest.UNIDOS allows students to transfer between instititutions with ease.

All three partner institutions have unique strengths in quality academic programs, distance education systems (Desire2Learn, Zoom), affordable tuition rates, strong and committed leadership, and a commitment towards continuous faculty development. These universities are Hispanic Serving Institutions(HSI) making them eligible for Title V funding for the UNIDOS Project.

The Program Outcomes


To increase the number of Hispanic and other students enrolling in and succeeding in 2- and 4-year programs at NMHU, ASU and UNM-Taos


To increase the number of distance education courses available to students across northern New Mexico and southern Colorado


Increase the retention, success and graduation rates of all students in the region

The enrollment in online courses at NMHU is increasing significantly and has increased by 143% at the three institutions combined from 2006 to 2013.


Distance education is also known as “distance learning” or “e-learning”, and is offered different than the traditional classroom setting. In this type of instruction, a student and teacher are physically apart from each other. They are virtually connected via software programs that are designed to send/receive instruction via the internet. Professors normally transmit information digitally to students via personal computers, tablets or in some cases on their smart phones. Professors may also require students to access a web link on the university website for assignments and relative educational materials.


Taking distance education courses or pursuing a program via distance education offers flexibility for individuals that are busy, are working, or have a family to take care of and support. Pursuit of distance education is also beneficial for individuals that are looking to grow their career, parents that seek to better provide for their families, and individuals that are ready to return to school and continue where they previously left off. Following are reasons that you might consider why online learning is attractive:


... lets you fit classes into your personal or work schedule making it easier to keep up with work, family, social life and school on your terms. In a recent survey, 90% of students agreed that the online course offerings were convenient for them (source: Fall 2016 CONECTADO student survey)

Anytime, anywhere studying

Online education offers flexibility for students who have other commitments. Whether you're a busy stay-at-home parent or a professional that simply doesn't have the time to take a course during school hours, you can find online courses and programs that fit your schedule. One of the benefits of online learning is that you don’t have to get dressed, get in the car, fight traffic, commute to campus and attend class. The Conectado student survey further indicated that 73% of students cited convenience, flexibility and accessibility from home were positive features of online education.

Faster completion

Besides accelerated courses, some degree programs are accelerated as well, allowing you to finish your program of study sooner. 100% of students agreed that online education is a good source to get their degree. (Source: CONECTADO survey, 2016).

More choices

From art history to accounting to biology, nursing and engineering there’s virtually no limit to which course you can take or degree you can earn online.

The data on online education demonstrates its effectives in student learning : 97% of students from a spring 2017 survey indicated that they had received a quality education online (source: CONECTADO survey, 2017)

About the Technology

NMHU is committed to providing this service to students who may have challenges with participation in classroom instruction. The courses offered at NMHU are provided via ZOOM technology for synchronous, asynchronous and blended (also referred to as hybrid) courses.

Synchronous Learning

Synchronous learning is when classes occur on set schedules and time frames. Students and instructors are online at the same time in synchronous classes since lectures, discussions, and presentations take place on specific days. All students must be online at that exact time in order to participate in the class.

Asynchronous Learning

Asynchronous classes are predetermined and recorded. Students are given a timeframe – it's usually a one-week window – to connect to their class as often as they would like. The good news is that in asynchronous courses, you could hit the books no matter what hour of day (or night).

Blended Instruction (hybrid)

Blended Instruction (hybrid) are a combination of asynchronous or synchronous courses. The university uses Desire2Learn which is a learning management system used by faculty and instructional staff to enhance face-to-face instruction (synchronous courses) or teach courses totally online (asynchronous). D2L allows “anytime, anywhere” access to course related files, electronic drop boxes for assignments, online quizzes and tests, email, and grades.

Online and hybrid (combination of online and in-class) courses demand more time management skills, more discipline, and more dedication on your part in order to successfully complete them. Not all courses can be taken via your phone, iPad or Notebook.

AM I READY to take an online class?

Online and hybrid courses can take more time than traditional in-class courses.They demand more time management skills, more discipline, and more self-motivation on your part in order to successfully complete them. Not all courses can be taken via your phone, ipad or Notebook.

In order to succeed, a student needs to align their online course(s) with personal life activities plus manage family and work obligations. Relative influences towards consideration of knowing that you are ready for pursuit of education via distance education are to be mature, motivated, organized and be self-directed.

Do you have the following ?

 Students will use word processing, slide presentations, upload and download content from the learning management system to the computer and back again.

 Students should be able to take screenshots, highlight, copy, and paste text into an email or word processing document, add attachments to email; create, save, and manage files to keep organized.

 Taking an online course can involve various activities including participation in discussion boards, group projects, watching videos, readings, giving and watching presentations, and interacting with the instructor and your classmates electronically.

 Students should have reliable access to high-speed Internet like DSL or cable.

 Students will need a webcam and microphone and/or headset for multimedia participation in most classes.

 Students will learn new technology skills.

 Students often have to access their learning management system and university emails several times a week.

 Students often have to organize and manage their time to meet weekly deadlines.

 Students must often work independently to meet project goals and deadlines.

 Students are often required to participate in an online discussion and other course requirements several times a week.

 Classes can take 9-15 hours per week of active learning, homework/study time per three-credit course.

 Students must be able to communicate electronically, such as through discussion boards, university emails, and message boards.

 Students must know how to conduct Internet searches, set bookmarks, and download files.

 Students should have someone who can help if there are computer problems.

 Students must have the ability to continue when things become difficult.

About the Partnership

Snow Click on "Logo" in the map to get more information.

All three institutions NMHU, ASU, and UNM-T have committed to work together in supporting students in the following ways:

Articulation/Transfer agreements – some courses taken at one college are transferable to the other colleges.

Cost effectiveness – New Mexico and Colorado have a reciprocity agreement that allows students of border regions in each state to pay in-state resident tuition while attending ASU, NMHU or UNM-T.

Continuous Improvement – representatives from each institution meet quarterly to evaluate progress and make commitments for improving and strengthening the UNIDOS project.

Examples of online programs offered at NMHU by college:

For a sample listing of online programs offered please go to

The staff at Unidos and the administration, staff and faculty at New Mexico Highlands University hope this information has been helpful in making your decision to take a(n) online course(s). Please keep in mind there are dozens of other student resources available to you at NMHU. Please go to


Michael A. Rivera, Activity Director

(505) 454-3228

Crystal Encinias, Administrative Assistant

(505) 454-3228

Cathryn Brooks-Williams , Instructional Design Specialist

(505) 454-3374

Vince Garcia, Media Technology Specialist

(505) 454-3133