Funds will support teachers and strengthen the state’s vital workforce for years to come
The New Mexico Department of Higher Education recently announced $110.5 million in faculty grants, including $28.5 million to 13 colleges and universities in New Mexico to help recruit and retain faculty and increase other support. The number of teachers, nurses and social workers graduating and entering the workforce in New Mexico.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham approved the funding earlier this year, awarded through a competitive application process to allow the agency to use the funds in high-need and high-impact regions and programs. Teacher preparation programs will receive a total of $50 million, social work programs will receive another $30.5 million and nursing education programs will receive $30 million.
In total, awarded New Mexico colleges and universities will receive funds to support 58 statewide endowed faculty positions. The funds are expected to enroll more than 700 new students and support nearly 7,000 students in New Mexico overall.
“This funding will enhance our ability to attract and retain qualified teachers to grow and maintain a pipeline of licensed teachers, nurses and social workers who support the lifelong success, health and well-being of New Mexicans,” said Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. . “These are critical areas of the country facing labor shortages, and this administration is committed to doing whatever it takes to build the pipeline in the state.”
“This is a clear and serious commitment to education in the state,” said Hansel Burley, dean of UNM’s College of Education and Human Sciences. “Legislators have seen that one of the core issues in the state is the number and quality of teachers that education programs are teaching. This is a real investment in the future of education in the state of New Mexico.”
Financial aid at UNM includes:
Faculty of teacher preparation
- The University of New Mexico – Gallup Branch Campus will receive $2.5 million to increase the pipeline of trained teachers entering K-12 classrooms in Gallup-McKinley County schools.
- The University of New Mexico will receive $17 million to support eleven new endowed positions in UNM’s College of Education and Human Sciences with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. Faculty categories include residency supervisors, K-8 reading and literacy, K-12 mathematics education, K-12 science education, bilingual education, American Indian education, special education, graduate teaching and learning, and educational leadership.
As an initial proposal, Burley felt he could increase UNM COEHS’ first-year enrollment by 10 percent, or roughly 40 students per assigned faculty position. This year, COEHS enrollment is up four percent.
“It’s my hope that, especially when good news like this comes out along with the great work we’re doing, we can help make a big difference in the state,” Burley said. “We’re still learning why students aren’t more interested. There’s a lot of demand for teachers from school districts, but we’re still trying to figure out why students aren’t interested in teaching.
“We also need to work hand-in-hand with working educators, including school teachers and administrators. They are a unique population that can direct strong candidates to us. Also, I see community colleges as an expansion pipeline to UNM, especially if they are coming through great institutions like CNM.” We need to build a strong pipeline.
Burley said the money will cover about six faculty positions and five endowed professorships. UNM currently produces about one-third of the licensed teachers in the state. “We want to find good mentors who are good teachers themselves and teach as many students as possible. We want to help provide the teachers the region needs to make significant improvements in education.”
UNM’s College of Nursing is also receiving funding to increase nursing faculty to conduct research and graduate students into leadership and faculty roles in health care and nursing education.
Faculty in Nursing
- The University of New Mexico – Gallup campus will receive $2.5 million for a nursing faculty position aimed at increasing the number of students enrolling, graduating and entering the workforce in northwestern New Mexico.
- UNM Health Sciences will receive $6.5 million to support additional nursing faculty, focus on research to address the health care needs of New Mexico citizens, and prepare graduate students to enter faculty and leadership roles in health care and nursing education. Lack of nursing faculty. The College of Nursing offers the only Nursing Ph.D. program is key to developing nurse educators to serve in New Mexico and the state’s 18 other public nursing programs.
“We are incredibly grateful to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Secretary Rodriguez, whose generous gift will provide a lifetime resource for all of these award recipients,” said College of Nursing Dean Christine E. Casper. “We know that nursing faculty, nurse leaders and nurse scientists are essential to meeting the health care needs of New Mexico. With the state facing a nursing shortage of more than 6,500 nurses, this funding could not come at a better time. Adding to our excellent faculty will ensure we continue to meet the needs of our communities and help shape the health of all New Mexicans.
Faculty endowment funds for select colleges and universities are invested to generate income year after year to support faculty positions, support adjuncts and residencies, and other activities that help increase student graduation and placement rates in related fields. Endowment awards use financial support to create an ongoing source of income to attract, retain, and promote the scholarly activities of faculty and graduate students at the College, in the health sciences, and elsewhere.
The New Mexico Department of Higher Education was established in 2005 and oversees the state’s public and tribal colleges, universities and special schools. It also oversees statewide adult education and literacy programs, administers state-funded financial aid programs and capital projects for institutions of higher education, provides college readiness services through the GEAR UP program, and provides state licensing for private colleges operating in New Mexico.