The enrollment numbers are better than they were before the pandemic and the administration is listening to the community for input about what direction they think the campus should be heading.

“It’s all about our students,” says Dosumu. “How can we help them get to where they want to get to and also help our community’s economic growth, the economic development of our community and raise the educational level of our community?”

Submitted photo

The chancellor made it his priority to get acquainted with his new community, both on and off campus.

He hosted “Breakfast and Lunch with the Chancellor” for students and staff during the first few months to get everyone’s thoughts.

Dosumu also went to a lot of local school board meetings and chamber events to introduce himself to the community. During those meetings, he was able to meet with superintendents, principals, teachers and the school board members.

Last November, the campus welcomed about 500 people to the Luminaria walk.

“It was just heartwarming to see that embrace and that support from the community,” Dosumu said.

In the spring, he attended the 60-day legislative session in Santa Fe for a few days a week to meet with legislators and discuss the initiatives and goals of the campus for the future.

The 2019 school year was the last “best” year for enrollment numbers and this year the enrollment has surpassed the pre-pandemic numbers. Dosumu said there is a good distribution of in-person and online students, so the campus is filling up again.

The chancellor wants to get people in the community who started college but were not able to finish, to come back and finish at UNM-Valencia. Across the country, there are about 40 million adults who have some college education but did not finish and, in New Mexico, there are probably half a million people, Dosumu said.

He hired a new director to run the Workforce Training Center. They wanted to let the community know more about workforce training and how local businesses could use the community education and training program.

This year, UNM-Valencia entered into an agreement with Amazon’s Career Choice program, which provides their hourly employees with the opportunity to earn a certificate or associate degree through UNM-Valencia or the Workforce Training Center and the company will pay for the classes.

“We’re going make sure we push hard this year to just open that door wider for the returning adults,” said the chancellor.

New students will benefit from a new program, Success Team Model, to help them succeed in college. Every new student will have a success team, consisting of a faculty mentor, an academic advisor and a success coach.

The goal of the program is to help students get any resources they need to accomplish their goals. The success team will be there so students do not feel they have to fix problems alone.

UNM-Valencia is working to grow its career technical programs, such as business, cybersecurity and nursing.

Dosumu is proud of the work that the Small Business Development Center at the Workforce Training Center is doing. The SBDC collaborates with local entrepreneurs and small business owners assisting them to plan or obtain funding, which in turn leads to the growth of their businesses and contributes to the economy’s overall growth.

The local campus received state funding to expand the nursing program and hire more faculty to make sure they are helping the community fill the need for health care professionals.

Dosumu is excited about where the college is and what the future holds.

“We’re here,” he said. “Don’t forget us. I want to be part of your success story.”

What’s your Reaction?

Jesse Jones lives in Albuquerque with his wife and son. Jesse graduated from of the University of New Mexico twice. This spring, he graduated with a degree in multimedia journalism and, in 2006, he received a bachelor’s degree in university studies with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a current fellow of the New Mexico Local News Fund.