Advice to Parents
The following are some suggestions for making the transition to college as smooth as possible.
- A new family dynamic is created when a student leaves for college. This is especially true if it is your only child or first child leaving home. Understanding and accepting this is important to everyone involved.
- Your student might be away from home for the first time; living in a new environment and experiencing life with a roommate other than a sibling. The key to successful shared living is open communication and mutual respect. Although roommates do not need to be best friends, they are expected to take responsibility for their own behavior and to be fair and considerate of each other. Living with roommates, possibly from different cultural backgrounds, offers tremendous potential for learning and positive personal growth. Encourage your student to take advantage of these opportunities.
- Discourage your student from coming home too soon or too often. While it is hard to know your student is lonely, homesickness is a natural and normal part of leaving home and becoming an independent adult. Bringing homesick students home on weekends may seem comforting at first, but it ultimately inhibits their ability to develop relationships with other students and only prolongs their adjustment to being away. Although students meet each other throughout classes during the week, it is on the weekends that many of the important informal communications occur- the interactions in which friendships are built.
- As parents, you might face your own separation anxiety, but resist the temptation to tell your students how sad and lonely you are. While you want your students to know they are missed, it is important for you to be positive and encourage them in this new chapter of their lives.
- Be available to listen, but always affirm the importance to them of reaching out, making new friends and contacts, and developing new interests and skills.
- College life is busy and demanding at Highlands University. Students who have always been high academic achievers now find that they are part of a community of equally intelligent and talented students. Some can become overwhelmed and unsure of how to manage it all. This is normal. They need your love, reassurance, and time to adjust.
- Here at Highlands University, there is a variety of academic, emotional, and physical support services available to help students succeed. Make sure your student knows about Highlands University’s official student handbook, available on our website.
- Students need parental support- both financial and emotional. They need patience, understanding and love as they adjust to university life. Keep the lines of communication open, and be reassuring when they call. As they become more independent, you may find that the parent-child bond strengthens and mutual appreciation deepens.
- Remember that students need time and space to grow and explore. E-mails work well for keeping in touch since messages can be sent and answered any time without interrupting study. Keep the messages short and interesting.
New Student Orientation
The New Mexico Highlands University experience begins with participation at the university’s orientation program, which takes place during the months of June, July and August, for those beginning in the fall semester and in January, for those starting in the spring; for freshmen and their families. New Student Orientation offers academic advising and assistance, interaction with staff and faculty, a campus tour, a presentation by the Academic Support staff, a luncheon, and a barbeque. Student advisers help students enroll in the various learning communities. The program is led by the Academic Support staff who are assigned to a learning community representing the various majors. The New Student Orientation, which focuses on the various needs of freshmen and their parents, paves the way for academic and social success at Highlands University.
The Academic Support staff also meets with parents during orientation to address issues and concerns directly related to families of new freshmen. The program runs concurrently with the students programs.
Convocation officially welcomes incoming freshmen and transfer students to the New Mexico Highlands University family, marking the beginning of a student’s academic career. The ceremony, held in our historic Ilfeld Auditorium, begins with a formal procession of administrators and faculty clad in regalia and students sporting class T-shirts to the music of Pomp and Circumstance. It includes welcome remarks from the president and provost. Students attending Convocation learn what to expect during their time at Highlands, gain a sense of identity and what it means to be a Cowboy or Cowgirl, and form bonds with their fellow classmates, faculty, and staff that will continue with them for a lifetime. Family and friends are encouraged to attend this event that individually recognizes students and is followed by a picnic celebration.
Highlands University Policies
Like other colleges and universities in the United States, New Mexico Highlands believes our students are adults entitled to rights and responsibilities. Students are expected to act in accordance with the University and are held responsible for their actions. New Mexico Highlands University is committed to taking swift and appropriate action against any of its officials, employees, or students who violate any portion of this policy. The information obtained as a result of this policy is confidential and will not be disclosed except to personnel with a legitimate need to know or by order of a court. This means that, even though you pay for your child’s tuition, you are not allowed to see their grades without their written permission. Students experiencing sexual or other forms of harassment should report incidents to the Office of Student Affairs, located in the Student Center, (505) 454-3020. The following paragraphs summarize the university policies that might affect your child.
Students may not be allowed to attend classes without being registered for them. Students whose names do not appear on class rosters are to contact the Office of the Registrar to resolve the matter. Students are expected to attend all class meetings. Those who are absent because of circumstances beyond their control may be required to make up work that was missed during the period of absence. Excessive absences may be expected to affect a student’s grade adversely or even result in an F. If a student’s conduct in class interferes with others, is disruptive of teaching, or is contrary to the established class practices, the instructor may ask the student to leave class and such cases are treated as unexcused absences.
University-sanctioned absences include absences related to student participation in university-sponsored activities such as field trips, conferences, intercollegiate competition, etc. As soon as practical, students participating in these events are required to submit a notice, signed by the event sponsor, documenting the dates of these absences to each of their instructors. University-sanctioned absences do not absolve students from any missed class assignments, exams, deadlines, etc. Therefore, prior to each absence, your student should remind their professors of these absences and make arrangements for any class assignments or make-up work that might be required.
Equal Educational Opportunity Policy Statement
New Mexico Highlands University strives to maintain diversity in its student body and provides equal educational opportunities to all students. This policy is intended to further New Mexico Highlands University’s efforts, as well as comply with its obligations under state and federal law.
Equal Educational Opportunity
It is the policy of NMHU to prohibit unlawful discrimination and harassment against its students and applicants for admission on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, ancestry, physical or mental disability, serious medical condition, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, veterans status or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.
This policy applies to all aspects of the educational process, including admissions, recruitment, extracurricular activities, financial assistance, housing, counseling, guidance, course offerings and housing.
Any student who feels that he or she has been discriminated against or harassed should report the incident to the affirmative action/equal employment opportunity officer, a department chair, a student adviser, a director, a dean, or campus police.
The current AA/EEO Officer is: Denise Montoya, director, Office of Human Resources, 505-454- 3308, Box 9000, Las Vegas, NM 87701.
Student Educational Records
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), New Mexico Highlands University students have, among other rights, the right to consent to disclosure of personal identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes exceptions without consent. Exceptions are a school official with a legitimate educational interest; compliance with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena; official audit or evaluation purposes; and emergency involving the health or safety of a student or other person; and directory information.
New Mexico Highlands University is committed to providing our students the very best education and has the right and obligation to support its educational function as well as to provide the equal opportunity of all students to pursue education. Therefore, it is the university’s responsibility to establish standards of conduct that uphold appropriate classroom decorum, safety and orderliness in campus life, and the rights and privileges of all members of the university community. The code should be read broadly. It does not define nonacademic misconduct in exhaustive terms. The purposes of the University’s Code of Student Conduct is to inform NMHU students of prohibited nonacademic conduct; to protect and preserve a quality educational environment at NMHU; to outline the due process procedures that will be followed in cases of student misconduct. For the campus to function as a university community, it is essential that students assume their individual responsibilities to behave in a manner compatible with the NMHU Code of Student Conduct.
Tobacco Use Policy
In compliance with the New Mexico Clean Indoor Act, as amended, smoking of tobacco products and e-cigarettes is prohibited in university buildings, facilities and vehicles. Smoking is allowed only in designated areas. Smoking is prohibited except in designated areas. Those areas will be well posted and will not be near air conditioning or other ventilation systems that can carry the smoke to other sites. Ashtrays are provided in smoking sites. Smoking is prohibited in university vehicles. Smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of any building. Smoking is prohibited near windows or air intakes. This policy applies to all university visitors, students, and employees. It is the responsibility of every member of the university community to conduct himself or herself in compliance with this policy. Enforcement is the shared responsibility of the entire campus. The success of this policy depends upon the courtesy, respect and cooperation of smokers and nonsmokers of the NMHU community.
Alcohol, Drugs and Other Substances.
New Mexico Highlands University is committed to establishing and maintaining an environment that fosters mutually beneficial interpersonal relations and a shared responsibility for the welfare and safety of others. The University prohibits the illegal or irresponsible use of alcohol and other drugs. This includes the acquisition, consumption, possession or distribution of any form of alcoholic beverages, marijuana, narcotics, other drugs or any drug paraphernalia at any university sanctioned or related, on or off campus, business, activity or event.
Highlands is committed to maintaining an environment of teaching and learning that is free of illicit drugs and alcohol. The university has in place a policy to assist those with substance abuse, and a list of agencies available to support faculty, staff, and students. The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 require that New Mexico Highlands, as a recipient of federal funds including federally provided student financial aid, notify its students and employees annually that the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on university property is prohibited.
Sexual Harassment Policy
It is the policy of New Mexico Highlands University to maintain a community in which students, faculty, staff and administration are free to work, study and reside without being subjected to sexual harassment. Such behavior subverts the mission of all involved. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination on the basis of sex and is, therefore, prohibited on campus and in programs and activities sponsored by New Mexico Highlands.
Sexual harassment can take many forms, including unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and conduct that is not necessarily sexual in nature, but which is unwelcome and directed at a person because of his or her gender.
Policy on Emergency Contact
If university staff members have reasonable cause to believe a student is a danger to himself, herself, or others, contact may be made with the person(s) designated by the student as the emergency contact. This information may be taken from the housing application or any other university document requiring the student to list an emergency contact person.
Policy Regarding the Prevention of and Response to Self-Destructive Behavior
Suicide, attempted suicide, suicidal gestures, and self-destructive behavior have detrimental effects on both the involved student and other students in the campus community. The purpose of this policy is to highlight preventive measures taken by New Mexico Highlands University to create awareness and education on these issues and to outline the protocol for reporting incidents involving self-destructive behavior. Self-destructive behavior shall be understood to mean and include attempts or threats on the part of an individual to end his or her life, or to inflict serious bodily harm on himself/herself by any means capable of producing such results.
New Mexico Highlands University strives to create a campus community that is free from personal abuse, directed at oneself or others. NMHU commits resources to the following: 1) to educate and promote discussion about self-abuse and violence and 2) to coordinate crisis intervention. NMHU – typically through prevention initiatives, personal counseling, Campus Police, and/or the dean of students – will attempt to respond to incidents of self-destructive behavior quickly and through referral to campus behavioral health services and/or local care facilities. If behavior of concern warrants, campus police and/or local law enforcement will be contacted.
There’s one word that sums up New Mexico Highlands University’s professors: passionate. Our professors have a passion for their fields and share that passion with their students. Many of our faculty have been recognized for their research and work by agencies like the National Science Foundation, National Geographic, NASA, and many professional organizations. And, unlike larger research universities, our professors teach at every level from freshmen to graduate courses.
General Education Requirements
NMHU encourages its students to pursue both breadth of study and a deeper understanding of one specific discipline. In the first year or two of college, students should choose courses that help them develop strong intellectual and communication skills. Even if students have specific academic expectations and goals, exploring elective courses in a variety of fields will enrich their educational experiences. Advisers are available to assist students with their academic choices. As soon as students have been accepted to NMHU, they should learn requirements needed to earn their bachelor’s degree.
Students are admitted to NMHU with the assumption that they will be able to carry a full-time course of study. Within these limits, there are several views on how many units a first-year student should take. While many are able to handle a full load from the beginning, some take a lighter load the first semester to allow themselves time to adjust to student life and the rigor of NMHU classes. Each student should chose the number and combination of courses after thorough discussion with advisers. Students are expected to maintain, at least, minimum grade-point average prescribed by their college or school to remain in good academic standing.
Choosing Majors and Minors
Students should base the important choice of a major on their own interests, abilities and career goals. Individuals who study what they enjoy are more likely to do well in their classes and be happier and more successful in their careers.
Advisers can help students identify the major that best suits their academic and career goals. At Highlands, students have a choice of many majors. Field majors are also options for students who want to explore the possibilities of interdisciplinary majors.
Taking classes in a variety of disciplines allows students to explore many fields before selecting a major. It is not uncommon for students to begin undergraduate work with a clear direction, only to discover an area of study for which they are better suited. While students are encouraged to declare their majors as soon as possible, it is equally important that they pursue the field that most fulfill them, even if it means taking more time to complete their education.
Many students finish their undergraduate work in four years. However, others, such as those who change majors, chose dual majors, or have majors with more than a four-year curriculum schedule, might require more time to complete their requirements. Students who work often find that need to stretch out their course load in order to manage both their employment and academic responsibilities.
Listen to your student and talk with them about their interests and aspirations. Encourage them to seek the help of the professional advisers on campus. It is the students’ interests, talents, and goals that are the essential ingredients in determining appropriate majors and career goals.
Felix Martinez Building, (505) 454-3252 Disabilities@nmhu.edu
Accessibility Services is responsible for coordinating services to students with physical, learning, and psychological disabilities under the auspices of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act. At the university level, the student bears primary responsibility for registering his or her disability, following procedures, and following through on the implementation of their accommodations. Students requesting reasonable accommodations should provide written documentation of their specific disability and follow all the policies and procedures outlined in the Accessibility Services Handbook, available separately at the above address. Official accommodations cannot be provided to students with disabilities without prior approval from the Accessibility Services. To ensure accommodations are in place, students are strongly encouraged to contact this office as soon as possible about their disability. Students who have specific request for housing due to a disability must contact Accessibility Services.
Office of the Dean of Students
Student Center, Room 324
The Office of the Dean of Students answers questions or concerns related to academic advising, athletics, career services, disability services, financial aid, health services, housing, registration, etc. Questions and concerns, however, should be addressed first to the office responsible for the particular service. If the initial contact fails to bring about a satisfactory response or resolution, a student may want to present the concern to the dean of students. A written statement of the concern and an indication of the expected outcome are desirable. The dean of students or a designee will address the student’s concern within 30 days.
In addition to handling student concerns, the dean of students works to improve campus and community life by serving as a student advocate, assisting in campus emergencies, distributing and enforcing the NMHU Code of Student Conduct, and supervising the student affairs staff. To schedule an appointment with the dean of students, call 454-3020.
The Thomas C. Donnelly Library supports the teaching, research and community activities of New Mexico Highlands University. It acquires, organizes, preserves and makes accessible pertinent information and scholarly materials that advance the curricular needs, intellectual pursuits and personal enrichment of its clientele. It promotes programs and services that emphasize the diversity of the university’s multicultural community and heritage. In accordance with New Mexico Highlands University’s overall educational commitment, it elicits an environment of respect and understanding for its diverse population in an intellectually stimulating atmosphere that is conducive to academic achievement.
Felix Martinez Building, (505) 454-3252 TestingServices@nmhu.edu
The Office of Testing Services is responsible for overseeing the COMPASS placement exam and a few departmental exams. Other tests offered include the ACT, LSAT, and GED. Some other exams may be offered on an ad-hoc basis. Please contact the office for listing of scheduled exams.
Highlands University’s website contains helpful information to the campus community and the public (campus directory, campus calendar, and online document for forms and information). To receive help with using computers or setting passwords students should go to www.nmhu. edu > my nmhu > Student Technical Help. Students can also view their class schedule and upper classmen can add or drop classes, change their address and other information in Self Service Banner. As students, they can also access their student e-mail, which is used for official communications mechanism.
Academic Enrichment Programs
Engineering Building, Room 100
Academic Enrichment Programs is responsible for overseeing the Freshman Experience Program. The program’s Learning Communities link classes that are needed so students get started right away, have fun, and make connections – and a wide variety of communities are available to fit their interests! The program’s Freshman Forum course (typically included in a learning community) is a class that supports students in the transition to college. Students will apply the principles learned in Freshman Forum to the content of other courses and to their life – setting them up for success in college right away! For more information, visit www.newmexicohighlands.com/FEP.
ARMAS in Education
Engineering Building, (505) 426-2010
The ARMAS Center provides comprehensive support to students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines as they work toward their academic and professional goals. Services include supplemental instruction in STEM gateway courses, math tutoring during all center hours, academic coaching, a math and science textbook library (for use at the center), computer lab and printing, local STEM internships and research fellowships. All students are welcome to participate in the support services offered by ARMAS, regardless of major, and its services are free. During the fall and spring semesters, ARMAS is open from 8 am to 10 pm on Mondays through Thursdays, 8 am to 5 pm on Fridays and Sundays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
101 Student Union Building, (505) 454-3598
Click here for the bookstore's webpage
Students will make the Highlands Bookstore their first stop each semester, as the bookstore stocks the required course textbooks. The bookstore also offers supplies, gifts, novelty items and access to a fax machine. Regular business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Hours of operation are extended during early semester rush periods.
New Mexico Highlands University has a number of honor societies that elect students in recognition of academic excellence. Among the national societies are Psi Kappa Psi, Delta Mu Delta, Psi Chi, Phi Beta Sigma, Sigma Tau Delta, and Sigma Xi. They provide a wide array of community service experiences, as well as opportunities for personal growth and leadership development. There are also national and campus societies related to specific academic disciplines.
A rich array of information is available to students online. It can be accessed from the NMHU home page, which links to other campus servers that offer textual material, maps, forms, periodicals, and additional material covering a broad range of general campus information, such as news, directories, and events calendars.
Some online services include admission, registration, and degree audit; information about campus services fundamental to student life; and resources that can help students with academic work. The campus library website also maintains a growing selection of online journals and other discipline-related resources, as well as guides to the library and general interest material.
Office of the Registrar
The Office of the Registrar at New Mexico Highlands University is committed to our past, present, and future students. It assists students with registration, degree checks, final clearance for commencement, transcripts and other student records.
Purple Pub Computer Lab
The Purple Pub Computer Lab is a student-only lab located in the Student Center. Computers are available and equipped with Windows software. Additionally, the lab offers laptop rental to students. Internet access is also provided.
Four computers are designed and equipped for use by individuals with disabilities. The lab is open year round and offers extended, evening and weekend hours. Hours may vary from semester to semester. Call the lab at (505) 426-2225 or Campus Life for information at (505) 454-3590. Valid Highlands IDs are required.
Educational Outreach Services (EOS)
(505) 426-2270, Toll Free (877) 248-9854
EOS provides regional telecommunications access and educational opportunities to all students and communities. EOS provides off-campus instruction, televised instruction (ITV) and web-based instruction. Help desk business hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Title V (EOS)
Highlands University, in collaboration with Northern New Mexico College, is a recipient of a Department of Education Title V grant. Funding provides numerous outreach activities including:
- Expanding distance education infrastructure
- Expansion of student services to off-site centers and other statewide educational sites
- Professional development for staff and faculty
Campus Computers and E-mail Information
New Mexico Highlands University provides access to a full range of distributed computing capabilities. Most of the campus’s computers are connected to the Internet, which also provides access to the online library systems, NMHU website, and other online information resources.
Computing facilities provide access to workstations and printers at a variety of locations on campus. The Language Learning Center, the Learning Center, the Writing Center, and the Purple Pub Computer Lab; which has four computers designed and equipped for use by individuals with disabilities and offers laptop rental, and other departments have extensive computing facilities.
Information Technology (IT) on Campus
Information Technology Services is responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, and security of computers, software, telephones, and the network on campus. ITS maintains a helpdesk to address problems with access to university computer resources or to report problems with university computers.
The university provides student e-mail and accounts so students can access university computers or log on to university resources. General computer help or getting their username is available at www.nmhu.edu > CURRENT STUDENTS > Technical Help or by typing “help” (no password) on any university computer. To have full wireless access on campus, computers require a certificate that can be obtained by taking the computer to ITS. Computers used in the residence halls must be registered with ITS. The ITS office is on the ground floor of the Donnelly Library building.
The Business Office offers an array of services including student payment plans, disbursement of payroll and financial aid checks.
Statements/e-bills are available monthly during the semester by clicking “My NMHU” on the university’s website nmhu.edu. E-mail notifications are sent to students’ NMHU e-mail address when they have a new student statement and when disbursement is available. Online payments may be made at www.nmhu.edu; click My NMHU.
Students’ financial aid disbursements may be sent to their financial institution via direct deposit. Students who would like to enroll in this service should complete and submit the direct deposit enrollment form no later than the first Friday of the semester. Forms are available at www.nmhu.edu/Business_Office/index.aspx.
New Mexico Highlands University is committed to helping all students attain an affordable education. The philosophy of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is to award funding to as many qualified students as possible. The office tries to distribute resources equitably and makes sure every student in need has the necessary resources to go to school. Using a combination of family support, grants, loans, work programs, and scholarships, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships works so that each student has a personalized financial aid package.
The financial aid package is prepared for the student after all components of his or her application are reviewed by a financial aid adviser. A student’s package might be different from another’s, as the financial aid process is individualized based on their particular living and financial circumstances. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will ensure your student has a financial aid package that best fits his/her situation. Advise your student to use these funds wisely, as they are intended to help him/her for the duration of the semester. They should plan a budget ahead of time.
Applying for financial aid is simply a matter of accurately completing forms and getting paperwork submitted. Students can get help with the process, so they should not let the application forms scare them away. They should remember: the process is largely created through paperwork; therefore, they should keep copies of everything they send or deliver and records of the relevant dates. They should not give the Financial Aid Office the originals of income tax forms or other important documents. They should make copies and have the copies dated by the Financial Aid Office for additional assurances that materials have been received. They should make sure all documents are complete, accurate and signed by all required to sign.
Foundation and Alumni Affairs
Highlands Foundation is responsible for raising private-sector funds for student scholarships and assisting the university administration with special projects. The foundation also acts as fiduciary agent for the funds of university departments and student organizations. The Alumni Affairs Office maintains correspondence and contact with Highlands’ graduates. It maintains the alumni database, publishes the alumni newsletter and sponsors alumni events such as homecoming and regional gatherings. The Alumni Office is charged with promoting goodwill between the university and its alumni.