Talk like a Cowboy Scroll to find out how

We can't wait to see you on campus!

Now for the fun part: how to talk like a Cowboy. If you feel people at the university are speaking an entirely different language, this NMHU vocabulary list can help. Before you know it, you’ll be talking like a Cowboy, too!

Cowboy Ways


Free movies at Ilfeld Auditorium. For showtimes, click here.

Cowboy Code

Award-winning New Mexico author Slim Randles shares his insight to being a successful Cowboy through the Cowboy Code. What does it take to be a New Mexico Highlands University Cowboy? Not too surprisingly, the same traits that are needed to be successful in life! Real cowboys live by a code that enables them to be kind, loyal, honest, hard-working, and most of all, independent.


Your First-Year Experience Learning Community functions as your cohort the first semester of college. You will take integrated courses together and work together as a team to be successful. newmexicohighlands.com/FYELC


The FYE LCs are grouped 5-6 together to create Haciendas (Appaloosa, Cremello, Grulla, and Palomino) and provide another level of community for first-year students beyond their smaller Learning Community. The students’ Hacienda is their social group that keeps them connected for the duration of their career as a Highlands student.

Hermit’s Peak Hike

Generations of Highlands students have experienced the tradition of climbing Hermit’s Peak, the beautiful, tree-studded mountain 20 miles west of campus. This event takes place at the beginning of the fall semester. A less strenuous walk through beautiful Beaver Creek is offered as an alternative.


A week-long celebration of the time-honored traditions of NMHU. A chance for alumni to relive fond memories of Highlands and a chance for students to create memories that will last a lifetime. nmhufoundation.org/nmhu-alumni/homecoming

Hot Springs

The Montezuma natural hot springs are a great place to relax and take a hot soak. Located 5.5 miles from NMHU on Hot Springs Blvd by the United World College.


NMHU’s cowboy mascot, pronounced “Hugh”!


Integrative Seminar, a course taken the first semester, encourages students to envision themselves as professionals and to reflect on their own development as they move toward their life goals. Seminar activities are designed to be collaborative, active-learning activities and are aimed at providing a rich environment for students to make multiple connections -- i.e., among their other courses, between course content and application in the real world, and between their own needs and goals and the demands and expectations of their courses and chosen fields. Such activities may include student reflective work, problem-based learning activities, and case studies.

Outdoor Recreation Center

The Outdoor Recreation Center promotes recreation by providing equipment as well as activities and outdoor skill clinics to optimize the enjoyment of the outdoors. Students can also sign up for intramural sports through the center. nmhu.edu/outdoor-recreation-center

Rez Fest

A week-long festival hosted by the residential halls and held at various locations around campus, including the residence halls. Each residential student receives a Rez Fest shirt, and at each of the activities there are giveaways, contests, games, food, and music.


NMHU’s cowgirl mascot, pronounced “Sue”!

Cowboy Hangouts


A great place to hang out and study, the ARMAS Center also provides tutoring in sciences and math, a computer lab, sessions with Supplemental Instruction Leaders (SILs). SILs are students who have successfully completed the course and are hired to attend the course a second time and hold group sessions and office hours to support students currently taking the course. ENGR 106, armasineducation.com

Career Services

This office provides a variety of free services to all Highlands students and graduates in developing effective job search skills, career planning, and locating employment opportunities including summer internships and research programs, part-time jobs, and career employment. www.nmhu.edu/career-services/


The Center for Teaching Excellence serves the NMHU community by providing programming, resources, and support for quality teaching and advising, and for the assessment of effective student learning. STEC 102, cte.nmhu.edu

Donnelly Library

Our campus library supports the teaching, research, and community activities for Highlands. 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.

Fitness Center

An ideal place to work out, this open gym in Archuleta Hall is available for students, faculty, and staff with NMHU ID. www.nmhu.edu/fitness-center.


The Center Advocacy Resources Education Support “HU-CARES” program provides a web of collaborative services and support to students who are victim/survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking and suicide prevention. Services include counseling, advocacy, and connect with community service providers. HU-CARES also provides educational outreach and prevention, and coordinates trainings for students, faculty, and staff. SUB 301, nmhu.edu/campus-life-2/hu-cares

HUE Study Lounge

A great place to lounge and study, the HUE Study Lounge also provides mentoring and tutoring in a variety of subjects. Undergraduate Peer Mentors can help lead you in the right direction, answering questions about college life, processes, and best strategies. Students can also check out laptops for in-office use.

HU Wellness Program

The Wellness Program, located in the Wilson Complex, offers a variety of physiological and fitness testing services to faculty, staff, students, and members of the community. The goal of these services is to provide educational information and ongoing personalized instruction for exercise, nutrition, and other wellness related topics. Many services are available through the Highlands Wellness Program, including cardiorespiratory testing, flexibility testing, muscular fitness testing, body composition testing, nutritional recommendations, and personalized exercise programs based on these analyses. For more information, click here.

International Education Center

This office is responsible for the general welfare of international students at NMHU. The office advises international students and scholars on immigration matters, acts as liaison with federal agencies in regard to matters related to immigration, provides international student orientations, and coordinates study and research exchange programs. SUB 311, nmhu.edu/international-students

Language Learning Center

A great place to practice new languages, the Language Learning Center provides resources and tutoring in Spanish and ASL (American Sign Language). DH 105, nmhu.edu/language-learning

Learning Center

A computer lab adjacent to the Office of Academic Support where students can work and print. A great place for study groups! FMTZ 140



Our indoor heated swimming pool with six lanes and depth ranges from three feet to 12 feet deep located next to the football field. www.nmhu.edu/highlands-natatorium

Native American Student Services

An office that helps all students make the most of their education, offering assistance with everything from academic opportunities to social interaction with clubs and organizations. Through the Native American Student Services Program, Native American students and communities have access to many services that help make a university education accessible, attainable and, above all, an enjoyable experience. nmhu.edu/native-american-student-services

Purple Pub

The Purple Pub Computer Lab has desktop and laptops for student use, study spaces, and a help desk to assist with account issues, email, Microsoft Office downloads, Brightspace, and the Ellucian Go app. Four computers are designed and equipped for use by students with disabilities. 505-454-2111, SUB 213, www.nmhu.edu/purple-pub-computer-lab

Student Center

The Student Center is a central gathering place for students. It houses the dining hall, the post office, the game room (with air hockey, table tennis and pool tables), Einstein’s Bagels, the bookstore, the student governance room, and offices such as the Housing office, International Education Center, the HU CARES office, and the office of Campus Life.

Writing Center

A great place to write, the Writing Center provides writing coaches to assist with writing, no matter if a student is just beginning, in the middle, or finishing up an essay. DH 115, nmhu.edu/writing-center/

Cowboy Uni-verse

Academic Support

The advisers and peer advisers in the Office of Academic Support provide the summer New Student Orientations, as well as provide first-year advising, accessibility services, and placement testing. FM 130, 505-454-3252, nmhu.edu/office-of-academic-support

@ number

A student’s ID number. This number can easily be found on the NMHU ID card. This is the best way to identify a person when completing paperwork or talking with an office, as people past or present may share the same names. The @ number allows NMHU employees to access the correct records.

Arts @ HU

An initiative that brings big-name, high-caliber music and cultural events onto campus. Previous acts have included Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, Josh Turner, J Boog, Common Kings, Black Violin, Cheech and Chong, State Street Ballet, Rhythm of the Dance, Mariachi Reina de Los Angeles, and Mike Super. Students receive a free ticket with NMHU ID, and parents and community members can purchase tickets to individual events or season passes for a reasonable price. For tickets, call 505-454-3238.


Brightspace, NMHU’s online learning management system helps students maximize their learning. Many professors use Brightspace to enhance and organize their face-to-face courses. Professors post assignments, keep calendars of when assignments are due, post grades, etc. on Brightspace. Students can take quizzes, submit assignments and receive feedback, contact professors, and keep up-to-date with what they need to do and how they are doing in the course.


Your level in college based on the number of successfully completed credit hours. Less than 30 credits = Freshman. 30-59 credits = Sophomore. 60-89 credits = Junior. 90+ credits = Senior. Note: 120 credits are needed for graduation, but students need to make sure that they are on track to complete their specific degree requirements and have 45 upper-division credits. Students could end up needing more than 120 credits if they change their major or do not carefully plan their program of study with a faculty adviser.

Course Numbers

The number for a course denotes its level: 100 (freshman), 200 (sophomore), 300 (junior), 400 (senior). 500- and 600-level courses are for graduate students. As long as prerequisites are met, students can take a course one level above their current classification. Students can always take courses below their current classification. Students will need 45 credits of 300 and 400 level courses to graduate.


The four-digit registration code for a course. This code is necessary to identify which section of a course you are registering or which section you are enrolled. When communicating with a professor via email, it is helpful to mention the course title as well as the CRN (and your name at @ number!), as many professors teach multiple sections of the same course.

Degree Audit

A program accessed through Self-Service Banner that allows you to view graduation requirements and progress towards a degree. It also allows you to play “what if” and see what it would take to graduate with a different or additional major or minor. Also known as Degree Works.

Early Alert

Through Self-Service banner, instructors flag students during the first two weeks of the semester for Attendance Alert, during the third and fourth week for Early Alert, and from the fifth week on for Academic Alert. Faculty report students who have multiple absences, poor academic performance, or behavioral concerns. Students are contacted by academic advisers to determine how best to assist the student in getting back on track academically.


FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment Statute: 20 U.S.C. § 1232(g), Regulations: 34 CFR Part 99. The law applies to all educational agencies and institutions that receive funds administered by the Department of Education. The law protects students’ educational records and gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s records until the child reaches the age of 18 or attends a school above the level of high school. The FERPA Student Release of Information form allows any person designated by the student to have access to the student’s educational record at Highlands. More information can be found online here.


High-impact practices are enriching educational experiences and instructional strategies shown to improve student success. HIPs include first-year seminars and experiences, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, writing-intensive courses, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, diversity/global learning, service learning and community-based learning, internships, and capstone courses and projects.


Information Technology Services is responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, and security of computers, software, telephones, and the network on campus. ITS can help with computer, Internet access, printers, phones, email, HU Mobile (Ellucian Go), mobile email setup, and network login issues. Students, faculty, and staff can also bring in personal computers for no-charge service.

Native Banner

Native Banner is used by department administrators and support staff to access student data.


Highlands' free online tutoring service. All NetTutors are highly qualified professional tutors and are available any time day or night. Students access this service through logging in to D2L. Tutoring is available for most subjects under the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Business.

Office hours

Set times when students are able to meet with professors or TAs outside of class time. Typically, office hours are available several days a week for walk-in appointments. Many professors also allow students to schedule appointments outside of office hours. Professors expect you to utilize these office hours to better understand the material and do better work on assignments and projects. Successful students check in with professors during office hours to deepen their learning experience and perform better in class, as college is designed for students to take the lead in their own learning. Note: being asked by professors to visit them during their office hours is a good thing and not the same thing as getting sent to the principal’s office!


A peer adviser is a sophomore, junior, or senior who contributes to the education of first-year students by serving as a mentor, role model, and academic resource. PAs support new students with planning and general assistance in the areas of major declaration, Degree Audit, NetTutor, and accessing faculty advisement. PAs participate in social and academic events throughout campus to help guide new Cowgirls and Cowboys along the way. PAs can be accessed in the Office of Academic Support.


A peer mentor is a sophomore, junior, or senior Highlands leader who helps ease the transition to college for first-year students by creating a community in which new students feel a sense of belonging and support. PMs organize and lead social and academic events to involve new students in campus life and with their FYE LC and Hacienda peers. PMs are role models of the highest caliber who lead new Cowboys and Cowgirls into the fold. PMs can be accessed in the FYE LC Study Lounge.


Resident assistants are peer advisors to residential students. They are available for answering questions and help residential students with academic, social, and personal concerns. They help develop Community Living Agreements, as well as help plan programs and enhance policies and procedures.


Resident directors supervise the resident assistant staff and manage the residence hall. They work with the RA staff to develop programs, assist the residence hall coordinator with hall administration, and have prior experience as a RA.


Programs of study have four-year and two-year roadmaps to complete a major. You will start working on their own roadmaps during their first semester, and Degree Audit is used by faculty advisers to create a program of study for degree completion.

Self-Service Banner

A section of Highlands' website that allows students to register for classes, check midterm and final grades, update contact information, pay tuition bills, and allows instructors to check rosters, enter office hours, access their teaching schedule submit early alert notices, check a student’s Degree Audit when advising, and enter midterm and final grades.

Schools and Colleges

NMHU is divided into three schools (Business, Education, and Social Work) and the College of Arts and Sciences that house various majors and related academic programs. The College of Arts & Sciences houses the majority of the university’s majors and minors and provides foundational general education (a.k.a core) courses that all students take as part their college education to obtain the essential skills needed to be productive citizens and thrive in a career.

Syllabus (plural: syllabi)

Documents given out by professors at the beginning of each semester. In these documents there will be a syllabus, which will have outlines of class content, expectations and objectives, grading scale, and contain a detailed lecture, reading, and assignment/exam schedule. It also provides contact information for the professors and teaching assistants and their office hours. The syllabus will also contain the date of the final exam. It is important to not book your flight home before finding out when your final exams are!


An abbreviation for teaching assistant. Usually, teaching assistants lead class discussions and exam reviews outside of the class lectures, grade exams and papers, and serve as a resource for questions and class support. They are employed by the university, and are graduate students working toward a Master’s degree. Sometimes referred to as GA (graduate assistant).


Maintained by the Office of the Registrar, these are the official records of all classes taken at Highlands, the level of the course, the number of credits, and the assigned grades, including your grade point average (GPA). At Highlands, it is possible to retake a course and have the grade replaced in the cumulative GPA calculation, but all courses taken at the university are listed on the transcript.

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