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Tech Inks Deal With Texas’ Biggest Two-Year College

SOCORRO, N.M. February 11, 2010 – New Mexico Tech recruiters have established a formal agreement to bring qualified transfer students to Socorro.

Tech administrators signed a memorandum of understanding with San Antonio College, a two-year school with more than 22,000 credit students on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

Officials of San Antonio College and New Mexico sign a memorandum of understanding in Texas. In front are Dr. Jessica Howard; Dr. Peter F. Gerity, (Tech); and President Dr. Robert Zeigler. In back are David Mrizek, Mike Kloeppel, (Tech); Jerry O’Connor, Dr. Terry Walch and Dr. Conrad Krueger.

Not only is San Antonio College one of the largest two-year schools in Texas; the campus also has a solid math, science and engineering curriculum.

Tech Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Peter Gerity visited San Antonio for the official signing ceremony. Also signing the MOU San Antonio College President Dr. Robert Zeigler and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Jessica Howard.

“Students who excel at San Antonio College are well prepared for New Mexico Tech’s rigorous course work,” Admission Office director Mike Kloeppel said. “It’s a good fit and it makes a lot of sense for both schools.”

Gerity said the new agreement represents a renewed effort to bring qualified transfer students to Tech. University administrators and faculty have recognized that junior college transfers typically fare very well at Tech, he said.

Kloeppel and his recruiting staff have targeted two-year colleges for many years, including San Antonio College. He said the formal agreement will ease the transition for students and allow Tech recruiters to maximize their time in San Antonio.

“Students now have a working map that tells them, ‘If I follow these steps, after two years I can go to New Mexico Tech and not worry about transferring credits’,” Kloeppel said. “It makes life easier for the student.”

Tech has traditionally allocated recruiting time to two-year colleges in the Southwest and Texas, but the development of formal agreements represents a significant change. Tech is negotiating similar relationships with Pima College in Tucson, Ariz., and Southern Nevada College in North Las Vegas.

“The amount of students going to two-year schools right out of high school has been on the upswing for many years, but it’s increasing even more now,” Kloeppel said. “A lot of four-year schools, especially in California and Texas, are pushing high school graduates in that direction.”

The single-page memorandum simple states that the two schools have agreed to facilitate transfers and that course equivalencies have been identified. The agreement includes a list of about 100 courses, including humanities, physics, chemistry, math and Earth sciences.

Dr. Terry Walch, director of San Antonio College, said the formal agreement will help students transfer without putting undue burden on their time.

“Prior to this MOU, an individual student interested in New Mexico Tech would have had to contact Tech to seek advice about how S.A.C. courses would transfer,” she said. “This MOU replaces that time-consuming back-and-forth communication.”

Walch said Tech is an excellent destination for San Antonio students because of the compatible degree options, research opportunities and affordable tuition.

“Tech should be very appealing to our students,” she said. “And Socorro is really not that far from San Antonio.”

Kloeppel doesn’t anticipate that Tech recruiters will spend more time in San Antonio in the future; he foresees recruiting trips gaining focus.

“The new agreement will allow Tech and San Antonio College to identify the students who would make good transfer candidate,” he said. “We need to work smarter, not harder. This MOU allows us to go in and visit with key people. In the past, we’d go to a two-year school and hope to visit with a student or two. It’s quality over quantity.”

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech