By Tony Parra
Eastern New Mexico University is trying to prove it has greater expectations.
School officials want to achieve every aspect of greater expectations and update and upgrade departments dealing with ENMU students’ way of life through “Greater Expectations Consortium on Quality Education.”
Eastern is one of the 22 universities selected to participate in the group and it was one of the original nine universities selected in 1997. There are a wide variety of universities from well-known universities such as Duke University, University of Michigan and University of Nebraska-Lincoln to not as well-known universities like Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Mary. and Richland College in Dallas.
The consortium has helped departments evaluate what changes or what aspects they need to focus on in advising and learning communities.
“This is not something new,” Suzanne Balch-Lindsay, Associate Professor of History/Director of the advising center, said. “It (consortium) serves as a great refresher. It doesn’t replace what we have. It’s not the latest trend. It enhances everything you do great.”
Balch-Lindsay is the director of a department which has a team of advisors that finds out what students’ interests are and then directs those students to a suitable degree plan.
Steve Dixon, the director of learning communities, said he has also been able to fine-tune the learning communities department through “Greater Expectations.”
“We can take a step back and look at the infrastructure,” Dixon said. “We can base the courses on what the students need. We can make sure we are giving students the best learning experience.”
Paul Jones, ENMU vice president of academic affairs, said one of the aspects they want to implement with their departments from the consortium is to take advantage of the diversity of ENMU.
“We want to take advantage of the diversity at ENMU,” Jones said. “We have primarily Caucasian and Hispanics who attend our university, but we also have Native American, African-American and Asian American. We can get together and learn from each others’ cultures.”
University faculty members traveled to Salt Lake City in the summer for one of the conferences with faculty members from the other 21 universities.
“The one thing that was so important from the conferences was intentionality,” Balch-Lindsay said. “We want to make it clear to the students. We want our students to have a well-rounded education.”