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NMJC Welcomes Prospective Students

NMJC Welcomes Prospective Students photo
Photo by Kimberly Ryan/News-Sun

4/12/2017 10:15:03 a.m. - Hobbs, NM.  

{Story by Dorothy Fowler - Hobbs News Sun]

About 50 prospective students, many accompanied by one or more parents, explored the possibilities for academic success offered at New Mexico Junior College during an open house on the campus Tuesday evening.

The open house was held at the Ben Alexander Student Learning Center, where tables were set up and manned by NMJC staff members. At the welcome table, visitors were directed to sign in and then were sent them to stations where other staff members could answer questions about courses of study offered, registration and financial aid.

The college chose to hold the open house from 5-7 p.m. to make a campus visit more convenient for students still in school and for adults whose work schedule will not permit them to leave their place of employment during the day.

“We realized that many people cannot come to the JC during the day, when we are normally open,” said Dr. Michele Cling-man, dean of enrollment management. “This open house was in the early evening, to accommodate people’s busy schedules, discover the various degree programs we offer, and answer questions about going to college.”

Visitors could take a tour of the campus as well as speak with counselors and advisors. Financial aid experts were on hand to show people how to apply for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), or one of the many scholarships available.

Maria Johnson, who was looking for information about a particular course of study, was one of the first arrivals at the open house.

“I want to find out about the pharmacy tech course,” she said to the person who greeted her. Several minutes later, after talking to an academic advisor, she reported that the college is not offering the pharmacy tech course at the present time, so she might have to go in a different direction.

Johnson, who has a bachelor’s degree in social work, said she does not want to return to social work.

“It’s too stressful and I would have to go to school and get caught up on a lot things,” she said. “But I’ve been a stay at home mom for 22 years and now that my kids are grown, I want to go back to work.”

Brianna Starks, a 2015 Loving-ton High School graduate, was accompanied by her mother, Terri Keeler.

Starks picked up registration forms before she went to the financial aid desk to learn what scholarships and grants might be available.

The people providing financial information talked with her, as they did with all the people who came to that desk about how to fill out the FAFSA application and about scholarships that were still taking appllications.

Starks said she wants to get into the nursing program “because I like helping people.” Colton Able, a senior at Lovington High School, waited with his mother, Shona Able, for his turn to speak to the financial aid counselors. His heart is set on entering the nursing school. “I’m not surprised that he wants to go medical,” Shona said. “His dad and brother are both paramedics.”

Colton, who has participated in rodeo events as a calf roper and team roper, said he intends to participate in rodeo at NMJC. He’ll start this fall, planning to get his basics out of the way.

Tim and Marissa Board were with their son, Pablo Aguilera, as he went from station to station getting the information he needed to become a student at NMJC.

Marissa Board said she attended NMJC as a student and said, “Pablo is already familiar with the campus because of his involvement with athletic programs at Lovington High School.”

Aguilera, who said his best subject is math, plans to major in business administration.

“I don’t know what kind of business, yet,” he said. “But I know I want to be in business.” Kelvin Sharp, president of NMJC, walked from one station of the open house during the first hour, pausing long enough to talk about the college’s dedication to serving students and to seeing students succeed.

“This is a good way to get them started,” he said.

Dorothy N. Fowler can be reached at 575-391-5446 or

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