SFCC Gains State Approval to Build Higher Education Center

Editor | SantaFe.com - January 10, 2013

"'(The college) will be able to expand opportunities for local students to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees.'"

Santa Fe Community College has obtained approval from the New Mexico Higher Education Department to construct its Higher Education Center. College officials said construction will start later this spring.

“On the eve of its 30th anniversary, Santa Fe Community College will be able to expand opportunities for local students to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees through unique partnerships with our state’s colleges and universities,” said college President Ana “Cha” Guzmán.

The approval by the New Mexico Higher Education Department’s Capital Projects Review Committee represents the last step in the college’s three-year quest to build a 31,000 square-foot, $9.8 million facility designed to allow the college and its higher education partners to deliver the coursework necessary for traditional four-year college degrees. A pilot of the Higher Education Center program has been operational on SFCC’s Richards Avenue campus for the past two years. The new building will be located on land formerly owned by the College of Santa Fe, which will be especially convenient for state employees and the downtown community.

Guzmán said SFCC will grow into the building, using only the first floor initially (approximately 15,000 sq. ft.). She said in addition to university partners holding classes at the new center, some existing SFCC programs that are currently delivered in other locations in the city will relocate to the new facility.

“It is exciting to embark on the construction of a center that will benefit the community for years to come. We anticipate in the near future a vibrant student community made up of SFCC students, Higher Education Center students and high school dual credit students, all pursuing their educational dreams," said Guzmán. "This approval will allow SFCC to open the next level of educational opportunity – bachelor’s and master’s degrees – to our community. With the Higher Education Center at a convenient location, we are removing barriers to a college degree. We are facilitating attendance to students who have waited, who have given up, or who may have had to choose between family and job and college. Now they will be able to attend programs that will improve – or completely change – their lives.”

From an SFCC media release.