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LAS CRUCES - New Mexico State University and its three community colleges will receive more than $1 million in state scholarship funds for teacher education scholarships, the New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED) Deputy Secretary Carmen Lopez-Wilson said July 10.
More than $10 million in scholarship funding will be shared among NMSU, the University of New Mexico, Western New Mexico University, Eastern New Mexico University, New Mexico Tech, New Mexico Highlands University and Northern New Mexico College, 10 branch community colleges, seven independent community colleges and four tribal colleges, according to NMHED.
Lopez-Wilson said NMSU will receive $70,934 for the Grow Your Own Teachers scholarship program and $638,584 for the Teacher Preparation Affordability (TPA) scholarship program. NMSU community colleges received the following additional TPA awards: Doña Ana Community College: $239,316; NMSU-Alamogordo: $34,188; NMSU-Carlsbad and NMSU-Grants: $29,304 each.
With the funds, NMSU and the other universities and colleges will be able to provide up to $3,000 per semester toward each eligible applicant’s tuition, fees, books, course supplies and other costs beginning with the fall 2019 semester, NMHED said in a July 10 news release.
New Mexico House Bill 275, the Teacher Preparation Affordability Act (TPAA), appropriated $10 million for students studying education and intending to become teachers, NMHED said. Co-sponsors of the bill included Doña Ana County state Reps. Joanne Ferrary and Ray Lara. It was signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham April 3. Bilingual and Native aspiring educators are given preference by the program, NMHED said.
House Bill 20, the Grow Your Own Teachers Act, was also co-sponsored by Lara. It was signed into law April 4 and allocates more than $500,000 for educational assistants to complete programs of study and become licensed teachers, the NMHED release said. Scholarship recipients under this program will also receive up to $3,000 per semester as well as paid time off from their schools to complete degree and licensure requirements.
New Mexico colleges and universities and the Higher Education Department will post points of contacts, timelines for the application process and the criteria for applicants on their websites by the end of the week. Grow Your Own Teachers applicants can visit this website: hed.state.nm.us/financial-aid/scholarships/grow-your-own-teachers, according to the NMHED news release.
“We need to be reaching out to aspiring educators, and we need to be facilitating their study and increasing access to this essential field,” Lujan Grisham said. “When we build the next generation of New Mexico educators, we will have done a tremendous service for the next generation of New Mexico students.”
“Now is the time for students to take advantage of these resources to further their dreams of becoming teachers,” NMHED Sec. Kate O’Neill said. “We need teachers in all areas of the state and at all grade levels. We need Hispanic, Native, first-generation, returning, veterans, bilingual and alternative licensure applicants for these scholarships.
“We will leverage the new scholarship programs to recruit, prepare and support the next generation of teachers,” said NMHED Deputy Sec. Carmen Lopez-Wilson. “These scholarships will also help address the widespread teacher shortage in New Mexico.”
TPAA “prioritizes awards to English-language learners, minority students, and those who want to teach in high-need teaching positions,” Lopez-Wilson said.
Contact Lopez-Wilson at 505-795-2302 and Carmen.LopezWilson@state.nm.us.