Extended Learning - Distance Education and Continuing Education

Monica Orozco Obando, Ph.D., Vice Provost
The University of New Mexico
Extended Learning
Physical: 1800 Sigma Chi NE
Mailing: MSC03 2190
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-0001
(800) 345-1807

Distance Education Programs and Services

UNM Extended Learning Distance Education Programs were established in the Fall of 1999 to coordinate the institution’s statewide mission. With technological advances, UNM is now able to deliver high quality online programs across the state and around the world. Several programs are available largely or exclusively online. Others may be completed through a combination of online classes and classes taken face-to-face at UNM Main Campus or one of its branches.

Through partnership with the University of New Mexico’s four branch campuses, as well as selected community colleges, UNM is able to expand opportunities for students in the state. Branches are responsible for lower-division curriculum leading to a wide array of associate degrees. Extended Learning expands upon these efforts by creating the path for students to attain selected University of New Mexico bachelor and advanced degrees through delivery of upper-division and graduate-level programming. This programming is offered using online tools. There are two types of online courses at UNM:

  • Synchronous Online courses have fixed meeting times. Students log in at a scheduled time, often weekly, to participate in the course.
  • Asynchronous Online courses have no required meeting times. Students log in and participate as their schedule permits.

In both types of online course, UNM faculty have the discretion to require face-to-face meetings, such as for exams or lab work. Detailed course information is available at the UNM Schedule of Classes. Students are also encouraged to email questions about course format to professors. Students can take individual online classes or work toward degree completion options.

The UNM Extended Learning Statewide Education Centers

Extended Learning has operated six statewide education centers geographically dispersed in a manner that covers vast territories in New Mexico. Their existence is closely tied to branch locations at Gallup, Los Alamos, Taos and Valencia with additional sites at San Juan College in Farmington and the Santa Fe Higher Education Center. A recent reorganization has changed the infrastructure of these centers but NOT their primary emphasis, which is to support student enrollments that allow bachelor or master degree completion in these regions. Utilization of an online platform that provides course delivery to a personal desktop versus a connected classroom (ITV) allows Extended Learning to reduce expenses for instructional space and technology maintenance. Reallocating the resources will enable Extended Learning to continue high-touch student support on-site in the communities and provide additional online programs and services. The delivery of academic programs should position us to effectively deliver even more degree completion programs in the future.

Extended Learning – Education Delivery Formats

Online courses offer a flexible, highly interactive way to take courses in a wide range of programs and subject areas. By using a computer with Internet access, students can take classes taught by regular UNM faculty on a standard semester basis. Online courses provide diverse interactions with classmates and instructors, and use the same rigorous materials as their classroom counterparts, while providing greater freedom in choosing when and where learning takes place. 

While many online classes do not have fixed meeting times, some instructors do require regular synchronous/simultaneous meetings. Through web conferencing tools, some classes offered at main campus can be transmitted simultaneously for online participation from other locations. All required synchronous class meetings are listed in the schedule of classes.

For more information on classes offered online, call (505) 277-8128 or toll free (866) 869-6040, or visit the UNM Online Web site.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offer thousands of students around the world a chance to participate in non-credit course offerings developed by distinguished UNM Faculty, and have provided the University of New Mexico with a means of experimenting with this new modality. Through a partnership with Coursera, UNM Extended Learning has supported the development and delivery of MOOCs at UNM.

For complete information on all Extended University centers, programs and services, visit the UNM Extended Learning Web site.

Continuing Education and Community Services

For over 85 years, UNM Continuing Education has served as the center for lifelong learning by providing innovative educational, training, and personal enrichment opportunities for students, businesses, and community partners in New Mexico. Continuing Education plays a major role in community service and outreach for UNM, with a focus on economic and workforce development. More than 30,000 students and customers are served through non-credit programs, certificate programs, and special projects every year. Approximately 75,000 community and UNM participants use the Conference Center facility each year. 

1634 University Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM, 87131
(505) 277-0077

Continuing Education Non-Credit Programs

Computer and IT
Offers courses to learn or improve skills with computer operating systems and specific software programs in Microsoft Office. Offers numerous IT professional certifications including CompTIA, Microsoft IT Academy training, Geographic Information Systems, and AutoCAD.

Employer Services and Personalized Training
Partners with employers to create courses, conferences, and workshops based upon their specific business requirements. This is a cost effective, focused way to increase employee knowledge, skills, and performance that will lead to long-term business growth. Experienced, dedicated, and certified instructors incorporate quality instructional methods into all training programs. Employer Services and Personalized Training offer professional consultants who design, develop, support, and implement specific training and organization solutions to address the needs of ongoing projects, new organizational initiatives, or training directives. Consultants address their issues in a timeframe that accommodates their busy schedule.

Digital Arts
Offers certificate programs to prepare students for work in graphic design, web design, multimedia, digital photography, digital filmmaking, and music production. As the only Apple-Authorized Training Center in New Mexico, the digital arts computer labs offer training in the latest software and hardware tools.

Career Training and Business Skills
Offers certificate programs in professional development and workforce training in areas such as leadership and supervisory skills, human resources, and project management (PMI Educational Provider). A variety of other training includes paralegal, professional trainer, instruction and facilitation training, mediation and conflict resolution, and volunteer management. Traditional classroom or online classes are available for professional development programs.

Health and Wellness Professions
Offers courses to train addictions counselors utilizing current evidence-based treatment methods. Provides training for positions in the fast growing medical field, including medical billing and coding, clinical herbalism, phlebotomy, and personal trainer. Online and classroom courses are offered.

Growth and Enrichment
Courses in arts, language, hobby, and personal enrichment allow students to explore their interests, stimulate their minds and gain skills to help them enrich their lives. Demand for programs to be held at neighborhood locations led UNM Continuing Education to seek off-campus locations. Programs are offered in more than 50 sites throughout the Albuquerque metropolitan area.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
UNM Continuing Education has been selected to receive an endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation to form the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute designed to offer intellectually stimulating courses to adults 50 years of age and older.

The Bernard Osher Foundation was founded in 1977 to improve quality of life for residents of the San Francisco Bay Area through various educational programs. The Foundation currently partners with 119 universities across the country to offer the programs of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) to mature learners. The Osher Institute presents an accessible community experience in a stimulating university environment for mature audiences with intellectually challenging, psychologically and spiritually engaging offerings. A $20 annual membership includes registration access to all Osher courses offered during the calendar year. Each course is offered for an additional fee. Tuition Remission may be used for classes but not membership. OLLI provides for benefits on-and-off-campus and members may choose from a variety of thought-provoking courses taught year round by current and emeritus University of New Mexico faculty members and renowned experts from the local community.

Youth Programs
Provides classes, camps and conferences for community youth, ages 5-17, year-round with a special focus on spring break and summer programming. Partners with UNM departments and community organizations to launch a lifetime love of learning through programs which help youth explore career and academic interests, build new skills, participate in health and fitness activities, foster creativity, and more. Programs are held at community sites, UNM Main Campus and UNM Continuing Education and range from one day to six weeks with the option of a half or full day schedule. Program topics include STEM, Creativity, Culture, and Career. Additionally, a summer reading program is offered in partnership with the Institute of Reading Development at key locations throughout the state. 

Spanish Resource Center
The Spanish Resource Center creates awareness of the Spanish language and cultures throughout New Mexico through a partnership by The Ministry of Education and Science of Spain, UNM Continuing Education, and the New Mexico Department of Education. The Center offers a broad collection of materials to students and educators on Spanish language programs, collaborates with several UNM departments to host conferences and workshops, and offers a visiting teachers program between Spain and New Mexico.

Community Services and Contract Management

Early Childhood Services Center
The Early Childhood Services Center (ECSC) is a component part of the Division of Continuing Education and Community Services. Funded by the State of New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) and the State of New Mexico Public Education Department, the ECSC provides the following services on behalf of the children of New Mexico:

  • Cariño Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance Program (TTAP)
  • Child Care Resource and Referral Program (CCR&R)
  • ECSC Data Collection System
  • ECSC Technical Services
  • New Mexico FOCUS Project
  • NewMexicoKids Network
  • New Mexico Pre-K Technical Services

Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute
(505) 277-9360

UNM Continuing Education entered into a partnership with the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI), a National Indian Community College, to enhance the educational opportunities and college level instruction for Native Americans in the Southwest. Continuing Education provides qualified instructors, text and course materials, and an expert level of programming to promote academic success and further students’ college educations at UNM or other institutions of higher education. 

None for the Road- DWI Awareness Program
(505) 277-6170

DWI prevention and education course for first-time licensees in New Mexico. In cooperation with the New Mexico State Highway and Transportation Department Traffic Safety Bureau, the Division provides a DWI Prevention and Education course, “None for the Road.” All first-time licensees in New Mexico, between the ages of 18 and 24, are required to take this awareness class which informs them about driving-while impaired (DWI) laws and prevention. The class is offered as a home-study course and is available online and through the mail.

Transportation Safety Center
(505) 277-0872 

New Mexico Department of Transportation–Traffic Safety Division has contracted with UNM Continuing Education’s Transportation Safety Law Center (TSC) for the following:

  • Monitoring and Ensuring NMAC Compliance of driving safety programs: TSC develops checklists and conducts site visits to ensure that Driver Ed/Driving Safety/DWI Schools and Instructors/Facilitators are in compliance with the NMAC rule requirements. TSC also works with the general public to address and resolve complaints or conduct investigations.
  • Licensing and Certification of driving safety programs: TSC processes all original and renewal applications for Driver Ed/Driving Safety Schools and Instructors as well as Ignition Interlock Service Centers/Installers and develops application forms and guidelines to assist these programs with initial licensing and annual renewals.
  • Determining Eligibility for Driver Education Correspondence School: TSC reviews applications to determine student eligibility and serves as the point of contact for all parents/guardians seeking to enroll students in correspondence driver education programs, answering questions and assisting them in the application process.
  • Rule Revision and Development: Through its experiences with Driver Ed/Driving Safety/DWI/Ignition Interlock programs, TSC collaborates on the revision and development of the NMAC rules.
  • Training and Continuing Education: TSC provides foundational and continuing education courses on behalf of the New Mexico Traffic Safety Division for driver education, driving safety and DWI instructors.

For complete information on all Continuing Education programs and services, visit the UNM Continuing Education Web site.

Extended Learning Services

Testing Center
Provides students, faculty, staff and community members with information and access to standardized testing. The Testing Center also administers national, state and local standardized examinations. Call (505) 277-5346, email testctr@unm.edu, or visit the Testing Center Web site for details.

The Conference Center
A facility that includes a 600-seat auditorium, break-out rooms and classrooms, a banquet room and large lobby area. The Conference Center offers Albuquerque businesses, statewide public entities and out-of-state events a medium-sized facility with a variety of support services and features. For more information on the Conference Center, call (505) 277-5984.

IT Services
Supports the enterprise learning management system for the university, related media, lecture capture and web conferencing, and interactive video conferencing systems used in the delivery of distance education or in support of traditional credit and non-credit classroom instruction. Extended Learning IT also provides support for a variety of UNM Continuing Education contract management initiatives. 

Video Capture and Production Services
Managed by Extended Learning IT services and maintains a full television production studio. VCPS is capable of conducting studio and field video/audio recording and analog/digital video editing. For a fee, Extended Learning can help departments or individuals design, film and produce informational, training and/or marketing videos. Staff are available to record activities from general meetings and special events for a nominal cost. To request services contact (505) 277-0873, or email unmprod@unm.edu.

Provides comprehensive services for Extended Learning’s programs and works with academic departments and faculty to develop promotional materials to reach students who are seeking degree-completion opportunities away from main campus. Marketing also works with Continuing Education programs and contracts to reach students who desire professional development training or lifelong learning opportunities.

Faculty Services
Provides instructional design, training, and course development assistance to faculty offering online courses.

Student and Course Services
Provides online students enrollment and advising support as well as support for course scheduling and other administrative functions associated with online course delivery.

Compliance and Strategic Initiatives
Provides comprehensive administrative support for compliance and accreditation functions associated with delivery of online and distance education, as well as planning, strategy and logistical support for strategic initiatives.

For complete information on all Extended Learning centers, programs and services, visit the UNM Extended Learning Web site.

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Office of the Registrar

MSC 11 6325
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 277-8900
Fax: (505) 277-6809