Early College High School Will Open At NNMC In Fall 2018

by Staff Reporter / Nov 28, 2017 / comments
Image is a possible logo for the new Early College High School being created in cooperation with Española Public Schools and Northern New Mexico College.

Early College High School Will Open At NNMC In Fall 2018

High School Seniors To Receive Associates Or Two Year Certificates


The New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) officials informed the Española Public Schools (EPS) Superintendent, Bonnie Gutierrez, several weeks ago that state funding for an EPS “Early College High School” in collaboration with Northern NM College was available.

“We were never told an exact amount but to ask for what we needed. I had initially asked for $340 K, but Dr. Elaine Perea (with the PED)  asked me to scale that back accordingly since staff for ECHS will get a mid year start. We should be funded for about $262K,” Gutierrez informed the valleydailypost.com by e-mail.

Funding for another New Mexico school district program fell through and became available. PED officials felt that EPS would benefit tremendously with this innovative high school that will organize staff in January 2018 and will open its doors to incoming freshmen in the Fall of 2018 to students in the Española and Pojoaque school districts according to Gutierrez.  More districts are currently in negotiations and will be added in the future.

The working name used in the planning year grant application is Early College High School (ECHS), but at a EPS Board of Education meeting earlier this month, Gutierrez informed the Board that “the students will select the name of high school, mascot, school colors, etc. “

The ninth graders selected to attend ECHS will, at the time of their usual high school senior graduation, graduate with a two-year degree--an Associate of Arts Degree, or a Two-year Certificate and will align with two years toward a Bachelor’s Degree conferred by Northern NM College.

Currently there are seven school districts in the state that have an early college high school at a local college or a state university or a branch of a state university.

For more information on the ECHS, contact EPS Superintendent Bonnie J Gutierrez at: (505) 367-3303 or email at: bobbie


Gutierrez and NNMC President Dr. Richard Bailey immediately sent the Planning Year Grant Application to the NM PED. The following is the “Acknowledgment of Interest” page of a 62 page grant application.

Gutierrez informed the valleydailypost.com that PED’s Dr. Perea had informed her in early Nov. that “they are getting everything entered into the system” and  EPS and NNMC will receive “official notification in writing” from the NMPED around November 20. “We are definitely being funded”, Gutierrez wrote in an e-mail.

The ECHS Workforce Development/Business Partner(s) are:

Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico Public Education Department (PED), and the Presbyterian Española Valley Hospital.

ECHS students will earn a two-years of college credit in the form of an AA degree, industry certification, or a certain number of credits toward a core college curriculum or Bachelor's degree in a “career focus area” according to the grant application

These are the career track two-year degrees or certificates that will be offered by ECHS at NNMC:

Industry/Technical Certification(s) Offered: Cert (LPN); AAS Nursing; Cert (Radiation Control Tech); AAS (Radiation Protection); AAS (Allied Health); AAS (Substance Abuse Counseling); AA (Early Childhood); AA (Elementary Education); Cert (Electrical Technology; AAS (Electrical Technology); AEng (Electromechanical Engineering Technology); and AEng (Information Engineering Technology).

The following is a segment of the “Executive Summary” found in the Planning Year grant application. There are two additional pages to the Summary not included here.

Independent Schools to include students from these districts as well. We hereby certify that the information contained in this application is, to the best of our knowledge, correct and that we are authorized to submit this application. We further certify, to the best of our knowledge, that any ensuing program and activity will be conducted in accordance with all applicable State laws and regulations, application guidelines and instructions and that the requested budget amounts are necessary for planning this project. It is assured that, if awarded, such funds will be utilized in accordance with the New Mexico procurement code. It is understood that this application constitutes a proposal and, if accepted by the New Mexico Public Education Department or renegotiated to acceptance, will form a binding agreement. It is also understood that immediate written notice will be provided to the Application Manager if at any time the applicant learns that the certification was erroneous by reason of changed circumstances.