Programs bring students on campus to see what the future holds

By Tiffany Acosta

What do robotics competitions, hospitality boot camps, Freaky Fridays and higher education forums have in common? They are just a few of the ways that students of all ages experience New Mexico State University.

In the past year, NMSU has hosted two youth forums on campus. In April 2016, NMSU welcomed 220 local middle-school students for the GradNation Community Summit, which was created to improve high school graduation rates in the region. In February 2017, NMSU hosted the Young Achievers Forum to introduce 500 local sixth graders and their families to the university.

Anthony Marin, director of student affairs at NMSU, said these community outreach events help students imagine the possibilities for their future. “The biggest takeaway is that they know that they can continue to be successful in their secondary education and that attending a world-class research institution such as New Mexico State University is within their reach,” he said.  

“College visits by high-school students who participate in educational opportunity programs such as TRiO Upward Bound have proven outcomes with respect to college enrollment and completion,” Marin added. “One of the constant themes that alums of such programs often credit with their decision to attend a particular college or university is the experience of the campus visit. When we are able to provide such opportunities for students at the middle- or elementary-school levels, we are able to foster a college-going culture at a much younger age that will most definitely result in future Aggies.”

Community outreach events extend across colleges and departments at NMSU. The School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management hosted the New Mexico ProStart Bootcamp in January 2017.

More than 70 students and teachers from high schools throughout New Mexico practiced their culinary and management skills in Gerald Thomas Hall for competitions held in Santa Fe in March 2017.

A few of the programs the College of Engineering hosts include Best Robotics and VEX Robotics competitions and a STEM outreach after-school program for third through fifth graders called Freaky Fridays.

Students of Manuela Klaassen, an engineering teacher at Alamogordo High School, have participated in the AMP Field Trip, AG Education Fair Day, BEST Robotics and NM Prep Academy programs this year and will compete in the VEX Robotics for the first time. She believes the participation has led her Tigers to becoming Aggies.

“I do think that programs offered at NMSU have helped my students to enroll, but also to pursue engineering degrees at NMSU,” she says.


The School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management hosted the New Mexico ProStart Bootcamp in January. More than 70 students and teachers from high schools throughout New Mexico practiced their culinary and management skills in Gerald Thomas Hall for competitions held in Santa Fe in March 2017.

... we are able to foster a college-going culture at a much younger age that will most definitely result in future Aggies.

– ANTHONY MARIN
DIRECTOR OF STUDENT AFFAIRS AT NMSU

Area middle-school students gather in the NMSU Corbett Center Student Union ballrooms for the GradNation community summit event.