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Pablo Sisneros, OASIS, 5/6/2012

The Path to New Mexico OASIS (Organizing the Advancement, Success, and Interests of Students):

When I first started thinking of this program I was not sure on where to start. I had ideas on what I wanted to teach the high school students and how I wanted to design the program. I wanted to be able to hold the meeting times for my program during the school day in order to optimize the amount of students that I can reach. I also wanted it to be for students that plan to attend a university. I wanted to gather students under employment of the University of New Mexico and train them to tutor and mentor local high school students. The skills that would be taught to the high school students consist of; resume composition, basic Microsoft Excel skills, essay writing, study skills, time management, interviewing techniques, application help for jobs, schools applications, and any other type of professional writing, and how to find assistance, programs, information, etc. there would also be field trips to the UNM campus in order to give them a detailed description on the offices, the responsibilities of the offices, the policies of these offices, and the problems that each of these offices would handle. There would also be presentations of all the different programs and organizations around the campus that they could participate in. I decided to start where I felt the most comfortable.

I first asked Prof. Paul for advice as to where I should go with this. He gave me some schools that had similar programs that were close to the idea I was trying to develop. The first one that he suggested that I should look at was the University of Maryland Baltimore County. The other two that he mentioned was Yale and Harvard. I started to look up these programs and get into contact with all of the directors of the programs. For UMBC I found the name and the email of the person that started the program and her name is Taija Thomas. I emailed her repeatedly for several weeks with no success. For Yale I had very little luck. I had found information on and about the program, but could not find information on the individuals that were in charge of running the program. Harvard I started out calling general information. There they directed me to an individual's email address and the website where I could find this information. The name that they gave me was Nimet Eren. I emailed him several times over the course of several weeks as well. I decided to give up on this approach because I had only a semester to deliver. While I was looking this information up and attempting to contact these individuals I also investigated my place of employment.

At the Center for Academic Programs Support or CAPS I started by attempting to set up an interview with the director Michelle Steiner, former director Karen Olson, and the Training and Development Specialist Jennifer Flores. The interviews with the director and the former director were extremely difficult to arrange and was never arranged because our schedules conflicted too much. The interview with Jennifer Flores was easily arranged. The interview was conducted on Thursday the ninth of February. Through the interview we discussed the different ways that I would go about funding, and was told that Jenifer Gomez-Chavez was a person that knows a lot about grants. We also talked about the approach of getting funding from UNM and support from the local high schools. We also talked about the way the program should be structured, and the research that I deeded to conduct in order to make this possible. She revered me to a gentleman named Andrew Gonzalez whom I was able to set an interview with.

The interview took place on the 23rd of February to talk about his program and the direction of my program. The first thing that we talked about, because I was concerned about it at the time, was keeping track of progress. He stated that the best way to do this was to simply keep track of retention rates. I also was wondering if there were any other programs out there that were available for students here in Albuquerque. He gave me a list of programs that were available and the information for another program that was offered by UNM called ENLACE. We also discussed the research that I would need to conduct for the high school students and how to go about getting funding. We talked about the program and he said that the best thing that I can do is research these different programs that he had listed and develop my program to where it is different from them, but accomplishes the same thing. I stared to conduct the research by attempting to contact all the programs directors, and my research consisted of:

UNM Resources/ Programs:

ENLACE (ENgaging LAtino Communities for Education)

ENLACE's Mission:

To increase the high school AND college retention and graduation rates of Latino and other students at the higher education institutes around the state of New Mexico while smoothing the transition process from one level of the education pipeline to the next. We know that students who have support systems in place have a higher success rate of college completion. Through access to academic and financial support services we motivate our students toward the successful completion of their post-secondary education goals. (ENALCE, about-us)

There are 32 programs that are ran state wide from pre-K to Graduate level, but here in Albuquerque their main focus is on the mentoring program and the parent engagement program.

The Mentoring program is primarily funded through the New Mexico Legislature although they do receive non-endowed foundational support on occasion. Employees who are work study qualified are able to receive it. There are also positions available for those that are not work-study qualified. Student employees are required to have a minimum of 2.5 GPA, good people skills and able to connect with people, data collection, and mandatory monthly training. The mentor leaders are very informal. They receive training and curriculum, and are allowed to adjust it for the needs of the high school that they are mentoring at.

The mentors meet with students after school. It is available to anyone who is attending the school that networks with ENLACE. Depending on the school the student participation differs. On average they receive 15-20 students, but there are days were very few students attend. They choose to stay small, so advertising is done mainly through the UNM Jobs website. They have a very high retention rate of 90%. (Corbin, 2012)

CEOP (College Enrichment and Outreach Programs)


The College Enrichment Program (CEP) is responsible for providing leadership in the development, implementation and coordination of student support services and activities which are designed to assist CEP students' academic achievement and their personal, cultural and social development. CEP provides guidance and counseling support to students in all areas relevant to their persistence and eventual success on campus, including overall adjustment, academic advising, career selection and financial aid advisement. Particular emphasis is given to assisting students from backgrounds which are currently underrepresented at the University. CEP supports the initiatives of the University in a cooperative effort through its outreach programs for pre-college students, the enhancement of community partnerships, and the recruitment of prospective undergraduate, graduate and professional students. (UNM, cep)

College Prep Programs

The purpose of College Prep Programs (CPP) is to promote P-20 student success and post-secondary education, from college awareness to college readiness, through academics, career exploration, civic engagement, college-life and leadership development for students from low-income and first generation college-attending families in New Mexico and across the country. There are several programs that consist of the CPP; Natural High Program (NH), College Prep Mentoring (CM), College Readiness (CR), and Summer College Prep Programs (SCPP).

The Natural High program (NH) operates during both the fall and spring semesters. Natural High (NH) promotes leadership development and teambuilding, specifically through cooperative games and low ropes facilitated by Educational Mentor/Tutors (EMTs) on UNM's campus as well as off site at schools and community organizations, in addition to mentoring and tutoring, to promote student success and post-secondary education.

College Prep Programs (CPP) hires and trains Educational Mentors/Tutors (EMTs) to visit and collaborate with different schools and community partners throughout Albuquerque and the state of New Mexico. The EMTs are an integral part of the program not only because they are the engine that makes the program function, but also because they serve as role models for the students with whom they work. EMTs come from different backgrounds and have personally experienced some of the same challenges their protégées are currently experiencing. Through tutoring, mentoring and motivating the youth at the different schools, our EMTs are setting an example of success. EMTs are selected based on their experience, desire to work with students, and their academic excellence.

The Natural High program is multifaceted and applicable to a wide variety of individuals. NH consists of: the low ropes course, cooperative games, individualized and group mentoring/tutoring as well as assistance with college awareness and readiness through presentations and workshops. Throughout the academic year different schools and/or community organizations request to work with CPP and participate in the low ropes course or the cooperative games. These two components are open to any group P-20.

*Because of safety and effectiveness, Natural High (NH) can currently only offer cooperative games for participants in 3rd grade and older and the low ropes course for 6th grade and older. (http://ceop.unm.edu/cpp/nh_cpm/nh_index.html)

The College Prep Mentoring Programs (CPM) operates throughout both the fall and spring semesters. College Prep Mentoring (CPM) connects UNM students as Educational Mentor/Tutors (EMTs) in K-12 schools and community sites to promote student success and post-secondary education.

College Prep Programs (CPP) Educational Mentors/Tutors (EMTs) are placed at schools and community organizations throughout Albuquerque with an emphasis on K-12 students. The EMTs are an integral part of the program, not only because they are the engine that makes the program function, but also because they serve as role models for the students with whom they work. EMTs come from different backgrounds and have personally experienced some of the same challenges their protégées are currently experiencing. Through tutoring, mentoring and motivating the youth at the different schools, EMTs set an example of success. EMTs also provide valuable information and guidance to the students and their families regarding the different options for colleges and universities. This information includes matriculation information including financial aid, admissions and various academic support programs. EMTs are selected based on their experience, desire to work with students, and their academic excellence. (UNM-CEOP, 2012)

During the College Readiness Program students participate in a Summer Session, Senior Year Monthly Seminars, and Senior Year Meetings with Educational Mentor/Tutors students (EMT). In the Summer Session students stay on campus for 3 days/2 nights to experience campus life of UNM. During this time students participate in philanthropy activity, college readiness preparation workshops and presenters, leadership skills activities, and team building exercises.

During the Senior Year Monthly Seminars students are required to attend twice monthly Saturday seminars on campus throughout their senior year were information and help are offered with the goal of successfully registering all participant in a post-secondary education institution. During the seminars students will be instructed through;

During Senior Year Meetings with Educational Mentor/Tutors students (EMT)will be provided provides one-on-one help with scholarship searches and processes, financial aid and any other help the student might need. Students meet with their EMT once every other week on the UNM Campus. In order to participate students must;


CEP is committed to assisting students with excelling at the University of New Mexico. As a student retention program, CEP strives to provide quality services to meet students' academic, social and personal needs. CEP encourages parents to become a partner with the program in order to assist their child in the best way possible. (UNM-parents, 2012)

Upward Bound


Student Support and Services-TRiO (SSS)

SSS is one of three TRiO programs originally funded under the Higher Education Act of 1965, U.S. Department of Education Office of TRiO Programs. SSS at The University of New Mexico is one of over 900 programs nationally designed to increase the academic performance, retention and graduation rates of program participants. SSS provides first-generation college students from moderate and low-income families with resources and services that will assist them to stay in school, do well, and graduate. Services consist of;

The academic advising is one of the largest benefits of being of this program. Individualized time is set aside for each student. Participants meet with SSS advisors on a regular basis by appointment. They meet the needs of participants by offering extended hours to provide student advisement beyond the typical 8-5 schedule. All advisors are knowledgeable about financial aid and the process and/will guide students through the process. All interactions between student and the advisor are confidential.

There are individualized tutorial services that are available to participants. The tutors will provide academic support in the following course subjects:

The goal of the mentoring aspect of SSS is to improve the retention and graduation rates. SSS mentors are upperclassmen, who are familiar with the processes and procedures of UNM, have exhibited academic proficiency and leadership abilities. The mentors help participants by helping them adjust to college life at UNM and promote and encourage their mentees to participate in events and activities to develop campus involvement. The mentors offer their own experiences to assist their mentees in whatever issues arise.

SSS will only accept 160 participants during an academic year. There are several requirements that one must meet to participate in SSS;


SACNAS Lobos (Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science)

SACNAS Lobos is a network of diverse and motivated current and future scientific leaders at the University of New Mexico. We share a dedication to advancing the work, improving the effectiveness, and enhancing the public understanding and appreciation for Chicanos, Latinos, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other underrepresented minorities in science. We are a chapter of a national non-profit organization which fosters the success of scientists at all levels of training with the goal of advancing these individuals into careers and positions of leadership in science. SACNAS Lobos will provide a community for students from a diverse range of majors, primarily science and science related majors, to come together for academic, community service, and social activities at the University of New Mexico. (UNM-SACNAS, 2012)

The SACNAS Lobos UNM chapter is a chartered student organization at the University of New Mexico. Membership is open to enrolled students, faculty, staff, and community members of UNM, the surrounding community colleges, and high schools. In order to qualify they ask you come to meetings in order to vote for officers and they also participate in several events throughout the year. At one of their more recent meetings they decided that they would like to host an event that will be a resource event for high school students and their families to get information on UNM and specifically the areas of science. This event is still under development so they can present the proposal to UNM, APS, and CNM.

Since navigating around UNM and finding resources/connections are some of the biggest problems that incoming High School students have to face they are also developing an event where they can give incoming students and their parent's information about the school before they even get here. It will be a resource event about advising, organizations, campus tours, classes, etc., and will be expanded to a mentor program where incoming students will be paired up with one of our members when they get to UNM to get more resources and any help they need settling in.

As of now there are no high school students that attend their meetings but they are eligible to be a part of their organization and can come to their regular meeting times and events. Because they are a student organization all of their funding comes from fundraising events, and have no hired employees. The main SACNAS organization hires employees for the national offices. They are hoping to host their first event for the high school students at the beginning of the next school year so that is where their focus and efforts are being directed. (Connick, 2012)

Outside Resources/Programs:

Gear Up New Mexico (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs in New Mexico)


The grant is awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to increase the number of students who graduate from high school prepared to complete the college or career program of their choice. GEAR UP NM has been granted for a six-year period, from 2006-2012. GEAR UP New Mexico has invested more than $18 million to increase academic performance and college awareness for 6,300 middle and high school students in 29 schools, reaching nearly 25% of all New Mexico 10th graders. The schools that network with Gear Up are; Belen High School, Bernalillo High, Bloomfield High, Capital High, Chaparral High, Coronado High, Cuba High, Deming High, Dulce High, Farmington High, Gadsden High, Grants High, Hatch Valley High, Jemez Valley High, Kirtland Central High, Laguna Acoma High, Lovington High, Los Lunas High, Newcomb High, Pecos High, Piedra Vista High, Portales High, Santa Teresa High, Shiprock High, Socorro High, Tularosa High, Taos High, and Valencia High.

Gear Up NM's Mission

Increase the number of New Mexico students who enroll in and complete the college and career-technical programs of their choice by optimizing federal, state, and private resources to support a group of 5,500 New Mexico students as they progress from seventh through high school graduation in 2012.

GEAR UP NM activities are aimed at increasing postsecondary awareness and preparation among parents and students. Site teams and principals at participating high schools develop budgets and activity planning timelines. The site teams consist of a data, parent, student leadership and site coordinators at each school. Collectively, the site teams plan and execute GEAR UP NM activities using effective outreach specific to their community's academic needs and interests. To date, GEAR UP NM schools have successfully planned, coordinated and implemented many innovative activities and programs leading to increased academic success. Some examples include:

(Gearupnm, 2012)

Simon Scholar Foundation Program Details/Requirements

New Mexico Chapter - Simon Scholars Program...

The New Mexico Chapter of the Simon Scholars Program is sponsored by the Simon Foundation for Education and Housing, and is administered by the Simon Charitable Foundation. The New Mexico Chapter was started in 2005 with a small group of students from the high school graduating Class of 2006. Since then, the program has grown substantially in size and scope. The New Mexico Chapter currently operates the Simon Scholars Program in four Qualified Simon Scholar High Schools located in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, including Albuquerque High School, South Valley Academy, Santa Fe High School, and Capital High School.

Sophomore Year - Application and Selection...

Current sophomores enrolled in a Qualified Simon Scholar High School who meets the program's eligibility requirements may apply for the program mid-way through their sophomore year. Eligibility requirements include:

Applicants are evaluated on the degree to which they meet the criteria above. Applicants are also evaluated on the quality of their applications, including the personal essay, recommendations and academic transcripts. Students who have overcome significant personal hardships are also given special consideration.

Junior and Senior Years - College Access Program...

Requirements for a student to remain active in the high school program: students must achieve at least a 2.7 GPA for their first semester of their junior year then a 3.0 GPA for the following 3 semesters through graduation from high school, participate in required events, maintain good conduct and communicate frequently with Simon Scholars Program staff.

College Years - College Retention Program...

Requirements for a student to remain active in the college program and receive funding during college: students must begin college the first semester following high school graduation, maintain full-time status (24 semester units per year or 36 quarter unites per year), maintain at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA and remain in good standing with their institution. All students must provide required documentation electronically twice a year through the Simon Scholar Program student portal and request scholarship funding in a timely manner. (Simonscholars, 2012)

Youth In Development Incorporated:

The information on this program is incomplete. I had a hard time getting in touch with somebody that could give me the information that I was looking for.

At the same time I was also researching different people that I could contact in order to find out the number of students that attend UNM from the local high school in order to target the school on the molt need. I first started by looking at the people involved in the admissions office. The closes person that I could find that was willing to help me was the Operation Manager Tanaya Brown. I contacted her over email and she referred me to another gentleman named Richard Mathew Hullet. He too could not give me the information that I wanted, but referred me to the UNM fact book and the registrar's office. He had also sent me a link to an information request form that I had to have a faculty member request for me. Maggie then referred me to a gentleman by the name of Terry Babbitt. He gave me this information:

Enrolled Beginning Freshmen 2007 through 2011 from Selected Albuquerque Schools
Albuquerque Academy2728293223
Albuquerque High School618598100108
Amy Biehl High School714143328
Bosque Preparatory School133171921
Cibola High School204189187169116
Del Norte High School6975796951
East Mountain High School2722193822
Eldorado High School182156180169144
Highland High School8066809180
Hope Christian High School4056415345
La Cueva High School211207218180218
Manzano High School11511110812592
Menaul High7129513
Rio Grande High School4055674959
Saint Plus X High School10711813311194
Sandia High School145153126172136
Sandia Preparatory School3320322235
Southwest Secondary Learning1210111522
Valley High School7790919967
Volcano Vista High School...86129
West Mesa High School5865929798

I had requested some other information that Paul had suggested I ask from him, but Terry being the busy man that he is has not yet emailed me that information. I had thought that he had not received the email that I had sent him, but he confirmed that he would send it to me when he could. With this information and the information that he will send me, I can target the school with the most need of an after school program.

I had also started to look into ways that I can gather information on the different local high schools. I was looking at the grades that the different schools received according to national standards (APS, 2012). Many of the school received average marks, with some excellent and some above standard. I was curious as to why these schools were receiving these marks when I was under the impression that New Mexico had some of the worst results for education. That is when I started to look at dropout rates of high school students. I made graphs of the information found at http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=16.

Totals Dropout Rates



Family Quartile

Labor Force Status

Year of School Completed

Reasons for Dropping Out

This website did not have the information that I was looking for on New Mexico so I found another information source. According to a Family Impact Seminar in 2009 performed by New Mexico State University, New Mexico have many different problems than the rest of the nation. More than 50% of the population is Hispanic, and 12% are American Indians. Also in a survey conducted by Pew Hispanic Center, the main reasons for students dropping out in New Mexico are due to family problems. The family problems that are most common are dropping out to take care of their family and dropping out to take care of a an ill family member. New Mexico has a very low amount of the population with degrees. New Mexico is ranked 45th in the nation for the percent of the population with degrees. New Mexico is third in the nation for worst graduation rates right in front of Georgia and Nevada. The graduation rates are even lower in the Albuquerque area with a graduation rate of 44%. Also here in New Mexico all races tend to have lower graduation rates. I made a graph of the information provided by this website http://aces.nmsu.edu/ces/familyimpactseminar.

New Mexico's Graduation Rates

According to the information the nation is progressing in lowering the dropout rates overall. However here in New Mexico we are not seeing that. Here in New Mexico nearly half of the youth is not graduating high school, and in the Albuquerque less than half are graduating. According to the information economic status does not play that big of a factor nationwide. However according to the research conducted by NMSU that is not true. Many of the time students drop out because of family problems due to money issues.

I decide I wanted to broaden the ideas of the program. I started thinking of other skills that they would need to know in life. Things like How to ask questions, how to obtain letters of recommendation, and navigating through different websites for universities and specialty schools. I also wanted to teach them the rights that they have as students, but my uncle gave me good advice and that is not to give anyone any kind of legal advice. I started to think that I wanted to model it after ENLACE and individualizing the program to the needs of the students in the school that the program is being held. At ENLASE I was informed that in Albuquerque I am not going to be able to hold it during the school day, so it would have to be an after school program. I also want to model many of the activities and the projects that would be done in the after school program after the Discovery and Innovation class. I would like them to develop a community impact project that would involve putting on an information seminar for middle school students and their parents regarding the things the parents and children need to know in order to be successful in high school. I would also challenge them to think about their interests and the where they plan to go in the future. Many of the details are not developed and need to be after I engage the different schools and assess their needs. Much of it will be “teaching without a net”.

I had not given the program a name until the night before the elevator pitch. I wanted an acronym to describe the program. I also wanted to describe what I wanted the program to accomplish. I thought that OASIS would be a good acronym but could not think of thing that would work. I finally came up with the name Organizing the Advancement, Success, and Interests of Students. I emailed Paul to ask for his opinion on the name, and he said “oasis in the desert can't go wrong”. I have come short on time and still need to finish researching and designing the program.

Plans for the Future:

The first thing that I need to do is finish the research involving the Youth in Development Incorporated. I also need to contact Terry Babbitt and gather the rest of the information regarding the high school feeders. Once my research is fully complete I need to wright a formal proposal in order to obtain a grant. I also need to contact Jennifer Gomez-Chavez in order to gain some help with obtaining a grant. The proposal would also be used to gain support from the local high schools. Before I start talking to counsels and principals at local high schools I need to register with Albuquerque Public School in order to work and or volunteer at the schools. I was advised to start where I know. I have several friends that are teachers here at local high schools. I am going to target their schools first because I feel that I would have a better chance of getting it started with their assistance. I would also need to contact the vice president of Student Affairs Eliseo Cheo Torez. Jennifer Flores from CAPS gave me the information for him. He would be the person that I would need to talk to in order to approve this program. He would also be the person that I would talk to about gaining UNM's support, funding, and work study employees.


Albuquerque Public Schools, (2012), School Website. Retrieved: March 20, 2012 from aps.edu

College Readiness Programs, (2012), The University of New Mexico Website. Retrieved: March 16, 2012 from unm.edu

College Readiness Programs, (2012), The University of New Mexico Website. Retrieved: March 16, 2012 from unm.edu

College Readiness Programs, (2012), The University of New Mexico Website. Retrieved: March 16, 2012 from unm.edu

College Readiness Programs, (2012), The University of New Mexico Website. Retrieved: March 16, 2012 from unm.edu

College Readiness Programs, (2012), The University of New Mexico Website. Retrieved: March 16, 2012 from unm.edu

College Readiness Programs, (2012), The University of New Mexico Website. Retrieved: March 16, 2012 from unm.edu

College Readiness Programs, (2012), The University of New Mexico Website. Retrieved: March 16, 2012 from unm.edu

College Readiness Programs, (2012), The University of New Mexico Website. Retrieved: March 16, 2012 from unm.edu

Connick, M. (2012), SACNAS, Interview via e-mail, SACNAS President Melanie Connick, March 20, 2012 to March 29, 2012.

Corbin, C. (2012), ENLACE's Education Specialists, Live Interview with Educational Specialist Josh Corbin March 29, 2012.

Family Impact Seminar, (2012), The New Mexico State University Website. Retrieved April 16, 2012 from nmsu.edu

Flores, J. (2012), Center for Academic Programs Support's Training and Development Specialist, Live Interview with Training and Development Specialist Jennifer Flores, February 9, 2012.

Gear Up New Mexico, (2012), The Gear Up New Mexico Website. Retrieved March 18, 2012 from gearupnm.org

Gonzalez, A. (2012), Collage Enrichment and Outreach Program's Sr. Program Manager and Director, Live Interview with Program Manager and Director Andrew Gonzalez, February 23, 2012.

National Center for Education Statistics, (2011), The National Center for Statistics Website. Retrieved: April 9, 2012 from nces.ed.gov

SACNAS Lobos UNM, (2012), The SACNAS Lobos UNM Website. Retrieved: April 9, 2012 from unm.edu

Simon Scholars Foundation New Mexico Chapter, (2012), The Simon Scholars Foundation Website. Retrieved: March 18, 2012 from simonscholars.org