ENMU-Roswell preparing for future semesters

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Eastern New Mexico University’s Roswell campus is prepping for the spring and fall semesters.

Now that Chaves County has the “turquoise” light to lessen restrictions, something ENMU-Roswell President Shawn Powell says will cause a lot of changes on campus.

Shawn Powell, ENMU-Roswell President, said they’ll be glad to re-open.

“Reopening the campus and being able to open more buildings and what have been available in the past so as we move into this stage they’ll be more face-to-face classes than there have been in the last year and that will be our biggest change,” he said.

But what does that mean for students? Last year the only classes that were in person were hands-on courses like health care or technical education.

Now the college is using hybrid models, staggered attendance and reduced capacity in classes to welcome back in person learning.

They’re also changing their health screening policy.

“We’ll still have some screening done with the written forms that are online but we won’t have building screeners in the buildings that are open any longer,” he said.

Additionally, everyone on campus will be required to where a wear a mask unless eating or drinking. And with vaccination efforts ramping up, Powell says the COVID-19 vaccine will not be required for students or staff.

Last year, the school faced issues with virtual learning, causing them to offer a class on that alone.

Matthew Ricon, assistant director of Adult Education, said they added a class.

“Now we are offering digital literacy skills as well access to internet was one of our challenges as well,” he said.

Internet access is just one of the issues ENMU-Roswell students face. The school was funded by the Gates Foundation to participate in the national real college survey. It determines student insecurities in categories like food, housing, and homelessness.

“Our results mirrored very much the national results in that 2/3 of our students have some form of insecurity whether that’s food security homelessness or housing difficulties,” he said.

The results show that at ENMU-Roswell. 39% experienced food insecurity in the last 30 days. 54% experienced housing insecurity and 18% experienced homelessness in the previous year.

Those insecurities paired with the pandemic caused a drop in enrollment in the fall and spring.

But looking to the new semesters, Powell said registration has been booked back to back since opening on Monday, a sign that enrollment might increase for summer and fall.