New Mexico higher education to receive federal funding

Stephanie Montoya
New Mexico higher education to receive federal funding

NM senators, representatives secure $18.4 million in federal dollars for New Mexico colleges, universities, and programs 

The New Mexico Higher Education Department and New Mexico colleges and universities will receive a total of $18.4 million in congressionally directed spending as part of Community Project Funding included in the 2022 federal spending bill, which was signed by President Biden on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. 

The bill also increases the maximum Pell grant amount available for low-income college students to $6,895, a $400 increase, which could be used toward college costs beyond tuition for students receiving the New Mexico Opportunity and Lottery Scholarships.  

“This year has brought an abundance of support for students, research, workforce, and other key initiatives led by higher education at both the state and federal levels,” Higher Education Secretary Stephanie M. Rodriguez said. “We are grateful for the advocacy and partnership of New Mexico's congressional delegation in securing funding for key projects for higher education and other areas that will benefit students and communities across New Mexico.”  

Included in the funding is $2 million to support the continued development of RISE NM, New Mexico’s longitudinal data system. RISE NM – Research Informing Success in Education – is a collaboration among the Early Childhood Education and Care, Public Education, Higher Education, and Workforce Solutions Departments to create a centralized resource that will be used to inform policy and funding decisions in addition to closing gaps as students transition from each phase of their education and career.  

“Growing the workforce grows the economy. New Mexico’s colleges and universities are key to increasing economic opportunities, building up our state’s workforce, and addressing labor market shortages. That’s why I fought for these federal investments that will empower students in higher education programs across the state and create a stronger economic future for New Mexicans,” said Senator Martin Heinrich, a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. 

With such incredible institutions for higher education, like Hispanic Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities, throughout New Mexico, it’s vital these universities' needs are met to better serve educators, staff and students,” said Senator Ben Ray Luján. “I’m proud to have worked with Senator Heinrich to secure these investments that will support higher education in New Mexico to ensure students are successful inside the classroom and throughout their careers.” 

"The investments in this bill will open the doors for Nuevo Mexicanos to pursue their education and pave the way for a more prosperous future. Let’s eliminate every roadblock and ensure both our educators and students have the resources they need to thrive," said Representative Teresa Leger Fernández. "Our students are our future.  Thank you, Secretary Rodriguez, for your leadership and partnership to promote student success." 

“These investments in higher education are an investment in New Mexico’s future. This much-needed funding builds on our Governor’s leadership to make college more affordable and accessible for all New Mexicans,” said Representative Melanie Stansbury. “From research funding to infrastructure, I am so proud of the work our delegation has done to strengthen our state’s higher education system to improve our students’ experiences and focus on the resources we need to improve equity and opportunity.”  

The Collaborative for Higher Education Shared Services (CHESS) will receive $4.1 million to implement a shared technology system to streamline administrative operations and improve student experiences. Clovis Community College, Central New Mexico Community College, Northern New Mexico College, Santa Fe Community College, and San Juan College are partnering on the project.  

Other key projects include over $1 million to expand the Allied Health Program at Clovis Community College to address needs in high-need healthcare occupations, $500,000 for Clean Hydrogen Workforce Development at San Juan College, and $1 million for a new reforestation center at New Mexico Highlands University.  

The federal spending bill also increases funding to TRIO college access and support programs nationwide by $40 million and GEAR UP college readiness programs by $10 million. The state GEAR UP program at the New Mexico Higher Education Department serves middle and high school students and their families in seven partnering school districts and the partner GEAR UP grant at Eastern New Mexico University – Roswell serves students in Chaves County. There are currently 33 federally funded TRIO programs at New Mexico colleges and universities that service populations from high school students to student veterans.  

“I continue to be in awe of the tremendous outpouring of support and commitment to funding, expanding, and enhancing programs that meet the unique and specific needs of our New Mexico students,” GEAR UP New Mexico Director Corine Frankland said. “This funding means GEAR UP New Mexico, in collaboration with our partners, can continue to provide access to the services and opportunities our students need to guide them on their journey to post-secondary education and workforce training.  We are thrilled to be a part of this investment in our students’ education and in their futures!” 

An additional $10 million has been made available to support on campus childcare centers nationwide via the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program, and an additional $96 million will support programs to strengthen Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) and other historically under-resourced higher education institutions serving a high percentage of low-income students.  

Community Project Funding recipients submitted proposals to New Mexico’s congressional delegation to request project funding and demonstrated evidence of community support and public benefit. New Mexico will receive a total of $160 million in federal funds for 75 community projects.    

A full list of federally funded projects is available below and at

In agriculture: 

  • $995,000 for New Mexico State University’s Initiative on Carbon Management and Soil Health in Arid and Semi-Arid Environments. 

 In commerce, justice, and science:  

  • $374,000 for the Decedent Image Database at the University of New Mexico.  
  • $1,821,000 to expand the ZiaMet MesoNet Weather Monitoring Network at New Mexico State University.   

For energy and water development: 

  • $500,000 for workforce development supporting blue and green hydrogen at the San Juan College School of Energy. 
  • $50,000 to support the Electric Vehicle Technician Certification Program at the San Juan College School of Energy.  

For financial services and general government: 

  • $200,000 for the Arrowhead Community Entrepreneurship Program at New Mexico State University.  
  • $123,000 for New Mexico Small Business Development Centers to support to support Native American microbusinesses with e-commerce. 
  • $77,000 for the New Mexico Small Business Development Center to support a Spanish Speaking Business Advisor position assigned to Doña Ana Community College. 
  • $107,000 for the New Mexico Small Business Development Center Technology Commercialization Accelerator at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech).  

For interior and environment: 

  • $1 million for a reforestation center at New Mexico Highlands University.  

For labor, health and human services, and education:  

  • $2 million for the development and implementation of RISE NM – New Mexico’s longitudinal data system.  
  • $4.1 million for the Collaborative for Higher Education Shared Services (CHESS) for resource planning and implementation of a shared student information system. 
  • $343,000 for the Outdoor Leadership degree program at Western New Mexico University.  
  • $1.5 million for peer support substance abuse treatment at the University of New Mexico.  
  • $300,000 to New Mexico State University to implement the STEM Connected Communities (STEM-C2) project to train teachers and provide professional development in Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math (STEM) at New Mexico State University.  
  • $1.5 million to renovate research facilities at the University of New Mexico. 
  • $473,000 for COVID-19 home visitation analysis at the University of New Mexico. 
  • $1.1 million for facilities and equipment at San Juan College.  
  • $1,073,000 for the Allied Health Program at Clovis Community College.  
  • $750,000 for the Artificial Intelligence Educational Pipeline (AIEP) Program at New Mexico State University.