NMHED Hires New Director of Adult Education

Stephanie Montoya
NMHED Hires New Director of Adult Education

The New Mexico Higher Education Department has announced that Amber Gallup Rodriguez will serve as director of the agency’s Adult Education Division.   

The Adult Education Division oversees 24 programs statewide authorized to provide instructional and testing services for New Mexicans seeking to attain a High School Equivalency credential, or HSE.  These programs also support New Mexican adults to strengthen core literacy, numeracy, and digital skills; learn English as a Second Language (ESL) and civics; and prepare for college or enter a career pathway. Adult education programs served 9,520 adult learners for the 2019-2020 program year, with 655 New Mexicans attaining a high school equivalency credential, and 1,463 transitioning to higher education or vocational training.   

“New Mexico’s adult education programs play a vital role in ensuring the all New Mexicans have access to opportunities to learn and attain the skills they need to succeed in life and to pursue a job opportunities or higher education,” acting Higher Education Secretary Stephanie Rodriguez said. “We are excited to have Amber Gallup Rodriguez join our agency and are looking forward to the continued success of adult education in New Mexico.”   

Gallup Rodriguez has 25 years of professional experience in education, including direct experience in instructional design, training, and curriculum development for adult education. Much of her past work has focused on expanding education and vocational training opportunities for frontline workers, members of Native American and immigrant communities, as well as English language learners. She previously worked as an adult education instructional design consultant for the New Mexico Higher Education Department and other clients including the New Mexico Direct Caregivers Coalition, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and various trades unions. The Division was previously led by Dr. Frances Bannowsky, who held the position for the last 10 years.   

“Adult education has always been my passion, and my top priority is ensuring high-quality and equitable education for adult learners in New Mexico so that they can meet their goals and access family- and community-sustaining careers,” Gallup Rodriguez said. “I have great respect for the dedication and creativity of adult educators, and it is my honor to support and advocate for them in this role.”