San Juan College
|San Juan College|
|Established||1956 (part of NMSU)|
|President||Dr. Toni Pendergrass|
|Academic staff||81 full-time, 203 part-time|
|Location||Farmington, New Mexico, United States|
Founded in 1956 as a branch of the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts, San Juan College became an independent community college following a county election in 1981.
San Juan College founded in 1956 as the Farmington Branch of the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts. In 1958, the name was changed from Farmington Branch to San Juan Branch, NMSU. This name better indicated the area served by the branch.
In July 1965, the Farmington Board of Education allowed the college use of a building on North Wall Avenue near downtown Farmington. This space provided for full-time day and evening instruction; however, laboratories and other special facilities at Farmington High School were still used for evening instruction.
During the 1966-67 year, applications for a federal grant to assist in the construction of a separate facility for a branch campus were prepared and approved. Thus, San Juan Branch had a permanent site in the northern part of Farmington.
From the first phase of construction in 1967 to 1981, campus facilities increased from 16,384 square feet (1,522.1 m2) to 87,442 square feet (8,123.6 m2), while enrollment in credit courses during the same period increased from 395 to 1604 students.
As the community and local school districts invested more money and support in this university branch campus, a call was made for more local control and autonomy. State laws were amended in 1980 to make such a transition possible. Petitions were circulated and a feasibility study for college independence was completed in August 1981. A county-wide election was held on November 17, 1981, which resulted in 87 percent of those voting in the four San Juan County school districts approving of separation from NMSU and financial support for a newly created junior college district. On July 1, 1982, an independent and separate community college known officially as Junior College District of San Juan County and informally as San Juan College, came into being.
In 2011, the San Juan College branch of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society earned the National Student Chapter of the Year award, the first community college to earn the national award formerly given at top schools such as Stanford University and the University of California, Los Angeles.