Northern New Mexico College

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Northern New Mexico College
TypePublic College
PresidentDr. Richard J. Bailey
ProvostDr. Ivan Lopez Hurtado
Students1,100 (2017)[citation needed]
Location, ,
United States
CampusEl Rito, New Mexico
Española, New Mexico
Colors     Rust: PMS 7580
     Blue: PMS 541
AthleticsNational Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
SportsVarsity and intramural Basketball
Northern New Mexico College Logo.png

Northern New Mexico College is a public college in Española, New Mexico.[1]


Northern New Mexico College is a regional comprehensive college offering bachelor's, associate degrees and certificates, located in Española and El Rito, New Mexico.

Northern was founded in El Rito, New Mexico in 1909 as the Spanish American Normal School with the original mission of providing teacher training for the area's Spanish speakers.[2] The College’s original mission and Constitutional charter makes Northern the first Hispanic-serving institution in the United States. Northern opened its Española campus in 1971 and expanded its mission to include technical vocational programs, eventually becoming the state's first designated community college.

In 2004, new legislation allowed Northern to offer a baccalaureate program in Elementary Education. In 2013, Northern applied for a change of mission from a two-year to a four-year college. Between 2014 and 2015, ten more baccalaureate programs were approved. The main campus is now in Española; the El Rito campus still operates.

Currently, in addition to over 35 associate and certificate programs, Northern offers bachelor’s degree programs in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Business Administration (Accounting, Management, and Project Management), Biology, Environmental Science, Electromechanical Engineering Technology and Information Engineering Technology, Integrated Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (with emphases in Psychology, Crime & Justice Studies, Humanities, Pueblo Indian Studies, and Self-Design), Mathematics, and Nursing (RN-BSN).

Northern primarily serves rural communities from within a 40-mile radius of its main campus in Española, New Mexico, including eight Native American pueblos, in one of the most underserved regions in the state.


The college is organized into five colleges:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering and Technology
  • College of Nursing and Health Sciences


Northern is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to grant associate's and bachelor's degrees. Its student body is predominantly Hispanic (74%) and is 38% male and 62% female.[3] It is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.[4]

Additional accreditations include:[5]


Española Campus, Administration Building on left.
  • The primary campus in Española, consists of a 200-acre (810,000 m2) tract extending from U.S. Highway 84/285 to the banks of the Rio Grande. It is approximately 25 miles (40 km) north of Santa Fe.[6]
  • The El Rito campus is Northern's historical campus. It is 25 miles (40 km) north of Española.


Northern New Mexico's president is Dr. Richard J. Bailey, Jr., and the members of the Board of Regents, who are appointed by the governor of New Mexico, are:[7]

  • Kevin Powers, President of the Board
  • Robert Rhodes, PhD
  • Damian Martinez, Esq.
  • David "Chris" Ortega
  • Joshua Martinez


Northern New Mexico teams, called The Eagles, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing as an Independent of the Association of Independent Institutions (AII). Men's sports include basketball, cross country and golf; while women's sports include basketball, cheer, cross country and golf.

The athletics department was launched in 2005. The Eagles began their first competitive men's and women's basketball seasons in 2009.[8]

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]