LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – A northern New Mexico community college is finally off probation, three years after an accreditation organization deemed it was not up to standards. This comes after working on long-time problems with school finances and the administration.
Luna Community College has had a tough few years. The Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation organization, put the school on what’s called a “show-cause order” in November 2017 and then probation a year later because the institution was not up to their standards.
“The initial issues were based in integrity and ethics and they reached across the institution from the board, to the administration and it was basically financial, academic, personnel issues of conflict of interest, nepotism,” said Dr. Kenneth Patterson, the Interim LCC President.
LCC didn’t lose its accreditation during the sanctions. But the college’s survival was in danger, paired with the COVID-19 pandemic that has made a significant impact everywhere. “You take a PR hit, you are not viewed as the most viable option, you take enrollment hits, you take funding hits,” said Dr. Patterson.
However, Dr. Patterson said they did an overhaul of the whole institution. Which resulted in the HLC removing the sanctions against them earlier this month. “We have corrected those issues and we are again seen as the most viable option for academic workforce development in northeast New Mexico,” said Dr. Patterson.
Dr. Patterson said the school of just about a thousand students has big plans to continue helping students moving forward. “Watch for great things coming from Luna, now that we are off of probation, things can start to change,” said Dr. Patterson. He said the HLC will be checking in and making sure LCC is still working toward long-term financial stability in just over a year from now.
A spokesperson with the college said the majority of classes are online. The spring semester will start up on January 19, 2021.