Located in Silver City, New Mexico, Western New Mexico University was founded in 1893. Known then as the New Mexico Normal School, the school first offered class in a Presbyterian church eventually moving to its 20 acre campus on donated land. Today, the over 2,000 undergraduate students at WNMU choose between more than 70 majors, and its association with the Gallup Graduate Studies Center known for its School of Education, Occupational Therapy, Business Management, Nursing and Social Work programs. With an open admissions policy and over 100 online courses offered, academic resources like the J. Cloyd Miller Library, the campus museum, and satellite campuses like the Gardner Learning Center, area residents benefit greatly from the presence of WNMU.
Academic departments at WNMU include applied technology, the school of business administration & economics, criminal justice and chemical dependency, the school of education, expressive arts, humanities, mathematics & computer science, natural sciences, the nursing department, occupational therapy & rehabilitation services, social sciences, social work, the school of health sciences & human performance, and kinesiology. Students may earn associate and baccalaureate, as well as certificates and diplomas while at WNMU. They may also participate in programs like WILL (Western Institute for Lifelong Learning) designed specifically for students 50 years of age and older. Additionally, WNMU Adult Educational Services provides instruction in programs like ESL, GED, Math, Reading, and Computerized ABE. The virtual campus offers flexible, affordable class schedules and degree programs that can be accessed from any internet connection. Online programs include career and technical teacher education, the RN to bachelor of science in nursing, the bachelor of applied science in criminal justice, the bachelor of arts in rehabilitation services, the master of arts in interdisciplinary studies and more. Another program, Western Online Writing provides students with a virtual writing lab.
The community of Western New Mexico benefits from services offered at WNMU like the Small Business Development Center. Serving the southwest four county area of Catron, Grant, Hidalgo and Luna, the SBDC exists to improve business and management skills, create business problem solution alternatives, develop new services and products, and investigate new business opportunities. Community members may receive free counseling, resources, international trade education, and contract training, and may participate in workshops. The Extended University of WNMU has many facets as well, including degree and certificate programs focused on workforce development, distance education, flexible programming, and more. Facilities include the Mimbres Valley Learning Center in Deming, the Gardner Learning Center in Truth or Consequences, and the WNMU Gallup Graduate Studies Center. The Gila Instructional Consortium and Virtual Campus are also considered part of the Extended University.