Category Archives: Career Pathways

TECC HSE Graduation 2017

Congratulations Class of 2017!

We would like to congratulate our students for their hard work and commitment during this year. We honored them during the UNM-TAOS Commencement Ceremony on May 11th, 2017 at 6:00 PM. The event took place at the Sagebrush Inn and Conference Center in Taos, New Mexico. This year, for the first time the High School Equivalency students had their our graduation. TECC had 52 graduates this year!

We would like to acknowledge the teachers, staff and administrative team at UNM-Taos that worked hard to make this event unforgettable and special for everybody. In addition, we would like to congratulate our incredible team for supporting and encouraging our students to reach their goals.

Dear students we wish you the best in all your future endeavors!



Learning about the Plight of Migrants

Students and staff at the Taos Education & Career Center got a lesson Wednesday, Dec. 7 on the severe price many pay as they attempt to migrate to the U.S.

Jody Ipsen speaks at the Taos Education & Career Center.

Guest speaker Jody L. Ipsen, who was visiting from Arizona, talked about the Tucson Sector, where nearly 3,000 people have died from hypothermia, hyperthermia, and dehydration as they attempted to make their trek on foot across the border. She noted because the U.S. has limited access via walls, Mexican and Central American migrants must now travel through the desert and mountains.

Ipsen, who grew up in Tucson, first joined a group called Humane Borders that leaves jugs of water in the Sonoran Desert, where the temperature can reach 120 degrees in the summer. She has also camped in remote areas with doctors to provide medical care, food, and other supplies. Their aim, she said, was not to encourage the migrants but to help anyone in distress.

She is also a member of Los Desconocidos and The Migrant Quilt Project, which offers humanitarian aid by providing water and cleaning lay-up sites, where migrants leave behind possessions to lighten their load.

Ipsen displayed four quilts memorializing those who died along the way. Many of the dead were identified, but far more were unknown — desconocidos. The fabric used for the quilts was taken from the clothing found discarded at lay-up sites.

As part of her talk, Ipsen gave a PowerPoint presentation, in which she told the story in words and photos about a few women who had died during their crossing. “What the eyes don’t see, the heart can’t feel,” she said.

Ipsen also spoke about the impact of U.S. policies, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) passed in 1994 that she said has affected the Mexican economy negatively. In one story about a Mexican woman who was found dead, she noted the family had been farming beans for generations but could not compete with the cheap U.S. government-subsidized beans imported into that country.

To learn more about Los Desconocidos, visit

ABOUT THE PHOTO ABOVE: A quilt created by Cornelia Bayley.

New Age of Education

Students taking the Reading and Writing for Career Pathways class wrote letters to the editor about their learning experiences at the Taos Education & Career Center (formerly the Adult Learning Center @ UNM-Taos). The center will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration to honor its new name and expanded mission Thursday (Dec. 1), 5-8 p.m. at the Town of Taos Civic Center, 120 Civic Plaza Drive.

Ashley Billie, a recent TECC grad, wrote this piece.

Taos residents, we are at the dawn of the new age in regards to adult education in Taos County. Located in the heart of town is a building called TECC (Taos Education & Career Center), previously named the Adult Learning Center. TECC has given me opportunities that I didn’t know were available, and being that it is a free program makes the biggest difference.

I am 24 years old, Taos Pueblo, a Native American resident born and raised in Taos. I have seen many changes in our adult education over the past 10 years, and TECC is a highly educated college readiness program providing support and educational resources to transition you from taking your High School Equivalency (HSE). Whatever point you are in your life, TECC is ready and always willing to help you find what and when you are ready to higher your education.

As a Taos resident, I found it difficult, as well as many others, to be in a “normal” school system. It just wasn’t for me.

During my sophomore year in high school, I became a mother to a beautiful baby girl. Unfortunately, my education became the least of my priorities, and high school was no longer an option. Providing financially and emotionally for my daughter became my life.

For seven years I kept procrastinating. After the birth of my son and many years of not going to school, I then became immersed in deep thought and came to the realization for my kids to have a future and possibly have great careers I would have to be a role model with just as much determination as them in making “our” dreams come true.

Enrolling in the TECC program is the best decision of my life. TECC has provided me with the support and knowledge to continue my career pathway in criminal justice and achieve my HSE.

The TECC staff has very hands-on learning techniques and in my opinion are the best. We have the same goals in common “achieving higher knowledge” and being successful at what we strive to be.

With society always trying to advance the ways we think and feel, TECC is a great program to start with. TECC is a nonprofit organization with highly dedicated teachers who hope to help as many individuals in adult education as possible.

I, as well as others, am so grateful for everything the TECC programs and staff have done for us. Thank you.

Students share their learning experiences

Students at the Taos Education and Career Center (TECC) have a lot to share about their learning experiences. And they got to do just that in their Reading and Writing for Career Pathways class, when they wrote letters to the editor as an assignment.

The Taos News published the first batch of letters in the Nov. 17 edition. Now they are available online. Here is the link: Letters in The Taos News

Another batch will be published in the Nov. 23 edition. Thanks to The Taos News for its support.

We will also be sending other letters to

As you can read, the students in this class — Nina Gonzales and I co-teach — have had varied experiences. But they feel they have found a rewarding and safe environment at TECC where they can achieve their High School Equivalency and prepare for college or tech school, if that’s their chosen path.

Perhaps you know someone who could benefit from attending TECC. Perhaps you want to get involved in its expanded mission.

TECC will celebrate its new name (it used to be call the Adult Learning Center) at a ribbon cutting and reception Thursday, Dec. 1, 5 to 8 p.m., across the street at the Town of Taos Civic Center, 120 Civic Plaza Drive. There will be music, food, and a chance to meet the staff and students.

—Joan Livingston

How People Can Be Happier

The main way to become happy is always put yourself first. By doing that you will be able to see what you need to work on – if it’s either work, family, or friends. Setbacks don’t define you. If you’re getting set back for whatever reason, it may be time to focus on what is happening instead of what’s not. Out of difficulties grow new beginnings. The setbacks you face can prepare you for what’s ahead. Always think about what the future holds for you, not just what you want or need in the moment.



Adriana Rojas Cruz
Student, level III Language Arts

On Civil Rights

The civil rights movement, at it’s core, began in the 1770’s when colonists in the thirteen colonies fought for their rights against Great Britain. During this time, a war was fought between the United States and Great Britain, and upon emerging victorious, the United States wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776. This document included a Bill of Rights and several articles that were meant to give all Americans a set of equal rights.

Since then, many civil rights movements have emerged. All of these movements were successful to some degree, and all of them failed to completely provide equal rights for that particular demographic. Despite any differences in any of the groups that advocated for civil rights, the rights they demanded were all the same. All of the rights being fought for at the time, and to this day, revolved around equality.

This idea of equality goes back to the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. One of these movements was the black rights movement, which eventually led to the Civil Rights Act being passed in 1964. One could argue that thus, the movement was successful. However, even today, there is still plenty of discrimination against blacks in the United States. Does this then mean that the movement failed despite all it’s efforts? No. Although not everything that was being sought after by the movement was achieved, a lot was achieved.

Another example of this same result is the woman’s rights movement. Although woman are now equal to men in many ways, there is still discrimination against them based on their gender. Whether it be unspoken social rules and etiquette to measurable, tangible discrimination, like unequal pay amongst men and women doing the same jobs.

The reason those movements achieved so much but still failed to completely provide equality to everyone living in America is because so long as there is new generations of Americans forming their own personal opinions on how rights should be granted, these movements will never be over. For every civil rights activist fighting for equality, there will always be someone with an apposing opinion trying to stop these movements.

No civil rights movement either completely failed or completely succeeded, nor will it ever. At least that’s what history’s taught us so far.



Equity vs Equality


Equity is the quality of being fair and impartial.
In this illustration the author depicts a picture of all three persons being content, happy, and enjoying the game, all three can see over the fence and are engaged in the game.

Equality is the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities. In the illustration all three persons are of equal opportunity, all given a box to stand on and watch the game. As we can see, all three are not very engaged. Even though all are given equal it seems that it might not be the most fair.

I think that the opinion of Equity and Equality differs because I feel that in different situations the value of opinions differ. Some people’s opportunities may differ purely because everyone’s situations are not the same.


Heather LeDoux
Level 3 HSE Student