Category Archives: Taos Education & Career Center

Using Creative Ways to Learn Vocabulary in a Beginner English Language Acquisition Class

These are some of the collages they created and the sentences they came up with:

 The river sounds relaxing.

 The orange feels smooth.

The landscape looks beautiful.

As English Language Acquisition (ELA) instructors, we are always looking for ways to engage our English Language Learners (ELLs) to learn new vocabulary words and also to express their creativity, especially when they are learning new words and trying to gain confidence to express themselves. One of the techniques that we have been using with our students is to create collages to express their ideas and to learn English while they are having fun. For that reason, this past Wednesday the teacher encourage students to create a collage to learn about about sensory words and how to describe things. Each student was assigned one of the senses to make a collage.Then the students had to write a sentence about each picture. The instructor wrote the sentences on the board and the whole class helped to edit the sentences.The target vocabulary were the sensory verbs: it looks, sounds, feels, etc. At first the students were skeptical about the activity as making collages was something they used to do when they were kids. However, they had a blast during the process and with the results of the activity. They  learned new words, and practiced all the English skills in one activity.


Building Foundations

“Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.”

      –Kofi Annan, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and secretary-general of the UN 1997-2006


This week was transformational. New and returning students walked through Taos Education and Career Center’s doors and began connecting with each other in preparation for the important coursework ahead.

Through a hands-on workshop we uncovered personal preferences for various career paths. We explored how brain research can inform effective practices in learning and teaching. We began creating awareness around the factors in our learning environment that cause us both comfort and stress. Some of us even decided math can be fun and relevant!

All of the work on behalf of the students and staff at Taos Educational and Career Center is so appreciated. Through hands-on activities like the engineering exercise above, students are creating a safe, supportive community for achieving that which we have not achieved until this point. Looking forward!


New Student Orientation on August 14th

We are getting ready for the next Student Orientation at the Taos Education & Career Center.

For students interested in attending High School Equivalency classes, the orientation will be on August 14th at 9:00 am at 115 Civic Plaza Drive. For students interested in English as a Second Language, the orientation will take place the same day during the evening at 5:00 pm.  Please come and learn about our services! We offer great classes free of cost.

Everybody is invited!

If you have any questions, please call us at 575-737-3730 or email us at For information in Spanish please call at 575-7799299.

We are looking forward hearing from you!


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!



Field Trip: UNM-Taos Digital Media Arts

So what’s with the big, green screen? Students from TECC’s Reading and Writing for Career Pathways Class learned about the art and science of video production at UNM-Taos Digital Media Arts on Wednesday (April 5). Their visit was part of a class on media literacy.

Enrico Trujillo, a multi-media service specialist, not only gave the ins and outs of digital production, he led a hands-on lesson.

Trujillo directed five student volunteers in a few scenes in front of the green screen. He explained that the screen’s color will enable him to replace it with another background via the computer. In this case, the students would be going on a safari rather than acting inside the studio.

Other TECC students manned the camera, monitored sound and held the microphone.

Trujillo instructed the students to act in three clips: wandering in a park, looking startled, and then running for their lives. “Then we’re going to have a surprise animal,” he said.

Later Trujillo used computer technology to replace the green screen background with an image of a savannah in Africa — and a lion that appeared to be chasing the students.

Students also got a lesson in using the teleprompter when speaking in front of the camera.

Thanks to Enrico Trujillo and UNM-Taos Digital Media Arts for the lesson.

ABOUT THE PHOTO ABOVE: Enrico Trujillo demonstrates how he uses the computer to edit the short video.

On Project-Based Learning

The Taos Education and Career Center is closed this week, March 13-17, due to spring break. But last week students who participated in project-based learning activities reported on their experiences.

Students were linked with local businesses and agencies tied to their career interests. They gave presentations to their colleagues.

Seth, who is interested in working as a game warden, met with Cheron Ferland, a wildlife biologist at the Carson National Forest’s ranger station in Tres Piedras. Seth reported he went out in the field with Cheron and another staffer.

Fabiana and Shawnie met with Rima Ralff, a therapist at NonviolenceWorks. Both students want to help others who are struggling with problems.

Madison and Curtis toured UNM-Taos’ new medical training center next door. Madison is interested in neuroscience while Curtis wants to work as an emergency medical technician.

Ryan and Aliyah visited Guerilla Graphix, where owner Travis Parkin told them about the ins and outs, pluses and minuses of owning a business.

Corwynn, who wants to be a truck driver, had a one-on-one with Max Kaufman, who leads UNM-Taos’ CDL Program.

Thank you, professionals, for sharing your insights with out students.

Dallas Loretto named Outstanding Student of the Year

Dallas Loretto, a recent graduate of the Taos Educational and Career Center (TECC), was named an Outstanding Student of the Year by the state of New Mexico.

Loretto, 29, was one of several students in adult education programs who were recognized at the state Roundhouse in Santa Fe on Feb. 22.

“I was surprised and thankful to the Creator for the many blessings on my quest for sobriety,” he said.

Nina Gonzales, program specialist at TECC, nominated Loretto for the honor. TECC is one of 28 adult education programs in the state.

Loretto, of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, moved from Dulce to Taos in fall 2015. He began attending TECC the following January.

He said he moved to Taos, where his parents currently live, to better himself. Seeking his high school equivalency was part of that goal.

Loretto said after dropping out of high school that he made bad choices and struggled with alcohol. A turning point came when he was hospitalized for alcoholism.

He became determined to get his high school equivalency and pursue a degree in sociology so he could counsel others who are struggling with substance abuse. He completed his high school equivalency in October 2016.

TECC became his refuge because of its supportive and compassionate staff, he says.

“It’s where I could get away from the stresses of my past,” he said. “I could focus on bettering my future.”

Loretto admits that studying for his high school equivalency wasn’t always easy. There were setbacks but he was able to overcome them with support.

“I came here for some learning and walked out with some knowledge,” he said. “I encourage others who don’t have their GED to make it a goal. It takes time. There may be difficulties. But the end result is rewarding and can open many doors.”