The Lobo Academy at The University of New Mexico-Gallup campus is a summer program that provides incoming freshmen the opportunity to improve their skills in reading, writing and math to better prepare them to transition from high school to college. 

The bridge program, free of charge and now in its sixth year, helps students understand that the academic expectations and demands of college are higher than those of high school and offers help in improving their skills in both academic and other college success areas such as time management, college navigation, career and financial counseling and transfer possibilities.

Lobo Academy is made available through a TRIO Student Support Services grant sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Recent high school graduates entering UNM-Gallup are enrolled in a 3-credit hour College Success class, receive instruction in writing, reading and math, are guided through the financial aid process, become familiar with the campus and are introduced to staff and faculty. 

The students also become part of an incoming cohort of freshmen who receive continued support throughout their college career as a result of their involvement in the TRIO program. 

In order to qualify for Lobo Academy and the TRIO program, students must be recent high school or GED graduates who plan on pursuing a college degree. Students must also be first generation college students whose parents have not earned a Bachelor’s degree, come from a low-income household, or have a documented physical and/or learning disability. 

TRIO staff guide students through their college experience by offering personalized advising, one-on-one tutoring, supplemental instruction, enrichment activities and private computer and tutoring centers.

Kimmila Simms, TRIO and Lobo Academy director said, “Lobo Academy represents many students’ first experience with college. Many students go right into college without benefit of a bridge program, so we provide personal attention to encourage and support students holistically. One particular way we are helping students is by incorporating resources to help with online classes. Another huge aspect of Lobo Academy is the promotion of transfer opportunities before students even begin taking classes. We take students to larger universities so they can have a goal to work towards and see that through resources available at these larger campuses, transferring for a Bachelor’s degree is not that scary.”

Data from previous Academies shows that participants test at least one level higher from the beginning of Lobo Academy to the end. Many students are able to go right into college level and credit bearing classes which can decrease both their time spent in school and their financial obligations.    

For more information about TRIO programs, call 505-863-7512.