The ARMAS Center opened in 2009 to support students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines at New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) as well as the faculty who teach them. ARMAS' Student Retention Services include: Training of Supplemental Instruction Leaders, provision of Supplemental Instruction in STEM gateway courses and selected upper division courses, math tutoring, STEM textbook lending library, STEM internship and fellowship opportunities, academically-engaging and meaningful on-campus student employment and a STEM community. Faculty support includes orientation and support for the use of Supplemental Instruction, interdisciplinary discussions on best practices in STEM pedagogy and collaboration on grants that include student support services. Of NMHU's main campus STEM majors (286), 248 or 87% utilize the ARMAS Center. In addition to STEM majors, 476 non-STEM majors were served by the ARMAS Center. In the 2016-2017 academic year, 742 students registered and used the ARMAS Center, of these 59% were Hispanic and 47% female.
The mission of our center is to provide comprehensive support to Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) students and faculty, recognizing our historical commitment as an Hispanic Serving Institution. Our goal is to increase the number of STEM graduates from New Mexico Highlands University through collaborative and innovative best practices.
Since opening in 2009: The number of STEM majors has increased from 242 to 286 (18%). The number of STEM graduates per year increased from 24 to 48 (100%). From fall 2015 to fall 2016, there was an 11.6% higher retention rate among freshman STEM majors utilizing the ARMAS Center Of the 286 STEM majors, 203 (71%) are Hispanic and 233 (81%) are from groups underrepresented in the STEM disciplines. Since 2017, ARMAS has placed students in 248 paid internships with 22 community partners and faculty research mentors.