Alibi V.25 No.3 • Jan 21-27, 2016 

Education

Philomath is Where I Go

Getting from here to there with a love of learning

A typical human place of learning
A typical human place of learning
Arielle Jay/Morguefile.com
A philomath is a lover of knowledge; more broadly the word is used to mean the love of knowledge itself. It's also a town in rural Georgia noted for its educational institutions, its historic part in the end of the Civil War and as a place sung about by the band REM.

Our culture prides itself on providing educational opportunities for creating, nurturing and supporting citizens who chose the path to philomath. By combining these with a love of learning, practically anyone can pursue and secure new knowledge that may be used to improve one’s station in life, increase economic standing and become more interested and aware in the world around them.

And if you think you can’t get there from here, think again. If you've just been trolling around the interwebz looking for educational access, broaden your search. As the 21st century lumbers toward its third decade the methods and types of schooling available in real life for post-secondary students are on the rise.

The first thing you’ll need to move ahead is a high school diploma. Lacking that substantial gate-keeping device isn’t a reason to stop your journey though. Albuquerque offers a plethora of learning centers focused on training and preparing students to pass the General Equivalency Diploma test, an exam upon whose success your sojourn toward knowing depends.

Local programs focused on mastering the academic skills at the heart of the GED test include those at ABQ-GED, Youth Development Incorporated and Central New Mexico Community College. At ABQ GED (419 Pennsylvania SE; 505-907-9957), small classes, a tradition of community involvement and a commitment to individualized approaches to learning often equal success for seekers. For a 10 dollar fee, the 4-6 month course of study leads to engagement in an essential step in the process of self-improvement.

The program at YDI (6306 Central SW; 505-352-3469) also offers workforce and employment training in addition to GED preparation classes. Prospects for the services at YDI must qualify through federal income guidelines. The Adult Basic Education Program at CNM (525 Buena Vista SE; 505-224-4282) offers the advantages present at a large-scale institution of post-secondary learning (library access, a large and diverse student body and a full-service cafeteria) but also requires a pre-involvement placement test. A 10 dollar registration fee can then be used to participate in either a 6- or 12-week course of studies leading up to success on the GED.

Once you’ve completed this step, the next part of your ascendancy toward fulfilling educational desires comes through choosing a college or university to attend. Check out the tuition requirements at the schools of your choice, become knowledgeable about financial resources available to collegians at the US Department of Education website, and begin your trip towards Philomath in earnest.

Two and four year institutions in this state abound. CNM again plays an essential role here; success at a community college can be transformed into progress at institutions like the University of New Mexico, New Mexico Highlands University, New Mexico State University or the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. CNM offers a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program that is fixed upon raising the scientific bar in this state by training under-represented communities and individuals in the latest developments driving business and commerce in our city, state and region. The new CNM STEMulus Center is located at 20 First Plaza Center NW and can be reached by calling the CNM main campus at 505-224-3000.

Universities such as UNM offer programs in business, the full gamut of social and hard sciences as well as the liberal and fine arts—for those interested in knowledge for its own sake as well as the job opportunities that arise through completion of a bachelor’s degree. The UNM admissions office can be reached at 505-277-8900 for more information. For those with deeper or loftier goals, the Institute of Mining and Technology is ranked as one of the top science and engineering schools in the nation and is situated in the bucolic and laid-back environs adjacent to Soccoro, N.M. Give them a bell at 575-835-5434 to connect with one of the premier science centers in New Mexico.

If spending 2-6 years navigating the halls of academia seems a bit much, or short-sighted or just plain inconvenient, then perhaps a for-profit college with an accelerated timetable should be part of your plan to master yourself and then the world. In Albuquerque, career colleges like Brown-Mackie College (10500 Copper NE; 877-271-3488) or Brookline College (4201 Central NW; 505-880-2877) offer educational methodologies that are compact and vocationally focused. Here students may opt to learn about business management, criminal justice and paralegal studies as well as medical assisting, veterinary technology and nursing at a pace that results in matriculation in a mere 1-3 years. The main drawback to these fast-paced, results-oriented yet sometimes truncated learning environments is a matter of tuition. Going to schools like these and completing their programs may indeed take far less time than the traditional route, but enrollment costs average up to 10 times higher than at non-profit institutions.

Well if none of that strikes your fancy, then you ought to seek out Philomath nonetheless; it’s a pretty cool place to be. Consider everything from cosmetology and barber school—Burque has a fine selection of both, including notables like the Aveda Institute of New Mexico (1816 Central SW; 505-294-5333) and the Albuquerque Barber College (601 San Pedro NE; 505-266-4900)—to learning a new language. One can learn about French culture and linguistic expression at Alliance Francais (2917 Carlisle NE; 505-872-9288). Lingua Franca (5400 Phoenix NE; 505-889-2991) offers instruction in a variety of European languages. Nihongo New Mexico (615 Gold SW; nihongonm.com) offers introductions to everything Japanese and Instituto Cervantes (1701 Fourth Street SW; 505-724-4777) is the prime location for learning about la cultura y idoma Español.

Oh yeah, one more thing: When you’ve become good friends with learning through disciplined habits, commitment and resilient fortitude—and have secured your dream job and a decent casita or car to go with it—throw your trolls out the door; you've reached Philomath, after all.

R.E.M.: “Can’t Get There From Here”