FARMINGTON — Students from San Juan College will be able to transfer to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology to pursue a bachelor's degree under a new agreement between the two schools.

A guaranteed admissions agreement between both colleges will allow San Juan College graduates with an associate degree in engineering to transfer into the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology's bachelor's degree program.

San Juan College President Toni Pendergrass and New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology President Daniel Lopez signed a memorandum of understanding about the agreement in a ceremony Tuesday evening in the Educational Services Building on the San Juan College main campus.

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology President Daniel Lopez and San Juan College President Toni Pendergrass sign a guaranteed admissions agreement
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology President Daniel Lopez and San Juan College President Toni Pendergrass sign a guaranteed admissions agreement on Tuesday at San Juan College in Farmington. (Jon Austria / The Daily Times)

"We're elated about this agreement," Pendergrass said during the ceremony. "We think it'll make a tremendous difference in this community for individuals that are working that want to advance in their careers or for students who want to earn a baccalaureate degree in engineering."

San Juan College signed a similar agreement with New Mexico Highlands University in September 2013 that allows San Juan College graduates to transfer to the university to earn bachelor's degrees in, among other things, biology, business administration, psychology and programs in the oil and gas industry.

Lopez said students can complete their bachelor's degree work locally or by transferring to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology campus in Socorro.

"Having this formal agreement gives us a great opportunity for recruiting, forming stronger partnerships with industry, especially oil and gas, and other industries as well," Lopez said.

The details of the transfer program are still being worked out, Lopez said. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology staff will try to get the program set up for the upcoming fall semester, but nothing is finalized.

"We still have to design the program around distance learning, as well as other kinds of experiences they will need," Lopez said.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 and jkellogg@daily-times.com. Follow him @jkelloggdt on Twitter.