San Juan College extends online learning, postpones graduation ceremony

Students offered help by phone, computer from advisers

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — San Juan College officials have announced the school will continue to conduct classes in an online fashion through the end of the spring semester and that its graduation ceremony has been indefinitely postponed.

College officials made the announcement in a March 27 press release following an announcement earlier in the day by New Mexico Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart that all public schools in the state would remain closed for the rest of the academic year and shift to a learn-at-home model.

The order does not extend to public colleges and universities, but Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham urged regents and governing boards to move to online models to the greatest extent possible, the release states, leading nearly all the state's higher education institutions to adopt that approach.

“We understand that the situation has raised many questions and concerns,” Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass, the president of the college, stated in the press release. “We want students and our community to know that San Juan College is doing everything we can to reduce stress and identify options for our students’ educational success.  

"As we journey through this new environment of online instruction, I encourage students to reach out to their adviser, coach, instructor or whomever they have connected with at San Juan College to ask questions and get support for their individual needs,” she said. “I want students to know that we believe in them, and that we are available to provide individualized support to help them successfully complete the semester.”

Earlier this week, San Juan College officials announced they were extending the closure of the campus from April 6 through April 10, mandating that all nonessential employees work remotely. The closure follows the governor's stay-at-home instructions, and a public health order that suspends the operation of all nonessential public and private businesses and requires the state's nonessential work force to work from home through April 10.

While the campus remains closed, college officials said faculty advisers will be available by phone and online for students to begin registering on April 20 for summer and fall classes.

Students needing additional assistance are being encouraged to contact the San Juan College Student Achievement Center at and check their college email account for information regarding the extended closure, class structure, tutoring and other support services. 

For more information about campus operations during the shutdown, visit