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Institutes & Centers

American Indian Language Policy Research and Teacher Training Center

Affiliation: COE Administration
Director: Dr. Chris Sims
Program Manager: Dr. Carlotta Penny Bird
Phone: 505/277-0537
Location: Hokona Hall, Room 216

The Center aims to serve as a local and national center of collaborative research that examines major policy issues affecting the survival and maintenance of American Indian languages. The Center also provides a venue for building an international dialogue about language issues that extends to other indigenous languages of the Americas. Developing and providing native language teacher training programs and technical assistance support for American Indian tribes engaged in language maintenance and preservation initiatives is another key aspect of the Center’s outreach and service.

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Family Development Program: A Center for Excellence in Early Learning

Affiliation: COE Administration
Director: Lois Vermilya, 505/277-6943 (
Program Specialist: Andrew Castellano, 505/277-5800 (
Manager: Teresa Sierra, 505/277-8510 ( - For Administrative Inquiries
Fax: 505/277-6282
Hours: 8-5, M-F
Location: Manzanita Hall, Rooms 118-120

Mission: Highest Quality Early Childhood Development through Honoring Relationships Rooted in Equity and Social Justice

Statewide Professional Development: The Family Development Program provides research-based professional development throughout New Mexico and disseminates educational materials relevant to children's early education, growth, and development. Our training incorporates current research on the critical importance of early learning, including brain development for how young children learn best. We offer a range of learning opportunities for early childhood leadership development, community and family engagement, child development, and the science of early learning.  Our Wemagination Resource Center provides high-quality recyclable materials in support of understanding the essential role of play for children’s optimal learning and development.  Ongoing training  is co-designed with community partners to meet the professional development needs of educators, staff, and parents through specially tailored training sessions that are offered in participants own communities. Our distinct professional development approach matches national recommendations for best practices for training teachers and parents to respond effectively to young children's earliest delight in learning. The Family Development Program demonstrates how real partnership that combines the strengths of parents, teachers, and their community supported by university resources make a difference for young children. 

Institute for American Indian Education (IAIE)

Affiliation: COE Department of Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies
Phone: 505/277-7781
Location: Hokona Hall, Room 250

The Institute for American Indian Education (IAIE), was created in response to New Mexico’s overwhelming need to improve American Indian student retention and achievement in schools. Since its inception in 2003, more than 80 American Indian students have graduated or are on track to graduate with degrees in education. We have a 90% retention rate and 67% graduation rate for our students.

Additionally, the UNM College of Education American Indian/First Nations faculty, which is the largest group of American Indian/First Nations faculty at any College of Education in the country, conduct outreach, workshops, and seminars in the area of curriculum development, preparation for teacher licensure tests, American Indian charter school development, and American Indian language revitalization and instructional planning.

Latin American Programs in Education (LAPE)

Affiliation: COE Administration
Director: Dr. Rebecca Blum-Martinez (
Graduate Assistant: Maria Feliza Monta C (
Location: Manzanita Hall, Room 123

The Latin American Programs in Education (LAPE) is a longstanding, internationally recognized program that has fostered positive relationships between UNM and Latin American educational institutions. Presently LAPEis developing diplomados in English for university and other higher education institution faculty who are teaching English. LAPE is also involved in a Trilateral Research Study, sponsored by the OAS which aims to contrast and compare teacher preparation in three countries. The other participating institutions are Simon Frasier University in Vancouver, Canada, and the Universidad Pedagogica Nacional in Mexico City.

LAPE is also developing agreements with several Mexican universities where our students and professors can have international experiences, and where Mexican educators can come to UNM. Furthermore, LAPE hopes to develop similar agreements with Ecuadorian universities and facilitate closer ties between indigenous organizations in Ecuador and IAIE.

Multicultural Education Center

Affiliation: COE Administration
Director: Dr. Tryphenia B. Peele-Eady (
Graduate Assistant: Maria Feliza Monta C (
Location: Manzanita Hall, Room 123

The Multicultural Bilingual Education Center engages in a variety of initiatives that support that COE’s long tradition of working with diverse cultures. One of our main goals is to help recruit more students into the college, especially those who with diverse backgrounds, and give them the multicultural preparation they need to be effective teachers in New Mexico’s school systems.

We achieve that goal by collaborating with other departments to develop multicultural education program that provide mentoring, continuing education and guidance for teachers. The center funds these programs and provides financial and programmatic support for Bilingual Education and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) through a series of grants.