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Doña Ana Community College opened the doors of its two new satellite centers for the fall semester and welcomed students Thurs., Aug. 23, putting a college education within easier reach of residents living in underserved parts of the county.

Students living in Chaparral will save about 40 minutes a day by attending the new Chaparral Center instead of making the 25-mile round trip to the Gadsden Center in Anthony. Students living in the Hatch Valley attending the new Hatch Center will eliminate approximately 80 commuter miles and save more than an hour of drive time.

"Residents in Anthony and Sunland Park welcomed DACC when we extended our services to those communities, and we are confident the new centers in Chaparral and Hatch will also attract students who otherwise might not attend college," said Dr. Margie Huerta, president of DACC.

The Chaparral and Hatch Centers are strategically located adjacent to their respective high schools, permitting students to take dual-credit classes with DACC, which count simultaneously toward high school and college graduation. It is not unusual for a high school student enrolled in the DACC dual-credit program to have fulfilled all requirements for a college certificate of completion in a business, health, education, public service or technical career area before graduating from high school.

This fall, the Hatch Center offers classes such as Medical Terminology, Introduction to Business, and Introductory Sociology. The Chaparral Center offers classes such as Business in a Global Society, Human Growth and Behavior and Rhetoric and Composition.

Although classes began Aug. 23, prospective students wishing to attend classes at any DACC center or campus have until Sept. 4 to enroll.

Established in 1973 at the request of the Gadsden, Hatch and Las Cruces school boards, DACC continues to meet the educational needs of county residents by providing instruction leading to associate degrees and technical certificates as well as community and adult education opportunities. As the second largest community college in the state, DACC offers accessible and affordable higher education opportunities to more than 28,000 students annually with eight learning sites countywide.

DACC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.