Student Support Services


The New Mexico School for the Arts offers a range of services to ensure that every student has the social-emotional and academic tools they need to succeed in high school, and that students and parents get plenty of time and support for college career and post-secondary planning, including scholarship identification and application.

As a part of this, through NMSA’s 9th Grade Academy course, all students are taught non-cognitive skills, such as growth mindset, organization, time management, self-assessment, self-advocacy and note-taking; close reading skills, such as annotation and text-dependent questioning; social-emotional skills, including cooperative learning, communicating with teachers and stress management; and test-taking skills.

The school also provides special education and mental health support services to students who need it.   

9th Grade Academy

This course prepares all 9th graders for academic and social-emotional success as high school students. Students will study non-cognitive skills (growth mindset, organization, time management, self-assessment, self-advocacy, note-taking, college preparation); close reading skills (annotation, text features, text-dependent questioning); social-emotional skills (cooperative learning, communicating with teachers, stress management); and test-taking skills.

College Counseling

Guides for Parents and Pre-College Students

Finding Your Direction: A Guide to College Career Planning for High School Seniors

This guide contains information to help seniors plan their year, complete applications, sign up for testing and apply for scholarships. There is advice on essay writing, selecting good recommenders, and seeking financial aid. There are also links to many helpful websites in here.

Junior Guide for Post Secondary Planning

This guide is for juniors looking to be prepared for their senior year. Like the senior year guide, it includes a checklist to keep you on track for each month, as well as dates and deadlines for testing. It also includes advice on what factors to consider when you first start researching colleges, as well as tips on planning a successful college visit


Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarship Opportunities

Besides scholarships, you should also keep in mind other ways you can help make college more affordable.


Be sure to apply for Federal Aid!


NM Legislative Lottery Scholarships


The Legislative Lottery Scholarship pays 100% tuition for New Mexico high school graduates (or GED recipients) who want to attend a New Mexico public college or university. The eligibility is determined in the student’s first semester. The Legislative Lottery Scholarship is a renewable full-tuition award, which may be received for up to eight consecutive semesters, beginning in the student’s second semester in college.


Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)


Through WUE, students in western states may enroll in 150 two-year and four-year college institutions at a reduced tuition level: 150 percent of the institution’s regular resident tuition. This may make attending school out of state a more realistic possibility.

Mental Health Services

NMSA offers extensive mental health to services for its students. Our counselors can work with students on issues such as: test anxiety, lack of friends, relationships, general anxiety, self- esteem, and depression among many other teenage issues, as well as working with the family as a whole.

Special Education

NMSA provides special education services to students with disabilities and gifted students.

Senior Seminar

The course focuses on helping senior students identify colleges and apply for admission. This includes focus on creating the common application, college essay writing, admission requirements (including audition and portfolio development), financial aid and college recruitment visits.


Mikiko Ellis

Bilingual High School Counselor

Gregory Gutin

Clinical Counselor

Acacia McCombs

 Senior Advisor

Lisa Oberteuffer

Special Education Coordinator