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OJC Press Release ID: 3072

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Nathan Howell Named BUENO-HEP Coordinator


In the fall of 2020, long-time BUENO-HEP coordinator and instructor, Marian Morris, retired leaving the position open for a new person to take on. Nathan Howell, current OJC assistant baseball coach, has been selected for the task and will begin as the BUENO-HEP Coordinator this spring semester.

Ernesto Sánchez, HEP Director at the University of Colorado, Boulder said, "The BUENO High School Equivalency Program is pleased to welcome Nathan Howell to our team. I look forward to working with Nathan as we, in association with Otero Junior College continue to reach out to our communities."v

A native of Brighton, Colo., Howell is excited to take on his new role. He is a graduate of Colorado State University with a degree in history and an emphasis in education. He worked for the Center for Adult Learning in Loveland in a position similar to his new one.

Howell is excited about having the ability to give non-traditional learners the opportunity to continue to better themselves in spite of societal conceptions. As a non-traditional aged student himself, he is in tune with some of the challenges that can be associated. He wants all students to have an environment where they can be comfortable with the learning process, get help with transitions, and guidance on taking the next steps to further their educational career path. He would like to create pathways for students to get their High School Equivalency (HSE) Certificate, move on to Otero for an associate degree, and then pursue a 4-year degree through the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“I want current and potential students to know that I am always available. There is no such thing as a bad question. I want to explore every option for each student and I want them to know that we’re in this together,” said Howell. “OJC and La Junta remind me of home, where I grew up in Brighton, it’s centered around a burgeoning future. I’m excited for this opportunity.”

There are 17 students currently enrolled in the BUENO-HEP program. There are students in all levels, from just starting out to nearing completion. Howell’s plan is to keep the program full so that there is a consistent flow of future college students. He has established several goals for himself and the program, the first being to increase enrollment numbers. He would also like to focus on retention, and increase graduation and placement rates.

According to Timothy Alvarez, OJC president, “We are delighted that Nathan will be coordinating the BUENO-HEP program for the University of Colorado-Boulder, on the OJC campus. We have had a long time relationship that is mutually beneficial. I suspect that we will continue to see more students transition to OJC, as Nathan has a strong interest and relentless passion to help BUENO-HEP participants further their education, even beyond OJC.”

With the exception of some time spent in Indiana and Kansas, Howell is a lifetime, sixth generation, Coloradan. He has two daughters, ages 13 and 15, as well as twin 24 year old sons. Some of his hobbies include hunting and fishing, traveling, he is a big movie buff, but most importantly, he enjoys spending time with his children.

The University of Colorado at Boulder, School of Education (BUENO programs) and Otero Junior College (Continuing Education) are in collaboration of a federally funded grant program known as HEP (high school equivalency program). Formerly known as General Education Development - GED, the High School Equivalency (HSE) Certificate is an alternative to earning a High School Diploma and is granted by the Department of Education for the State of Colorado upon successful completion of one of the three testing programs, GED, TASC or HiSET.

Press Release Photo
Nathan Howell, current OJC assistant baseball coach, has been named as the new BUENO-HEP Coordinator. This program is a collaboration between OJC and the University of Colorado at Boulder, School of Education, that helps students complete the High School Equivalency (HSE) Certificate, which is the equivalent to a high school diploma.