Blogging @ CNM

Central New Mexico Community College

Let’s Talk About the New College and Career High School at CNM


Hello CNM!

Hope you’re enjoying summertime!

I can’t believe that before the end of this summer, we’ll be opening up a new APS-CNM early college high school, which is now officially named the College and Career High School at CNM.

This school truly marks a major milestone for the progress of public education in our region, and we hope it will lead to many other new efforts that will improve educational outcomes for students and families across the state. As educators, as community members, as parents, we all must be vigilant about making progress on improving the rates of educational success in our state.

Of course, I think this new College and Career High School is a huge step in the right direction, not just for CNM, but for everybody in the region. The idea behind this school is much bigger than CNM – it’s about laying the groundwork for meaningful education reform across our community and state. And I think we all understand how important it is to enact meaningful education reform across the entire public education system, for the good of all. The current education stats in New Mexico, as we all unfortunately know, don’t bode well for our state’s future. As a community and as a state, we have to speed up progress. And as the largest postsecondary institution in New Mexico, we at CNM have to help lead.

Right now, this high school isn’t going to have a big impact on our normal operations. We already have about 2,000 high school students taking dual credit classes across our campuses. The new school is only going to add about 150 or so high school students to that number this upcoming school year. Half of their day will be spent in the S Building taking APS classes, and the other half will be spent in regular CNM classes across the campus.

Just as our dual credit numbers continue to grow year by year, we expect the College and Career High School will steadily grow as well.

When high school students and their families are considering enrolling in this school, they will be clearly informed that the curriculum will be more rigorous. They will be informed that this school is for motivated, goal-oriented students who understand that they’ll be entering a unique environment that blends high school and college settings. The students will need a certain level of maturity to succeed, and that will be conveyed to the prospective students and their families.

And as they succeed, they’ll leave this high school with an associate degree, a certificate or enough college credits to enter a university as a junior. That thought puts a big smile on my face!

This is obviously an endeavor that is new to CNM, bringing new challenges and new hopes. But I’m curious about what you think of this effort? Do you think CNM is on the right track with this College and Career High School? Do you have reservations about high school students being on campus?

I’m really interested to hear what you think. Please continue the conversation below.

49 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About the New College and Career High School at CNM

  1. I think this is a great idea! I am currently trying to get my daughter admitted to this new career high school. I think that APS needs a better way to register for it. Right now, I can only put in a letter of interest. This can cause problems trying to decide where to register your child since, if your child did get in, you would be holding a place in another school that another child might attend. Otherwise, I believe this school will give students a head-start in a career, a start that some of these kids may not have had.

  2. It’s a great idea. Let’s hope the legislators take note and offer ongoing support.

  3. This sounds interesting. I hope classes like Algebra II get replaced by Math 1310 for example, which has many of the same elements. It would be silly to require Algebra II and Math 1310.

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  5. I am new to CNM and I have been hearing about this new high school since I was hired, but no one seems to know the details when I ask. This blog was very helpful (I didn’t know this existed either…thanks News Link!)

    I am interested in learning how the students are chosen to attend. Is this considered a magnet or charter school?

  6. I am glad you found the blog. Since the high school is an APS school, it is a “magnet” rather than a charter. For this reason, the selection will be done by APS. The only difference is that we will have them fill out an agreement to take dual credit classes that will lead to an Associate Degree.

  7. I think this is a great idea and an example of CNM’s innovative, entrepreneurial approach to education. So I was especially astonished and dismayed to read last week that CNM is, out of the blue, without consulting Rio Rancho’s Governing Body, joining the University of New Mexico’s campaign to defeat our August 20 special election proposal for public safety funding and continue hoarding our gross receipts taxes for another college campus we don’t need. The timing raises a foul odor, and I remember from our past conversations that CNM is committed to being more in tune with the citizens of Rio Rancho on higher education ventures, especially the ones we’re expected to pay for.

    • CNM’s goal in being public about our future plans in Rio Rancho was to let everyone know that we continue to be committed to the plans and promises we made to the Rio Rancho community and those that supported our joint efforts with UNM in 2007-2008. CNM and UNM have been working together for a number of years in Rio Rancho and the building project was part of the discussions with Dr. David Schmidly so it was not a new concept. From our perspective, this was no more than a reminder that we continued to be committed to our CNM/UNM relationship and will do what we can, even during a tough economic time, to stay focused on our joint efforts to provide more higher education opportunities to the citizens of Rio Rancho.

      I truly believe in the democratic process. I believe we are blessed to live in a country that not only allows but encourages our citizens to be involved in important issues like the one being decided in Rio Rancho in August. Although citizens may not always agree, I love that we live in a country and serve communities where different opinions can be voiced and the people voting have the freedom to make their voices heard on important issues like how tax dollars are spent.

      As you stated, CNM is interested in the needs and desires of the community. We will be paying a great deal of attention to the results of our community charrettes designed to receive stakeholder input on future program development in Rio Rancho. Higher education will play a significant role in the economic recovery of our state, and certainly of the Rio Rancho community. CNM plans to work hard to make sure we are taking that economic development role very seriously.

      • Thank you, Kathie, for engaging in this dialogue.

        I’m still questioning the timing of your “UNM partnership” announcement. Surely you were aware of Rio Rancho’s August 20 election to repurpose a portion of our campus building tax to our seriously under-funded police and fire services due to our up-ticking crime rate and our slipping response times on fire and EMS calls. Would it not have been prudent for CNM to delay this announcement until after the election?

        I also wonder why none of the members of our City Council voting majority were contacted by CNM (though it’s obvious why we didn’t hear from UNM) prior to going public on this?

        Then there’s the legal question. State law limits the use of GRT “higher education tax” funds to four-year universities, which CNM is not.

        I’m sorry, but I think that collaborating with UNM on this announcement, at this point in time, is at best a serious error in judgment on CNM’s part, and at worst a collusion with UNM to manipulate public opinion in Rio Rancho. In either case, it doesn’t square with your previous assurances that CNM would try to be more sensitive to issues in our community. I’m still very disappointed with this development, and hope that the planned charrettes, at least, can be postponed until after our August 20 election.

        Best wishes

  8. I would like to know how this is AGAINST education? Buildings do NOT enhance education!! Teachers, books and computers are tools for education not BUILDINGS. I also am disappointed in your tactics to effluence the public with this attack. Honest is the best policy and you are falling short of that standard. How did this fall of the apple tree when it’s a plum!!!!

  9. I’m don’t understand how this money can be spent on anything for CNM. It’s my understanding the money can only be spend on buildings for a 4 year college. CNM does not qualify. With no 4 year colleges having any plans to build. It makes since to me to use 1/2 of that money where it is DESPERATELY needed for the cities Fire and Police.
    People should understand the facts, and not go on the misinformation that is out there.

  10. Dr. Winograd,

    Time and time again the citizens of Rio Rancho have shown their support for education whether it be Preschool, K-12, or higher education. It is great that CNM is filling its classrooms and has a broad range of classes here in Rio Rancho and CNM West. I appreciate that CNM has instructors in the class room to allow for interaction with the students, not just television monitors to another classroom where the instructor is on a camera. CNM is truly serving the young men and women (and some not so young) with its Rio Rancho Campus. It is great to see such a robust enrollment at the RR campus.

    I understand that CNM and UNM have had a Memorandum of Agreement in place since 2007 and that the agreement actually requires CNM to support the Higher Education GRT for UNM. So is the announcement of the joint new building a way of showing support for the Higher Education GRT Tax?

    Maybe you can give us some details on the new building such as whose property the new building will be built on; CNM or UNM West property?
    Who will use the building? If both CNM and UNM, what are the percentages?
    When will the building be built?
    Who decided the building was needed, CNM or UNM? And with the under-utilized UNM West building, why not renovate and lease the space?
    Just 3 months ago President Franks was quoted as saying there were no plans for a new building, so why did that change?

    As a Councilor for District 1 in Rio Rancho, I brought the sales tax issue up as far back as April 2012. Why didn’t CNM, through you or Debbie Moore (CNM Board member), not bring this up before? I saw Debbie Moore the night before the announcement and was still not told anything about it.

    It’s unfortunate that the communication between CNM and the City is this poor. I welcome more interaction to build a better CNM and serve the citizens of Rio Rancho.

    Thank you
    Chuck Wilkins
    District 1 City Councilor

  11. It is my understanding that this money can only be used for infrastructure and not for teachers or books. CNM does not qualify as a four year college. UNM is not telling the whole truth. Education is important, but so is the safety of Rio Rancho, and right now we do not have enough Police of Firemen. The city has grown to about 93 thousand people, it is not a little bedroom community anymore and it has grown outward with more areas to be covered. When someone needs either of these services (police or fire department) I would hope they would be available in a prompt amount of time. Having safety personal SAVES LIVES AND PROPERTY!!!!!!

  12. My son will be attending this school. It takes great risk and integrity to leave a “normal” public school to advance in ones college career. I am excited to discover what CCHS has to offer my son and his overall future.

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