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Central New Mexico Community College

The Real Meaning of “CNM Connect”

13 Comments

Hello CNM!

Hope the fall term is going great for all of you.

After absorbing a lot of the feedback from last month’s Convocation, I feel the need to unpack a couple things and have a discussion about what CNM Connect really means.

First, I would like to admit that I’m not the best public speaker. Even though I speak fairly frequently at functions at CNM and in the community, it’s still not easy for me. Getting up in front of large crowds and delivering clear messages that resonate in the way you intended for them to resonate sometimes is a tough challenge, especially for me.

Every year after I speak at Convocation, people always remind me what I forgot to say. Or they let me know that the way I said something was misunderstood by some in the audience. That seemed to be the case this year. When I spoke about CNM Connect during Convocation, I didn’t explain what CNM Connect means to me.

When I talked about our 2013 Student Success Award that was presented to CNM by the American Association of Community Colleges, I cited our graduation increases and the success of CNM Connect as reasons why we won the award. But when I refer to the big picture of CNM Connect, I’m not referring to CNM Connect locations. And I’m not referring only to CNM Connect staff members.

To me, CNM Connect is a college-wide philosophy that helps us achieve our vision of “Changing Lives, Building Community.” CNM Connect is a mindset that has been embedded in the culture of CNM since it opened in 1965. We have always connected students to the services and resources they need to succeed. Our employees have always cared about our students. They’ve always helped counsel students and they’ve always passionately provided the kind of personalized support each of our students need.

CNM Connect did not start when signs were put up on offices in February 2011. And CNM Connect representatives aren’t just the ones who work under the signs.

Even the name “CNM Connect” was chosen to help all faculty and staff understand that we need to facilitate connections that serve the best interests of our students, the community and CNM.

Every faculty and staff member in every department on every campus is part of the CNM Connect that I was referring to during Convocation. Any time we help a student find a tutor. Any time we help connect students with job opportunities. Any time we lend an ear and help a student find a solution to their challenges. Any time we create new education pathways to careers. Any time we help a student, in any way, we are a part of CNM Connect.

Yes, we have branded one department at the college as CNM Connect. But it’s only a portal, albeit a very important one, into the culture of our college.

That’s the way I look at it. We all are CNM Connect. It’s not simply a location or a staff of Achievement Coaches. It’s a philosophy. When we first opened the physical locations of CNM Connect, we passed out t-shirts to employees across the college that said, “I Am CNM Connect.”

That’s because, “We Are All CNM Connect.”

What do you think? Please post your thoughts.

13 thoughts on “The Real Meaning of “CNM Connect”

  1. To me, CNM Connect means that I don’t TELL students where to find someone or something, I TAKE them there!

  2. Very nicely put!

    I am a new faculty member and find myself beaming with pride every time I tell students about all the resources we have to offer. I add the fact that we were ranked number 1 out of 1,200 colleges for student success! I go on to tell them that I believe the availability of resources is directly related to their success, and that all they have to do is ask.

  3. Kathie, thank you for clarifying what CNM Connect means to you. The messaging you provided in this blog is valuable and it is someting that we need to continue sharing with our faculty and staff. I think for a large number of our employees, they still do not identify that CNM Connect is the branding of a philosophical way of doing business in a way that we have always done to better serve our students. I think we have done a good job of marketing CNM Connect to the external community and our students, but we still could do better to market more effectively the philosophy of CNM Connect to our faculty and staff. Your blog post is a great start!

    • I agree! We often work hard trying to get “outsiders” to understand but don’t take the time to make sure our own folks are aware of our efforts to find a way to brag on what they do every single day.

  4. The first time I heard about CNM Connect, when we got T-shirts at convocation, I was waiting to hear more. Connect to what? To who? To me? To faculty? (Okay, sorry about the Dr. Seuss). I didn’t find out what CNM Connect was until I stumbled on a Connect office at the West Side campus. Ahhh, now I know that CNM Connect is an office and a resource to help students overcome logistic problems that inhibit their success. As a philosophy, now I understand that the goal of every CNM employee is to know what resources and services are available and connect students with those resources and services whenever possible and appropriate. To help facilitate this goal, may I recommend fancy brochures that explain the CNM Connect philosophy, as well as, the services and resources that connect with that philosophy, to be distributed to all faculty and students (a different brochure for each audience, with its own target style and communication). This type of communication would be especially appropriate for new faculty.

  5. It’s nice to hear faculty responding to the Connect model. As an academic advisor, I rarely get to interact directly with instructors, but I know we are always connected….through our shared students. No matter what department we work in, we are all here for the same reason: to help students succeed.

    • Student success is a very complex issue because it is dealing with diverse and complex individuals – but nobody does it better than CNM!

  6. I need to to thank you for this excellent read!! I certainly
    loved every little bit of it. I have got you book-marked to
    check out new stuff you post…

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