Blogging @ CNM

Central New Mexico Community College


How Can We Pave a Faster Track to Graduation?

Hello CNM,

It’s good to be back blogging with you after a brief hiatus. I’m looking forward to a great summer, and hope you are too!

As you probably know, CNM is offering 20 percent of our courses this summer in an 8-week format. This is a pilot program that we’ll be studying closely. We’ll be keeping tabs on how students perform in this condensed schedule and we’ll survey students and faculty on their overall experience with it.

If feedback is positive and student success rates are good, should we consider offering students the opportunity to get on a faster track to a degree or certificate through this kind of scheduling model? In the fall and spring terms, which have 16 weeks allotted, a student could conceivably complete four terms of coursework in two terms if we offer select classes in 8-week segments. Is this a good idea, at least for some students?

We’ll see how this summer goes with the 8-week courses, but there’s no doubt that we must try to find new ways to get our students “In, Through and Out” faster. Too many of our students are held up for a variety of reasons that hinder their ability to graduate earlier rather than later. Just think about the much-needed money a student could be making if they didn’t have to spend an extra term waiting to finish one or two classes for their degree. If they were working in their field of study with a degree in hand rather than spending those four months in class, just think of how much better off the student and their family would be.

CNM is also considering the feasibility of offering “intersession” courses, which would be offered over the term breaks.

If we can find new ways of helping more students finish their required classes more quickly, in a way that doesn’t undermine the academic journey, the impact on our community could be huge.

So what do you think of these ideas for providing students the opportunity to get on a faster track to graduation and a career?

Do you have any other ideas that could help us get students “In, Through and Out” faster?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please join in the conversation below. Thanks!