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CNM To Slash Some Programs

By James Monteleone
Journal Staff Writer
          The governing board of Central New Mexico Community College on Tuesday approved cutting or consolidating seven vocational programs identified as inefficient.
        The cuts are designed to save CNM money by eliminating courses rarely attended and instead assigning faculty to teach other classes in higher demand, President Katharine Winograd said. CNM hasn't estimated how much the program cuts will save.
        The decision to amend programs was made in part after reviewing industry expectations of what skills are necessary for students to get jobs, said Beth Pitonzo, vice president for academic affairs.
        CNM will stop offering certificates for training as an Internal Revenue Service enrolled agent, individual tax preparer, medical coding, emergency room technician and court reporter.
        The cuts will take effect in fall 2011.
        The dropped courses either haven't recently graduated any students, don't have students enrolled, or struggle with low pass rates and low attendance, according to CNM.
        Court reporting is the only program where higher level courses are not available at CNM. One court reporting faculty member will be laid off after a two-year transition, Winograd said.
        CNM also plans to merge its certificate programs for nursing assistant home health attendant and health unit coordinator to create a new "Nursing Assistant Unit Coordinator" certificate with broader skills.
        About 29,900 students are attending classes at CNM this fall, a 6.7 percent jump above last year's enrollment. Increasing demand for classes and vocational training at CNM was a factor in the college's decision to open a Rio Rancho campus this year.
        The cuts primarily affect low-level job training programs, Winograd said. If students are interested in the affected fields, CNM offers more advanced coursework that will make them more hireable after graduation, she said.
        "All of these (cuts) are notching it up. We are eliminating the programs at the lower end, continuing the program at the higher end in order to make sure that our students are actually finding jobs in the field, rather than coming out with a certificate that won't allow them to find a job," she said.
        The consolidation approved Tuesday is an annual effort by CNM to ensure the community college is best serving its students, Winograd said.
        "We need to be more efficient and effective," she said. "We're going to continue to look at not only our academic programs, but our nonacademic programs and how we can serve the students more efficiently."

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