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Editorial: CNM’s winter break classes make the grade

In a state trying to add an additional 60,000 college degrees and/or certificates in seven years; in a world where 61 percent of jobs will require at least an associate’s degree by 2020 but less than a third of New Mexicans have at least that; at the state’s largest college, with more than 30,000 students – it makes perfect sense to offer compressed classes during winter and summer breaks. Clearly students agree, as they are signing up in droves.

In its first day of sign-ups, 25 percent of Central New Mexico Community College’s 430 winter intercession seats are already filled.

The 14 courses will run three weeks instead of the standard 16. CNM spokesman Brad Moore says that by definition they will require a “significant commitment. It’s estimated that typical students would need to devote 30 to 35 hours per week to their class work.”

But for students who can make that commitment – whether they go to CNM or are using the break to complete a course that transfers to their university – the intersession courses will allow them to not only complete a course quickly, but in theory graduate sooner.

And that not only fulfills the community’s goal of more degrees, but serves New Mexico students, employers and taxpayers in the short and long runs.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.