We tip our hat to Central New Mexico Community College for reaching out to the city of Rio Rancho and Sandoval County through the “visioning charretes” held with UNM West last year and, more recently, a survey, to get a firm handle on the types of academic programs the community would like to see offered here.
Very much to its credit, the efforts clearly suggest CNM is attempting to tailor its programs for Rio Rancho area residents, instead of just mimicking what might be working at its other campuses.
The charrettes — attended by business leaders, government representatives, educators and the public in general — showed a demand for more offerings in the “career” technical trades, particularly in the public service and safety sectors, according to CNM.
To that end, CNM has proposed to offer career technical courses and programs in a variety of fields this fall that could include electrical trades, emergency medical services, fire science, nursing assistant, criminal justice, police service aide, teacher education and child development.
CNM also plans to lease the third floor of the AMREP building in the city’s industrial park to test the programs on a smaller scale. State approval of the lease is pending. The idea is to get a better understanding of which programs are in most demand and then use that information to guide the design for its next building at its Rio Rancho campus.
The online survey will help measure the level of demand for the offerings and the specific times community members could attend classes.
“Our community college is all about making access to higher education as easy as possible,” CNM President Katharine Winograd said the day CNM opened the doors to its Rio Rancho campus in August 2010.
CNM appears to be living up to its president’s words.