ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Students studying information technology at Central New Mexico Community College will have a choice of internship opportunities starting in January, thanks to a $3 million federal grant the school has received.
The college aims to create 300 information technology apprenticeships in central New Mexico during the three-year grant period with the help of its partners, CNM President Kathie Winograd said Thursday.
“CNM is going to try over the next few years to become a community college that … gives every student an opportunity to have a work experience before they graduate,” she said.
The information technology internships kick off that effort, she said. CNM has 3,000 to 5,000 students in information technology classes, making it the second-largest program behind nursing.
Among the partners in the effort are the state, the city of Albuquerque, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Innovate+Educate/Talent ABQ, New Mexico Workforce Connection, New Mexico Technology Council and SUN PATH, a consortium of community colleges. The program will be designed so that other areas of the state can follow the same model of partnership in setting up their own such arrangements.
Winograd said the apprenticeships are in line with the goals of Mission Graduate, an effort that seeks to increase the number of residents in the central part of the state who have college degrees or certificates. Research shows that students who have work opportunities are more likely to graduate because they see the benefit of getting a degree, Winograd said.
The $3 million CNM grant will help cover employer costs associated with apprentices, instruction costs and student scholarships.
The money is part of the $175 million in American Apprenticeship Grants issued by the U.S. Department of Labor.