ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Imagine getting an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and a master’s of business administration in five years, and paying as little as $20,000 for the entire trio.
That’s the crux of the 2+1+2 Program, created by University of New Mexico’s Innovation Academy in partnership with UNM and Central New Mexico Community College.
The $20,000 cost applies to students who remain qualified on the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship program. Those who do not qualify for the lottery would pay just under $30,000 for the three degrees.
Robert Delcampo, director of the Innovation Academy, said at a news conference Monday that either way is a bargain considering that the average debt of a New Mexico resident receiving a four-year undergraduate degree is $28,000 – itself a bargain in view of the cost of out-of-state MBA programs sanctioned by the AACSB, or Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which range from $45,000 to $60,000 for the graduate degree alone.
“I’m very excited for the students in our community,” said CNM President Kathie Winograd. “This new agreement provides an expedited, pre-set path for students to earn a CNM associate degree, a UNM bachelor’s degree and a UNM master’s degree in just five years, which will save them valuable time and money.”
UNM President Bob Frank noted that fewer than one in seven students from a community college goes on to complete a bachelor’s degree. “This program is not just a pathway, it’s more of a speedway to completion of a master’s degree,” he said. The 2+1+2 program allows UNM and CNM to “organically grow our students, keep them here and give them jobs to change our communities.”
Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said it’s collaborations like these “that will propel Albuquerque forward as a national thought leader on education.”
Students may be admissible to the program after completing 12 credit hours of CNM coursework, with at least a 3.0 grade point average. They then complete the state of New Mexico General Education Core and the requirements for their CNM associate degree of choice. This reserves a space for them in UNM’s liberal arts bachelor’s degree program. After one year at UNM, students begin their MBA coursework that will count toward their bachelor’s degree and MBA requirements. They will work full-time on their MBA in their fifth year, culminating with their MBA degree.