Advisory committee members: ES&H program should not have been dropped from catalog

By: Stefany Olivas, Staff Reporter

There was not strong support from the Environmental Safety and Health program advisory committee to continue the pro­gram, said Director of Marketing and Communications Brad Moore.

Risk Management Director for Bernalillo County Government Joseph Crelier and ES&H graduate Carol Edwards said they both agree that job prospects for graduates of the ES&H program is high and are disappointed that the program is being discontinued.

“The education received through CNM’s program is invalu­able,” said Edwards.

Moore said the committee includes industry representatives in the community with strong knowledge of the field. Crelier and Edwards are members of the advi­sory committee for the ES&H pro­gram, although they said they have not been very active. After the Environmental Safety and Health program’s annual review with the Governing Board in August 2011, the decision was made to discon­tinue the program because it is no longer viable, said Moore.

The program was discon­tinued because there was a low number of graduates, and students declaring ES&H as a major was declining, he said.

There is not currently an ade­quate job market for graduates of the program and the job forecast for ES&H graduates in the near future was poor, said Moore.

Edwards said the degree is mandatory for the many of the posi­tions at Water Use Compliance, and over the past 15 years, the company has hosted many interns and hired 17 — all of whom attended the ES&H program at CNM during their internship.

“They attended the ES&H pro­gram while interning with us and many have gone on to secure excel­lent jobs in the environmental field,” she said.

The Associate of Applied Science degree she received from CNM was mandatory when she was given the title of inspector at the Water Use Compliance Agency. She has since advanced in the company and is now a supervi­sor, said Edwards.

“I know I would not have been able to complete my degree if it had not been for TVI/CNM and the in-depth affordable education it provided,” she said. She said the study fields of the program should be looked at more carefully and developed into more of a high tech environmental resource pro­gram. It should be geared to future remediation and renewal energy technologies such as solar, wind, hydrogen, geothermal and the development of affordable energy conservation resources and prod­ucts, said Edwards

“There is a wide range of oppor­tunities, in fact there is a whole world open to environmental issues that need to be filled with dedicated people like the ones that come from this program,” said Edwards.

She said CNM is an affordable place to receive the education for ES&H and removing the program blocks people from being able to enter a very important career.

“I know everyone that comes out of the ES&H program sees our world as it truly is, and how important it is to make changes to help build a stronger, cleaner, more productive environment for us all,” said Edwards.

Programs are typically funded by the state, student tuition and fees, and property taxes for residents of the CNM district, said Moore.

Budgets for specific programs depend on a variety of factors, such as student enrollment in the pro­gram, technology needs and equip­ment needs, he said.

The students can earn certifica­tions that qualify them for similar job opportunities, he said.

“All of CNM’s programs are reviewed every year and focus on the needs of Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and neighboring commu­nities. Typically there are programs added and programs discontinued,” said Moore.

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