By: Jyllian Roach, Editor-In-Chief
CNM is one of five finalists in the American Association of Community Colleges 2013 Excellence Awards.
The school is a finalist in the new category of Student Success, primarily for the creation of CNM Connect, said Director of Marketing and Communications Brad Moore.
President Kathie Winograd said she is very happy for the school to be named a finalist.
“Being named as a finalist for the AACC Student Success Award is a highly appreciated affirmation of the great work that is constantly being done at CNM for the cause of student success. We are definitely honored to have been named one of five finalists for this esteemed national award,” said Winograd.
Moore said Connect, which offers both on-campus services like achievement coaching; scholarship information and workshops and off-campus assistance for food stamps, legal services, housing and even child care placement, has been emulated by more than 20 other colleges since it was created in 2011, and is credited with higher student retention.
The creative approach of CNM Connect has led to an increase in student retention, said Moore. About 80 percent of first-time students who used the programs in fall 2011 returned the following term, whereas only 71 percent of new students who did not use the program returned, he said.
Similarly, 75 percent of non-first-time students who spoke to someone at Connect returned, compared to only 67 percent of non-first-time students who did not speak with a Connect employee, he said.
Winograd said that this speaks well of the program’s success.
“The development of CNM Connect, which is a very innovative service with a fresh approach to serving students in a more holistic way, has led to great progress in how we support our students. There is great promise for this student-support model,” she said.
Connect was not the only factor in CNM’s position as a finalist, said Moore.
Increases to graduation, transfer and dual credit rates played a role as well, as have the 16 program-specific transfer agreements created between CNM and UNM, he said.
The winner of the Student Success award will be named on April 23, at the AACC annual convention in San Francisco, according to the organizations website.
Winograd, Vice President for Academic Affairs Sydney Gunthorpe and CNM Connect Executive Director Ann Lyn Hall will be in attendance to accept the award, should CNM win, said Moore.
Whether or not CNM wins, Winograd said she is happy that the school has been recognized.
“There is so much terrific work that goes on at CNM every single day in the name of helping students succeed. I say very often that I think CNM is one of the best community colleges in the country.
And I firmly believe that. We have so many devoted faculty and staff who care deeply about helping our students achieve their academic and career goals, and they work very hard to make it happen. That commitment is very evident in our increasing graduation numbers,” she said.