By Martin Montoya, Staff Reporter
Just in time for the beginning of the semester, a free CNM guide will be available for students and faculty that will identify Applications for both Android and Apple devices for learning, reading, creating and studying, said Audrey Gramstad, Administrative Director, Distance Learning and Instructional Support.
Prior to now there has not been a college wide distance learning effort to give this information to students and the burden is on Gramstad and her staff to get the faculty to use the APPs, so students can effectively use these tools in learning here at school, Gramstad said.
“My staff who are all distance learning specialists, student employees who all take online courses or faculty that have identified a plethora of Apps that students and faculty can use to engage in their learning at CNM; they are all free Apps that won’t cost anything,” she said.
With the help of mobile analytics the staff in the distance learning community can tell that 90 percent of CNM students use Tablet devices for school, she said.
Educating the staff in making course content more mobile enabled is what the distance learning staff is attempting to do and Gramstad said it starts with simple things the faculty could do, such as making a syllabus in a PDF file instead of a Word document.
“There are lots of different Applications that you can use in conjunction with your distance learning classes you take, or face to face classes,” Gramstad said.
Blackboard does have a mobile App that students can use, and with its debut two years ago it was difficult to navigate but it has become much more efficient, she said.
The Blackboard mobile App is free, however you do have to pay to get access to the college site to get your courses. It costs $5 for a lifetime subscription and $1.99 for a year, she said.
“Most people that we have surveyed and talked to didn’t have a problem paying a couple bucks a year,” she said.
Gramstad explained it is the same price as what she pays for Angry Birds: Starwars and that it is only a small one-time fee just like any other mobile app.
Blackboard is a learning management system and there are two ways to get onto it, first is through the web by logging onto CNM and clicking the link, and the second by downloading the Blackboard mobile App, she said.
Every course offered at CNM each term has its own Blackboard page; it just depends on whether the faculty chooses to use it, she said.
There are between 7200 and 7500 online students each term, Gramstad said. Each term the week before school starts, and during the first two weeks there is drop in computer labs on all of the campuses at different times, and students can get actual hands-on help with Blackboard courses, distance learning courses, and information that can be found on the distance learning website.
“We thought since the explosion of tablets in learning, we are going to give our students a step up and say, ‘Hey, use these things,’” because knowing what application resources there are for students and how to use these tools can help everyone to succeed more in online classrooms, Gramstad said.
Deborah Cooper, Staff Reporter
The Vet Success on Campus (VSOC) program for the anticipated 1,250 veterans attending CNM this fall is full of multiple support programs, according to Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Esmerejildo Romero.
Romero is a retired Senior Chief of the U.S. Navy, and during his 27 years of service, he served three tours in the Persian Gulf, but has now settled down to be of service to the veterans at CNM campuses.
“VSOC helps not only those who have served in the military with their transition into higher education, but also helps retired veterans wanting to return to school,” Romero said.
Kimberly Hayes, Computer Information Systems major and United States Coast Guard veteran said she has utilized the housing programs offered by VSOC.
“It took away the uncertainty of not having a place to stay. The combination of the staff and the facility were very helpful and made me more confident in continuing my education,” Hayes said.
With offices on Main campus and Montoya campus, the program gives veterans access to all potential resources, Romero said.
“Connecting veterans to medical and social services at the VA hospital are just part of our services,” Romero said.
The program assists homeless veterans by connecting them to obtain housing through various outlets such as the Young Woman’s Christian Association (YWCA), The Veteran Integration Center (VIC), The Henderson House (homeless shelter for women) and Goodwill, he said. Honorably discharged veterans can get help with their rent and receive assistance concerning housing, he said.
“Peer-to-peer counseling and referral services are also provided to veterans,” Romero said.
VetSuccess counselors help resolve any problems that could potentially interfere with a veteran’s educational program, which includes assisting with disability requirements, he said.
“I still do Disability Transition Assistance, (DTAP) over at the Air Force Base where service men and women are also CNM students,” Romero said.
The new DTAP program, which started about three months ago, is a week long program that includes writing resumes and creating a transition plan to connect service personnel with the civilian community, he said.
According to Romero’s office, the Chapter 31 program is a counseling program that helps veterans in assessing their careers and this program includes active duty members, the National Guard and all other veterans.
“The Chapters programs are from Chapter 30 through 35. There are also Chapters 1606 and 1607, a Fry Scholarship and Vietnam Veterans Scholarship program to help veterans, which are all non-taxable,” he said.
Romero also mentioned the importance of the Veteran’s Club on campus, run by President Gerald Maytea, and said the club is always looking for new members.
“We had a recent meeting and we’re looking for veterans to join this fall as we’re trying to present something for November 11(Veteran’s Day) for veterans and the CNM community,” Romero said.
For more information about VSOC programs or the Veteran’s Club contact Romero at 224-3265, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editorial, By the Chronicle Editorial Board
Getting involved in school is one of the best ways to ensure success.
Attending college for the first time can be a daunting experience and students may be juggling family life or may not know exactly what is expected of them. Tapping into the resources CNM has to offer will not only help stress levels, but will make the college experience a whole one.
CNM has a wide range of resources set out for those who need them, but it is up to the student to utilize these resources. The Disability Resource Center, The Vet Success Program (as mentioned in the story “Veterans services available at CNM”), and CNM Connect can all be of assistance.
In addition to these resources, CNM offers many opportunities to work with various student organizations. Whether it’s the Writers’ Club, the Gun Club, or the Science Fiction and Fantasy club, there is something for everyone.
Getting involved in student activities helps make the most of the college experience. Student activities provide a platform for networking with others who may have similar interests, and creates relationships that are intellectually stimulating.
If nothing else, make sure to keep in mind the tutoring services offered in the Student Resource Center. With focus on a variety of subjects, the tutors work with students one on one. Feeling stuck is never good, and the tutors will make sure that class materials are fully learned and understood.
Make sure to stay on top of your assignments and create study groups with other students. Meet with teachers during office hours and do not be afraid to ask questions.
Take responsibility of the education that CNM has to offer and remember that the most important part of success in college relies on personal responsibility and taking initiative.
New students will face challenges and could have a hard time getting started, but these resources are designed to help newcomers with any issues that may come up along the way.
Remember to keep up with class assignments, stay organized, don’t miss classes, don’t take everything so seriously and your educational experience will be an enjoyable one.
By Daniel Montaño, Senior Reporter | Photos by Daniel Montaño
Students entering their first year of college can sometimes be overwhelmed by balancing schoolwork and their personal life, but students don’t have to go it alone, Michael Wexler, Child, Youth and Family Development major said.
“It’s important to ask questions when you need help and you’re overwhelmed,” he said.
CNM offers a variety of services to help students succeed — which can be found online at http://www.cnm.edu/depts./ssa — and the Chronicle has chosen to spotlight a few resources where students can find the help need to thrive and succeed in school.
By Rene Thompson Editor-in-Chief | Photo by Rene Thompson
Dr. Yvonne Darcy, History instructor at CNM since 2003, wanted to express her thanks to the students that rallied together to vote for her to become the winner of the Student Appreciation Award in the summer semester of 2013.
Darcy has been a History instructor since 2003 and was nominated for helping her students and for going above and beyond the regular class curriculum.
Darcy won the Student Appreciation Award with students that nominate an instructor, but more importantly Darcy feels grateful to her students winning this award and believes she has succeeded in getting through to her students, she said.
“Just thank you to the students, thank you so much. PNM gave me a $1000 check that is going to allow me to get some things done, and I couldn’t be more grateful to them –it was powerful and humbling at the same time,” she said.
Darcy said she had no idea about the award when she got the email and that she was surprised to hear she had won.
“When I was told I got the award I couldn’t stop crying, because the students voted it; it was democratic, and I was so touched. I really needed that vote of confidence from them,” she said.
Darcy explained that she tries to get through to every student she has in class and she hopes that it empowers her students to want to learn more, so when she sees that come out in her students she knows she has done her job, she said.
“I try to pass wisdom onto to them from my years of college education struggling as a single mother trying to get through undergrad school,” she said.
Darcy will be having classes at both Main and Montoya campuses, and said that any one that is interested and wants to take her class can email her at YDarcy@cnm.edu.
“I teach U.S. History 1 and 2 as well as History of New Mexico. If they show up or email me the first day I try to squeeze them in, because there is always one or two that drop the course,” she said.
One of Darcy’s students told her that the best part of her class is that she has discussions every class where students can learn more through examples throughout history being related to everyday life, she said.
“I think it is because I let everybody speak and I encourage them to talk, or if they’re struggling I make suggestions, so that I protect their self-worth. I think that is what I do through the discussions on the material; sometimes we go off on a tangent, but students have told me I always bring it back to the material,” she said.
Darcy said she utilizes her classroom as democratic space where students can talk about all sorts of issues throughout history.
“We’ll talk about race for example; some people have no other place in their lives where they ever really get to talk about it, and be able to be in a good space where people can hear others anxieties on speaking about race. It gets a little heated and when that happens I stop it or change the direction of the discussion if it gets a little personal, and sometimes it does, but contrary to what some may think, students can handle it,” she said.
Darcy said the event where she was presented with the student appreciation award was great, which was located at the Hotel Albuquerque on July 18 where 500 donors of the schools foundation fund attended.
“The food was great, the place was beautiful, and I got to take a friend with me,” she said.
Darcy said she also got to meet the donors of the CNM foundation such as Sandia Labs, Wells Fargo and Caterpillar.
“I had no idea they donate to the CNM foundation, which funds a lot of student scholarships; we forget sometimes how this place is run and how the school gets funded,” she said.
Darcy also said that she enjoyed seeing students at the event with three alumni and two current students that had spoken at the event.
“All of them had come from really difficult backgrounds and were thriving in their fields. One of the students that spoke said that, ‘life breaks everybody’ and I clapped because we have to remember that; life does breaks everybody and we all just have to try and make better out of it,” she said.
Nick Stern Staff Reporter
In response to Rio Rancho’s need for expanded higher education offerings, CNM and UNM are currently planning to share a building to help meet those needs, said Brad Moore Director of Media and Communications Relations (MCO).
CNM is fully aware that Rio Rancho needs more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programs, along with different healthcare-related programs of study, Moore said.
“Meeting the workforce needs for the Rio Rancho community and collaborating to provide a well-educated, highly skilled workforce to support the community’s economic growth is important to both UNM and CNM” said President Kathie Winograd in statement to MCO.
“The purpose of the project is to better meet the needs of Rio Rancho and Sandoval County,” Moore said.
CNM has limitations on its current Rio Rancho campus, because it only has one building that lessens its ability to offer additional programs of study, and many STEM and healthcare programs require specialized laboratories, Moore said.
These required specialized labs would not be possible to create with ease, convenience or practicality in the CNM Rio Rancho Campus building, he said.
The plan is based on the idea of CNM and UNM sharing a building that would be located on either a CNM or UNM campus in Rio Rancho, which are both located in the Rio Rancho City Center, Moore said.
CNM and UNM are currently in the process of scheduling and creating community forums in Rio Rancho which would serve the purpose of gathering input from the local community members and business leaders, in order to find out what programs of study are most needed in the area, Moore said.
The two schools will also be making a decision about what specific STEM or healthcare programs of study would go into the proposed new building, keeping in mind that classrooms and labs for certain STEM and healthcare programs require very unique facilities, he said.
The schools will decide where the building is to be located, as in which of the two college’s Rio Rancho campus, he said. Then, in order to use CNM funds, the Governing Board would have to approve any proposed project of this size and scope, he said.
There would then be competitive bidding processes to first select a design firm to design the building, and then the same for the choosing of a contractor to build the building, he said.
The project is not yet considered to be an official project and can take at least two more years to see the light of day, he said.
There are a lot of details still needing to be worked out and CNM is still very early in the process of giving the project life but CNM greatly acknowledges its need to increase its educational offerings in Rio Rancho and intends to do just that, he said.
The hope and goal is to move forward with the plans to build a collaborative facility with UNM which will help meet such needs, Moore said. “CNM is striving to be as responsive as possible to the needs of the Rio Rancho community and its economy. In addition to meeting with its community members and business leaders over the next month, CNM is also working with the Department of Workforce Solutions to identify workforce needs in that region,” Moore said.