In a story that appeared in the Albuquerque Journal recently the reporter made it sound like Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) was going to be “eliminating” their trucker and jewelry training programs.
In interviews and other discussions, we at the Rio Grande Foundation expressed concern that while the State pushes for “free” college CNM was eliminating basic vocational programs. After doing some research and meeting with someone knowledgeable about the situation at CNM, it turns out that the “elimination” of these programs is simply spin being applied (and readily picked up by the media) pushed by the CNM union.
CNM is simply proposing to reduce costs by ending these two programs as college courses receiving credits through the College and replacing them with noncredit programs focused solely on job skills development, licensing and certification in a cost effective time frame. It strikes us as unnecessary to have EVER had in place college credit programs for these two industries as trucking companies care about commercial drivers licenses and jewelers care about skills, not college credits.
At RGF we have long considered CNM and its focus on vocational learning as one of the bright spots in New Mexico’s otherwise mediocre and bloated higher education system. We are glad the media and by extension WE were wrong.