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2013 May 27 - 12:00 am

TRACKING TRENDS : NM College, HS Team Up On Dual Credit Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez says she wants to see more students graduate from high school and be well prepared for college or the workforce.

She was among the officials who gathered in Albuquerque to announce a new partnership that will help.

Albuquerque Public Schools and Central New Mexico Community College are teaming up to open a new dual-credit high school that will operate on the campus of the community college starting this upcoming school year.

The school will be able to accommodate up to 400 sophomores, juniors and seniors. The goal is for the students to graduate with both high school diplomas and associate degrees.

Martinez said students need more opportunities and more choices for their education.

“While early college-style schools are already succeeding in Las Cruces, this unique agreement in Albuquerque between APS and CNM should meet college and career readiness objectives, and the Public Education Department stands ready to support them,” she said.

The Albuquerque district and the community college have been discussing the possibility of a dual-credit school for years. Officials said the timing was right, with a new opportunity for costs to be covered by the state. The school will have to apply for the funds in the next few weeks.

As part of the requirements to receive state funding, a business advisory committee has been established to develop curriculum. Members include local business leaders.

“This is one of those rare times where we have the demand for a new school, the resources to create it and a location for it,” Albuquerque Superintendent Winston Brooks said. “It’s a real opportunity to provide students with another option for success.”

Half of the classes students will take will be at the high school level, and the other half will be college-level courses. All credits earned at the new school can transfer to any university as progress toward a bachelor’s degree.

The school, which does not yet have a name, will operate on a trimester schedule. Students will be expected to attend classes during the summer.

CNM President Katharine Winograd said the partnership will put students ahead financially because there will be no cost to them or their families.

There are nearly 200 students already enrolled in the Albuquerque district’s Early College Academy and Career Enrichment Center. Both of the established schools have a waiting list, so officials said the new school will be able to help meet demand for dual-enrollment education.

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