CNM Wins National Student Success Award

April 23, 2013 – When it comes to helping students succeed, no community college in the country does it better than CNM. The American Association of Community Colleges, which represents nearly 1,200 community colleges nationwide, announced on Tuesday that CNM is the winner of its premier award, the Student Success Award.
July 16, 2015


CNM was named as one of five finalists for the award in February – the winner was announced at the AACC’s annual convention on Tuesday in San Francisco, Calif.

CNM set itself apart from the competition primarily through its fast-rising graduation numbers and its innovative CNM Connect student-support model, which has been emulated at other community colleges around the country.

“This is amazing,” CNM President Kathie Winograd said from San Francisco on Tuesday after the award presentation. “And it’s almost an overwhelming experience because I know the AACC has been such a passionate advocate for the important role of community colleges for so many years, and it has this new initiative to spotlight community colleges that are going above and beyond. CNM being chosen for this Student Success Award is really special for our college and our community. It makes me so proud of our CNM faculty and staff members. They have risen to the occasion time and again to find new ways to help more of our students succeed and graduate. Our employees have accepted the challenge of our time, which is to support our community, economy and state through the success of our students."

According to the AACC, the Student Success Award “recognizes a community college that has demonstrated, through evidence, a sustained commitment to, and proactively advanced, the cause of student success.” Criteria for the award included: developing a comprehensive, bold and strategic completion (graduation) plan; achieving measurable and significant increases in on-time associate degree completion, certificate completion and transfer from 2-year to 4-year institutions; developing innovative programs that support student success in areas such as student support services and K-12 partnerships/collaboration; substantially contributing to the integration of completion goals and principles across the institution; and developing scalable, promising practices to advance student success.

Some of the factors that contributed to CNM winning the award included:

Grad ImageGraduation Increases: 972 certificates and 1,357 associate degrees were awarded in 2007-08. In 2011-12, 5,398 certificates and 3,009 associate degrees were awarded. In 2008-09, 2,329 CNM students graduated with a degree or certificate. In 2011-12, 6,169 students graduated with a degree or certificate.

Transfer Increases: In 2005-06, 35.2 percent of CNM graduates with Associate of Science or Associate of Arts degrees transferred to a university. In 2009-10, 43.3 percent of those graduates transferred to a university. In 2009-10 (most recent transfer data), a total of 4,055 CNM students transferred to a university.

Dual Credit Student Increases: In fall 2007, CNM had 660 high school students taking CNM dual credit classes, which count for both high school and college credit. In spring 2013, there are nearly 2,000 high school students taking dual credit classes at CNM.

CNM Connect student-support model: CNM Connect was established at CNM as a major, college-wide initiative in February 2011. It provides students with a one-stop location at every campus to access all kinds of services, including Achievement Coaches, financial coaching and workshops, on-site access to public benefits screenings, access to scholarship applications, stress management and study skills workshops, access to legal services, free tax preparation, referrals to external services in the community for things like childcare and housing, as well as access to all the traditional student support services within CNM.

First-time students who accessed CNM Connect in fall term 2011 were retained in spring term 2012 at a 79.5 percent retention rate, compared to a 71.7 percent rate for those who didn’t access the service. For non-first-time students who accessed CNM Connect in fall 2011, 74.9 percent were retained in spring 2012, compared to a 67.1 percent rate for those who didn’t access it.