CNM, UNM Awarded $2 Million Grant to Increase Graduates in Humanities

The Mellon Foundation grant is addressing the need for more graduates in the humanities, who are increasingly in demand by business and industry for their valuable skills, such as critical thinking and creative problem-solving.
January 10, 2019

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has approved a joint grant of $2 million to increase the number of students pursuing associate and bachelor’s degrees in the humanities and to support the transfer of humanities students from Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) to the University of New Mexico (UNM).

UNM will receive $1.2 million of the three-year grant and CNM will receive $800,000 in the joint effort to enrich New Mexico’s society and economy with more graduates from the humanities.

“By working together through this grant, CNM and UNM can help many more students who are interested in the humanities receive the support they need to complete degrees and be prepared to succeed in their chosen career,” said Erica Volkers, Dean of the School of Communication, Humanities & Social Sciences at CNM. “Graduates of the humanities are instilled with important lifelong attributes such as empathy, ethics and social responsibility that can enhance the quality of industries and work environments. We’re excited about the potential of this grant to help more students successfully complete degrees in the humanities and become highly valued professionals.”

The grant funding will be used in a variety of ways, including: jointly planned events by CNM and UNM, and outreach activities to stimulate student interest in the humanities; a summer academy for CNM students in the humanities who are considering a transfer to UNM; providing a stipend for UNM graduate assistants who will act as student navigators to help CNM students successfully transfer to UNM and pursue humanities bachelor’s degrees; sharing data and aligning courses between UNM and CNM; and hiring a Transfer Specialist in the UNM Arts and Sciences advisement office.

“Students who earn degrees in the humanities enrich our community and state in so many ways,” said CNM President Katharine Winograd. “Graduates of the humanities are critical to a healthy society and they often become outstanding leaders in business and industry.”

Students trained in humanities-based disciplines such as English, History, Philosophy, Psychology, and Latin American Studies, among others, develop essential skills such as critical thinking, creative problem solving, interpreting and analyzing texts and data, developing innovative ideas, communicating well-informed decisions, and grappling with difficult circumstances. Increasingly, business and diverse industry leaders are identifying a need for hiring employees with the skill sets developed through humanities-engaged education.

CNM’s programs in the humanities reside in the School of Communication, Humanities & Social Sciences.

To learn more about this grant initiative to foster collaborations between community colleges and universities to produce more humanities scholars, visit the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation website.