How CNM’s College and Career High School Gave this Student a Jumpstart on Her Career in Medicine

Tatiana Peralta is leaving high school with her diploma and two CNM certificates already under her belt
April 25, 2024

For Tatiana Peralta, the decision to enroll at the College and Career High School (CCHS) on CNM’s Main Campus was twofold; to get a head start on her Biochemistry degree and build a solid community.

“The opportunity for dual enrollment was very appealing to me,” she says. “I had also been in online school for a long time, but was starting to feel isolated so I decided to shift to in-person classes.”

Even though Tatiana was at CCHS for just two years she was able to get two college certificates from CNM—one in Health, Wellness and Public Safety and another in General Studies —as well as her high school diploma.

This Friday, she’ll join 60 other CCHS graduating seniors who have collectively earned 34 associate degrees and 64 certificates in addition to their high school diploma. This amounts to over 2,500 credit hours and a total savings of over $180,000 in tuition. High school students can take CNM dual credit classes, which count for both high school and college credit, tuition-free.

“The ability to get a head start, even if it’s just by a couple of credit hours, is one of the biggest reasons I would encourage other students to attend CCHS,” she said.

Overall, the structure of CCHS is what Tatiana enjoyed most.

“The flexibility has been my favorite part no doubt,” she says. “It was so nice to come and do my high school classes for part of the day and then go to my CNM classes or have free time to spend with my friends and family.”

Tatiana plans to transfer her college credit hours and attend the University of New Mexico in the fall and will be able to earn her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry in just two years, thanks to the credits she earned at CCHS. Her ultimate goal is to work at the Mayo Clinic as a medical laboratory scientist.

As she gets ready to graduate this weekend, Tatiana would encourage other students to take advantage of dual credit opportunities while still finding a way to find a school/life balance.

“CCHS is really an amazing place. The classes are small so you can build good relationships with your peers and your teachers,” she explains. “But I also want to remind students to take care of themselves while they’re working so hard towards their goals. It will feel even better when you get to where you want to be when you feel good about yourself.