How This Los Alamos-Based Student Made CNM Online Work For Her

Amy Danforth worked a full-time job, raised her kids, and was still able to get an associate degree thanks to the flexibility of online classes
July 26, 2022

A couple years back, Amy Danforth found herself in a bit of a bind. She wanted to move up in her administrative job with Los Alamos County and needed a degree. But getting a degree while working a full-time job, raising a family, and living in a small town wasn’t in the cards.

Then, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Amy, who’s 51, connected with one of CNM’s online programs. CNM Online offers accelerated programs that allow students to graduate faster. Tuition for CNM Online programs also covers the cost for textbooks and materials, as well as access to online tutoring, advising, library resources and other services. The program was designed specifically for people like Amy who have some experience in their field and want to advance.

“The (online) program was truly flexible and was exactly the opportunity I needed” she says. “I would spend three hours each night and about four to six hours on the weekend."

Amy enrolled in CNM Online’s Business Administration program because she eventually wants to hold a senior position with the County. She had some previous college credits that transferred over and was able to speed through the classes that were a review of work she’s already done at her job. 

During the classes where she learned new material she went at her own pace, reviewed the work online, and always had access to her instructors when she needed help. 

“That’s a huge part of what I loved about the (online) program. It was on my schedule, but my instructors were always there when I needed them,” she says. 

CNM Online students are also eligible for financial aid and scholarships—Amy received one—and Amy says her employer also helped pay for some of her courses. 

In her classes, Amy loved being able to learn the most up-to-date Business Administration information that she can use to help her employer stay on top of trends and workflows. 

“I certainly improved my skills and was able to stay up on new information that’s out there,” she says. 

At 51, Amy was worried that school might be too much, but says it was one her best experiences and now encourages anyone she meets to give a try if it will help them advance their careers.

“I got into my first class and realized, ‘I can do this.’” And then the more time I spent taking classes it helped me see myself in a whole new light,” she says. “I never thought I would get my associate degree at 51, but here I am, and it’s going to change my life.”