Rio Rancho Public School Board Approves Shared Use of CTE Facility by RRPS and CNM Students

The partnership will connect more young people in Rio Rancho to the prolific career opportunities that exist in the skilled trades through CNM’s highly regarded programs that lead to industry recognized credentials
June 30, 2022

The Rio Rancho Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously this week to approve the shared use of a Rio Rancho Public Schools Career Technical Education facility by RRPS students and adult CNM students. CTE trades programs at CNM will be offered to RRPS students as dual credit opportunities, and the facility will also be used to offer CTE programming to CNM students and job seekers in the Rio Rancho and Sandoval County community. 

RRPS and CNM signed the memorandum of understanding to begin the partnership in February, and the Board of Education’s decision this week paves the way for the two institutions to move forward with programming decisions.  

“I want to thank the Rio Rancho Public Schools Board and Rio Rancho Public Schools for taking this essential step toward bringing this shared vision to life,” said CNM President Tracy Hartzler. “On behalf of CNM, we’re thrilled to build on our long-standing partnership with RRPS and we’re looking forward to bringing education and training that industry values and connects students to high-paying, rewarding careers. The partnership between our community college and the public schools will address the pressing need for more skilled trades workers in Rio Rancho and Sandoval County, and the critical role they serve in economic development.” 

A variety of CTE pathways are expected to be available through the CNM-RRPS partnership. Welding classes are planned to take place at the facility during the upcoming 2022 Fall Term, and other programs currently under consideration for the facility include automotive technology, diesel technology, construction pathways and computer information systems pathways. The two institutions are leveraging data focused on current and future job growth projections in the local economy to help identify the full menu of programs that will be offered. Programming decisions will also be aligned with the priorities of the Sandoval Economic Alliance, the Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance, the New Mexico Economic Development Department, the Department of Workforce Solutions, and the Strengthening CTE for the 21st Century Act.  

As part of the agreement, CNM and RRPS have committed to make the training programs broadly accessible to RRPS students, adult students at CNM and job seekers in the community. RRPS will increase promotion of CTE career exploration and programs to middle school and high school students while expanding CTE dual credit opportunities with CNM. Dual credit allows high school students to take courses that count for both high school and college credit, saving time and money. There’s no tuition cost for students to take dual credit classes.  

There will also be a strong emphasis on work-based learning. Through public-private partnerships with regional business and industry, CNM and RRPS have committed to providing abundant opportunities for pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships, internships and job shadowing that will be embedded in the education experience.  

CNM will work in partnership with RRPS to ensure that the College provides industry-endorsed education and training that leads to CNM-issued credentials, certificates and associate degrees. According to the New Mexico Association for Career and Technical Education, 51 percent of jobs in New Mexico require skills training that involves more education than high school, but less than a four-year degree. 

RRPS owns a facility and additional property at 7001 Zenith Court in Rio Rancho that will serve as the primary shared-use training facility.