This College and Career High School Grad is Well on His Way to an Exciting Career in the Healthcare Field

Benjamin Muñoz says CCHS and its dual-enrollment classes set him up for success
April 18, 2023

Students at the College and Career High School (CCHS), which is located on CNM’s Main Campus, get the opportunity to take tuition-free, CNM dual-credit classes that count for both high school and college credit.

For Benjamin Muñoz, this was admittedly a bit intimidating. He walked into his first CNM class as a 16 year old and found himself surrounded by older students who had more life and school experience.

But Benjamin, who says he always rises to the challenge, quickly realized this could actually be a big advantage.

“I learned that being surrounded by other college students helped me mature a lot faster than some of my peers at other schools,” he says. 

Benjamin also realized that thanks to CNM’s huge catalog, he could choose from a significantly wider variety of classes than at a high school so he took advantage and cast a wide net.

After sampling various fields, Benjamin eventually decided that healthcare was where he wanted to go. His older brother, who also went to CNM and now works for the Albuquerque Police Department, gets to help people daily and Benjamin wanted something similar. 

“I realized that by focusing on the medical field I could truly change people’s lives,” he says.

With that in mind, Benjamin will graduate later this month with a high school diploma from CCHS as well as a CNM certificate in Health, Wellness, and Public Safety and an associate degree in Integrated Studies. He’s also just a few credits away from an associate degree in Biology and will transfer those credits to UNM where he plans to get a bachelor’s degree in Biology. Benjamin will join 60 other CCHS students who are graduating this spring with 47 associate degrees and 86 certificates. 

At UNM, Benjamin’s plan is to either enter medical school or become a paramedic so he can apply to Albuquerque Fire Rescue.

Benjamin says he’s excited about enrolling at UNM not only because he’s coming in with a lot of college credits, but also because he knows how to be successful. At CNM he worked with many different instructors and each one had a different style of teaching so he knows how to adapt to find success.

“Some of my instructors at CNM were really hands-on and some were not, but I saw the advantage of both styles and I know the same will be true at UNM,” he says.

As he leaves CCHS, Benjamin is not shy about giving advice to incoming freshmen. He gives anyone who asks some valuable suggestions for how to be successful. 

“First, make sure you realize you’re getting a high-quality and free college education by becoming a CCHS student. Don’t take that for granted,” he says. “And second, do everything you can to explore, just like I did, while you’re at CCHS and CNM. This is your chance to figure things out in a really supportive and welcoming environment.”