Fast Track / Accelerated Degree Programs

Earn degrees in Teacher Education, Early Childhood Multicultural Education or a Fire Academy Certification in our accelerated programs.

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For additional information about Fast Track programs, please reach out to the Innovative Programs team.

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About Fast Track 

Our Fast Track programs are designed for busy professionals seeking educational and professional advancement. All classes are offered primarily in the evenings, so if you have a family, work, or other obligations, you can still kickstart your future with a Fast Track program.

The Fast Track format was designed by full-time faculty who work as a team to integrate and teach the curriculum using a competency-based education approach. Competency-based education is a learning model that transitions away from the restraints of seat time and creates flexibility by allowing students to progress as soon as they demonstrate mastery of academic content.

Entry into the Fast Track program includes a supplemental application (including a personal statement/essay) and required reading and math proficiency, either through Accuplacer Placement Test or previous English and Math courses. If you need to take the Accuplacer, you can schedule a remote or in-person exam on our CNM Assessment Center page.

Start Your Fast Track Application


All cohorts begin in the Fall term.

The general 2024 Fast Track application closes on July 19, 2024.

The 2024 Fast Track Fire Academy application closes on Friday, May 31, 2024

Fast Track Pathways

CNM currently offers four Fast Track programs: Early Childhood Multicultural Education, Fire Academy, and Teacher Education.

Early Childhood Multicultural Education

The Early Childhood Multicultural Education Program (Birth-Third Grade Teacher Concentration) offers working and non-working professionals the opportunity to earn an associate degree in 18 months. A flexible, hybrid model (evening and online classes) allows you to learn in both traditional length and seven-week classes. The degree meets the requirements for the CNM Child Development Certificate, which is in alignment with the New Mexico Child Development certificate and is fully transferable to New Mexico colleges and universities.

Fire Academy

The Fire Science Program offers the CNM Fire Academy Certification through the traditional open-enrollment courses and a structured, demanding 18-week academy with a combination of intersession classes, one 18-week course and two eight-week blocks. CNM has developed top-of-class curriculum and training protocols that not only meet national standards but also mirror the kind of training provided by fire departments.

Teacher Education

Earn an Associate of Arts in Teacher Education with a concentration in Elementary/Special Education online in just 15 months. This program is offered in a combination of traditional and seven-week classes. A bilingual option, with 65% of courses taught in Spanish, is also available to prepare students for La Prueba. This accelerated program will help students condense the length of their bachelor's degree for licensure in the state of New Mexico.

Additional Details


  • Registration is done for you each term
  • Most textbooks are offered as e-books
  • Students can work full-time while in the program
  • Courses are transferable to most four-year institutions in New Mexico
  • Support and mentorship provided throughout the program from faculty, staff, and designated advising success team.

Program Dependent Benefits 

  • A Windows laptop computer
  • General Parking permits 
  • Meals via catering and/or gift cards


The Fast Track program is eligible for Financial Aid and Scholarships. Fill out a Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) and contact a CNM Financial Aid Advisor or refer to myScholarship Application.

Information Sessions

Interested in a Fast Track program? The best place to start is at an Information Session. We can answer questions about program requirements, schedules, payment options, and more. 

Fast Track Education Programs 

Information Sessions for the Teacher Education, Bilingual Education, and Early Childhood Education will take place on the third Thursday of the month from 5 - 6 p.m.

Register for an Education Program Information Session today!