Glossary, Policies and Procedures

CNM glossary, including acronyms, and student policies and procedures.

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Abbreviated Schedule

  • Definition - Denotes a day when class schedules are officially shortened in response to weather or other issues.
  • Policy - If the CNM District is impacted by snow or other weather that can make travel dangerous, the most timely ways to receive information on whether the college is closed or delayed is the "AttentionCNM" emergency text messaging system, the weather line at 224-4SNO (4766) and the CNM website. Read more about Weather Closures and Abbreviated Schedules.


Academic Courses

  • Definition - Those courses that carry transfer credit toward a bachelor's degree as well as meeting requirements for an associate degree.

Academic Integrity

  • Definition - Behavior that supports and affirms the fundamental values of honor, integrity and ethics. 
  • Policy - The Academic Integrity Policy is the course of action that will be taken by CNM and your instructor if you are accused of engaging in an act that would qualify as academic dishonesty. 

Academic Probation

  • Definition - Status accorded at student whose cumulative GPA falls below 1.75 in a given term. Probationary status is effective with the following term of enrollment and/or is continued during withdrawal from CNM while on probation.
  • Policy - A student whose cumulative GPA falls below 1.75 in a given term will be placed on academic probation effective with the following term of enrollment. Read more about Academic Standards.

Academic Renewal

  • Definition - Students who return to CNM after an extended absence may petition to remove complete academic terms from future degree and GPA considerations.
  • Policy - This policy allows CNM students who had previously experienced academic difficulty to make a fresh start. Approval of the petition is based on the conditions listed below. If approved, Academic Renewal will result in a new grade point average.
    • To be eligible for Academic Renewal the student must have been absent from CNM for at least three consecutive years - 9 terms - prior to petitioning for Academic Renewal and must have completed at least 15 credit hours since their return with at least a 2.0 GPA.
    • Courses taken prior to Fall 1988 term are not eligible for Academic Renewal. Academic Renewal will affect all courses with grades of D or F taken between Fall 1988 and the student's absence.
    • Academic Renewal may be granted only one time per student and cannot be reversed.
    • Any academic suspensions that occurred in the past shall remain on the student's permanent academic record.
    • All attempted coursework and grades will remain on the student's official transcript. All courses affected by Academic Renewal will be excluded from the GPA calculation and may not be used to meet program and/or residency requirements for future graduation. A statement will be placed on the student's transcript indicating that Academic Renewal status was granted.
    • Academic Renewal does not affect any previous academic, financial, or administrative determination made by CNM. Other institutions/agencies may or may not choose to honor this policy in evaluating a student's transcript.
    • Academic Renewal does not override the enrollment requirements of certain programs that require a specific minimum grade point average based on all coursework. Re-entry into any academic program is not automatic.
    • Forms for Academic Renewal are available in the Records Office at Main Campus, the Admissions Office at all other campuses, and through the Registration/Grades tab of myCNM.

Academic Standing

  • Honor Roll
  • Graduation with Honors
  • Warning
  • Probation
  • Suspension
  • Suspension Appeals

Read more about our Academic Standards.

Academic Suspension

  • Definition - When a student is dismissed for a specified time period - usually one semester - for failing to maintain or achieve the minimum cumulative GPA required.
  • Policy - A student will be suspended from CNM after two consecutive terms of probation when both the term and cumulative GPA are below 1.75. Read more about Academic Standards.

Academic Transfer Courses

  • Definition - Courses designed to transfer to other colleges and universities.
  • Policy - To facilitate the transfer of students and course credits among New Mexico's colleges and universities, the state's public institutions of higher education are required to accept in-state transfer courses taken within approved modules of lower-division coursework and apply them toward degree requirements. Read more about College Transfer Information.

Academic Warning

  • Definition - Notice appearing on the grade report of a student whose cumulative GPA is between 1.99 and 1.75. Read more about Academic Standards.

Academic Year

  • Definition - A school year consisting of a fall, spring, and summer term.

Accelerated Degree

  • Definition - An accelerated degree, also referred to as a fast track degree, provides students the opportunity to complete degrees in a shorter time period than the traditionally paced degrees. Classes are offered in a condensed, fast-paced format so students may complete them more quickly than standard classes.

Access to Student Academic Records

  • Policy - All currently enrolled and former students may have access to their academic records. Other individuals and agencies that may have access to students' records include:
    • CNM officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records
    • Officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
    • Officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities
    • Organizations providing the student's financial aid or determining or assisting in determining financial aid decisions concerning eligibility, amount, condition, and enforcement of terms of said aid
    • Federal, state, and local officials or authorities if required by a state or federal law
    • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the college
    • Accrediting institutions
    • Organizations or individuals conducting studies for or on behalf of CNM
    • Individuals serving a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena, provided that a reasonable effort is made to notify the student prior to compliance
    • Honor societies and other chartered student organizations for determining membership
    • Any person with the written consent of the student (release forms are available at
    • Appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency
    • Authorized recruiters of the U.S. Armed Forces, as per the Solomon Amendment


  • Definition - Formal recognition of an educational institution that maintains standards qualifying its graduates for further study or for professional practice. CNM is accredited to grant certificates and associate degrees by The Higher Learning Commission; individual programs are accredited or approved by professional organizations. Read more about Accreditation for CNM Programs.


  • Definition - Reading, Sentence Skills (English), and Math exams are used to determine appropriate course placement for students. Read more about the Accuplacer.



Adult Basic Education (ABE)

  • Definition - Courses to prepare for the GED, improve basic math, reading, or writing skills, or to improve the skills of English as a Second Language speakers, offered in the School of Education.


  • Definition - Professional staff members who help students set and achieve academic goals and create meaningful educational plans through individualized academic planning and career exploration. Academic Advisors provide graduation and transfer information, enrichment and program information and connect students to a full range of institutional services and provide continued academic guidance and support throughout the student's experience. Read more.

Appeal Process

  • Policy - The student must begin the formal grade appeal process by obtaining a Grade Appeal Form and process guide from the school in which the course was taken and submitting it to the instructor by the end of the first week of the term following the course. If the instructor is not available the student should submit a Grade Appeal Form to an academic administrator in the school. If the request for a grade change is approved, the instructor or academic administrator will submit a grade correction to the Records Office. If the appeal is denied, the student may further appeal to the school or directly to the Instructional Grade Appeal Board.


  • Definition - A teaching method that combines on-the-job training at a work site or union facility with classroom instruction, traditionally in the building trades, but now available for IT professions as well. The experience is paid and is administered by a third party. At CNM, apprenticeships require an external application process. Contact your specific academic school for more information.

Arts and Sciences Electives

  • Definition - Courses numbered 1000 and above that provide broad learning in disciplines such as Mathematics, English, Arts, Humanities, and Physical, Biological, and Social Sciences. These courses are used to fulfill general education core requirements across all degree programs and support more in-depth studies in a particular major. Read more and look at the Arts and Sciences Elective Chart here.

Associate Degree (AA, AS, AAS)

  • Definition - The associate degree requires a minimum of 60 credits, with at least 15 credits earned in residence at CNM and with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 (a "C" average).

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree

  • An AAS degree program prepares students to enter either skilled or paraprofessional occupations or to upgrade workplace skills and knowledge. An AAS program is not intended to transfer to bachelor’s degree programs, although certain courses may be accepted at some institutions.

    The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree requires 12 credit hours distributed among six General Education Content Areas and an additional 3 credit hours may be selected from the Content Areas or a Multi-Discipline Content Area.

Associate of Arts (AA) Degree

  • An AA degree program is designed for transfer into a bachelor’s degree program in liberal arts, social or behavioral sciences, or a professional field with such disciplines as its base.

    The Associate of Arts (AA) degree requires 22 credits distributed among six General Education Content Areas and an additional nine credits may be selected from the Content Areas and/or a Multi-Discipline Area.

Associate of Science (AS) Degree

  • An AS degree program is designed for transfer into a bachelor’s degree program in a technical, medical, or professional field with such disciplines as its base.

    Associate of Science (AS) degree requires 22 credits distributed among six General Education Content Areas and an additional nine credits may be selected from the Content Areas and/or a Multi-Discipline Area.



  • Definition - Presence in class or for assigned activities; also denotes CNM and/or instructor policies related to presence in class or for assigned activities. Read more about Attendance.


  • Definition - A grade mode and course enrollment status that carries no course credit, does not designate subject competency, cannot be used to meet pre-or corequisite requirements and does not count for enrollment verification. Read more about the Audit Grade Mode.

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Bachelor's Degree

  • Definition - Undergraduate degree offered by four-year colleges & universities. The Bachelor of Arts degree requires that a portion of the student's studies be dedicated to the arts-literature, language, music, etc. The Bachelor of Science degree requires that a portion of the studies be in the sciences-chemistry, biology, math, etc. The minimum credit hour requirement for a Bachelor's Degree is at least 120 hours.

Biology Placement Exam

  • Definition - Subject exam to determine eligibility for a waiver of prerequisites for specified courses. (Note: placement exams do not award credit and may not be recognized by other institutions.) Read more about Placement Options.


Blended Course

Bookstore Deferments

  • Definition - Authorization to charge books against approved Financial Aid by signing a Financial Aid Deferment Authorization Form. Read more Deferment Information.

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Career Technical Courses

  • Definition - A sequence of courses that provides students with relevant technical knowledge and skills through applied learning for further education and careers in current or emerging professions. Read more about Career Technical Education.


  • Definition - The CNM Catalog is a student's official guide to programs, courses and policies at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM). The CNM Catalog is a summary of information of interest to students; it is not a complete statement of programs and policies. A Catalog expires 5 years following the end of its academic year(s). Read more.


  • Abbreviation for College Curriculum Committee


  • Definition - Formal indication of completion of a prescribed series of courses. A certificate indicates skill competency in many technical and career areas. A Certificate of Achievement is 1-15 credits; A Certificate of Completion is 16-59 credits. Read more.

Certificate of Achievement (1-15 credit hours)

  • A certificate program that prepares students to enter either skilled or paraprofessional occupations or to upgrade workplace skills and knowledge. The courses are often a subset of those required for a corresponding Certificate of Completion or Associate's degree.

Certificate of Completion (16-59 credit hours)

  • A certificate program that prepares students to enter either skilled or paraprofessional occupations or to upgrade workplace skills and knowledge.

Challenge Exam

  • Definition - An exam taken in a particular subject used to establish credit for CNM courses.

Challenge of Contents

  • Definition - Process whereby student disputes contents of their academic record as misleading, inaccurate, or in violation of privacy or other rights. This process may range from informal meetings to formal hearings before an appeals committee. Read more about Student Academic Records.

Change of Address

  • Students are expected to keep CNM informed of their current mailing and permanent addresses. Changes may be processed online through the Students tab in myCNM. Address changes submitted by e-mail or by telephone are not accepted.

Change of Name

  • Definition - Denotes the formal process required to change a student's or employee's name of record on CNM records. Read more about how to Update Your Student Information.

Classification of Students

  • Definition - The following are standards for the academic classification of students:
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    • Part-time
    • Full-time
  • Read more.


  • Definition - A temporary, hands-on work experience course specifically in affiliated clinical settings that allows students to practice skills learned in healthcare related areas of study in a real world environment. Students are under the direct supervision of a qualified clinical professional. The application process and length may vary. Contact your specific academic school for more information. Read more about Credit Hours.


  • Definition - A cohort is a group of students that starts and completes a degree or certificate program together.

College Curriculum Committee (CCC)

  • Definition – Committee reviews and makes recommendations concerning changes, additions, and deletions to institutional curricula.

College-Level Examination Program® (CLEP)

  • Definition - A group of standardized tests assessing college-level knowledge. At CNM CLEP scores may confer academic credit accepted in the form of transfer credits. Read more about the College Level Examination Program.

Community College

  • Definition - A postsecondary institution that offers adult education, college preparation and courses/programs (certificates and degrees) in career technical and occupational fields of study as well as for transfer coursework to four-year schools. Read more About CNM.

Competency-Based Education (CBE)

  • Definition - 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.
    In the traditional higher education model, students must spend a set amount of time in a class (for example, 15 weeks) before they can earn a grade for that class, and students must accumulate a set number of credits before they can earn a degree (for example, 120 credits for a bachelor's degree). CBE turns the traditional higher education model on its head. Instead of awarding credits based on how much time students spend in a class, CBE awards credits based on whether students can prove they have mastered competencies in an area of study.

Completion Rate

  • Definition - Ratio of courses completed versus course work attempted at CNM. Read more.


  • Definition - An area of emphasis or specialty within a program of study (major).

Course Load

  • Definition - The standard course load for a full-time college student is 12 to 18 credit hours. Students wanting to take more than 18 credit hours must meet the following conditions:
      • Have a college-level cumulative grade point average of 2.5 and
      • Have no grade lower than a C in the last term enrolled in college and
      • Obtain approval from your Program's School or Advisement
  • First-time college students may not enroll in more than 18 credit hours in a term. No student may take more than 22 credit hours in the fall term, and 22 credit hours in the spring term, or more than 20 in summer term.  In circumstances where CNM's employer/industry partners require specific programmatic design, certain cohorted career technical education (CTE) programs may require course loads that exceed these limits.

Course Numbering

  • Definition - Courses numbered 0001-0999 are developmental or preparatory courses; 1001-1999 are freshman-level courses; 2001-2999 are sophomore-level. Prior to Fall 2007, courses numbered 1-100 were developmental or preparatory; 101-299 freshman and sophomore level. Read more about the New Course Numbering System.

Course Repeat Limit

  • Definition - The number of times a course may be repeated.
  • Policy - Students may, in most cases, attempt the same course two times without restriction. Read more.

Course Section

  • Definition - An individual course offering, distinguished from other course sections by date, time, location, instructor, delivery mode, etc.

Course Substitution

  • Definition - The replacement of a required course in a student's program with another course that meets the course outcomes, has common general content, and is closely parallel to the required course. Read more.

Course Types

Course Waiver

  • Definition - An exemption from a required course because the competencies and/or learning objectives of the course have been attained through prior training, education, and/or work experience. A course waiver removes a course and its associated credit as a requirement from a student's program. Read more about Course Substitutions and Waivers.


 Credit (CR)

  • Definition -Definition - A unit of academic achievement. Read more about Transferring in New Mexico.
  • Also, a grading option signifying that all minimum course requirements have been met. A CR grade constitutes course credit but it is not computed for GPA. Read more.

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)

  • Definition - The term used by CNM to describe several methods of evaluating college-level learning that a student acquired outside of the Institution including:
    • Transfer Credit
    • Standardized Exams
      • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
      • Advanced Placement (AP)
    • Military Training
    • Certifications/Licensures
    • Portfolio Assessment
  • Read more about Credit for Prior Learning.

Credit Hour

  • Definition - A standard measure of instructional time associated with a given course. For transfer purposes, one CNM credit hour generally equals one semester credit hour at other institutions. Read more about Credit Hours.

Credit/No Credit

  • Definition - CR/NC, a grade option in some CNM courses, replacing the traditional letter grade. Read more.

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Declared Major

  • Definition - The field of study formally chosen by a student to be pursued and subsequently attached to the degree(s) earned. Read more about a Change of Major.

Degree/Certificate Residency Requirement

  • Definition - Residency requirements represent the minimum number of program credit hours a student is required to earn for coursework taken at CNM prior to graduation with a certificate or degree. Read more.

Department Approval

  • Definition - Process whereby students are specifically permitted to register for a course or program.

Developmental Courses

  • Definition - Courses numbered below 1000 that prepare students to enter transfer-level courses or career and technical courses. 

Direct Subsidized Loans: 150 Percent Rule

  • Definition - In 2013 Congress passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) that added a new provision to the Direct Loan statutory requirements that limits a first-time borrower's eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans to a period not to exceed 150 percent of the length of the borrower's educational program. For the purposes of this new regulation, CNM will publish in the catalog, and on the Financial Aid website, each program's length. CNM will calculate the length of each program using the following formula:

    # of credits required to complete the program ÷ 12 = # of semesters required to complete program (with standard rounding) (Example: 60 credit hour program / 12 hours = 5 semesters to complete program)

    The number of semesters required to complete the program will be converted to weeks or months when reporting to the Department of Education.

Disability Discrimination Complaint Procedure

  • Definition - No qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of the disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefit of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination related to any of the institution's programs or activities.
  • Policy - In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other applicable law, CNM takes appropriate action to ensure that its programs and services are readily accessible to qualified individuals with disabilities. Read more about the Disability Discrimination Complaint Procedure.


  • Definition - Individuals may be denied admission to the institution; enrollment in courses and/or programs; and participation in certain CNM sponsored activities if it is determined that such access is likely to pose a serious threat to the safety of the applicant and/or members of the CNM community.
  • Policy - At CNM there is a clearly defined process that is in place regarding how student disciplinary issues are addressed. Read more about the Disciplinary Process in The Student Handbook.

 Distance Learning (DL)

  • Definition - Courses taught mostly or entirely online by CNM faculty


Dropping Courses

  • Definition - Officially withdrawing from a class through the online registration system or at a registration office. Classes may be dropped according to the registration deadlines listed in the Schedule of Classes.

Dual Credit Student

  • Definition - Students who are simultaneously enrolled in both high school and CNM. Dual Credit grades are entered on both the student's CNM and high school transcripts. Read more about the Steps to Becoming a Dual Credit Student.

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  • Definition - A course of study chosen outside the student's core field that is acceptable for credit toward completion of the student's academic program. Read more about our General Education & Elective Charts.

English as a Second Language (ESL)

  • Definition - Courses for students who are non-native speakers of English. Read more about the School of Education.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

  • Definition - Courses designed for non-native speakers of English to prepare students for college-level reading and writing. Read more about the School of Education.


  • Definition - The procedure by which students formally select classes each term. As used, Enrollment also references the payment of required tuition and fees.

Entry Catalog

  • Definition - The Catalog in effect when a student enters the college. Interruption of attendance, inactive for three terms in a row, requires a student to use the Catalog at the time of readmission.

Externship/Job Shadow

  • Definition - Externships and/or job-shadow experiences involve observation rather than hands-on experiences, and are part of a for credit course. The goal is to expose the student to the culture and work flows typical of their chosen discipline in a real world environment. They may be brief in duration and may include several hours or days of instruction. The application process may vary between schools. Contact your specific academic school for more information.

Extra-Curricular Activities

  • Definition - Non-classroom activities sponsored by the college supplementing a well-rounded education, including such activities as clubs, student government, recreational and social organizations and events. Read more from the Student Activities Office.

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  • Definition - All persons who teach classes for educational systems.

Fast Track


  • Definition - Fees are additional charges not included in the tuition. Fees may be charged to cover cost of materials and equipment needed in programs and may be assessed for student events, programs, and publications. Read more about our Tuition Rates and Residency.

Felony Convictions


Financial Aid

  • Definition - Assistance with the cost of your college education. Also, a department at CNM that coordinates and administers the provision of this assistance. Read more about Financial Aid & Scholarship Services.

Financial Aid Deferment

  • Definition - Grace period allowed between registration and payment of tuition and fees due to pending receipt of financial aid. Read more Deferment Information.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  • Definition - The almost universal application for financial aid, typically required before consideration for any assistance with education financing. Read more on how to Apply for Financial Aid.


Full-time Status

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General Education Development (GED)

General Education Core Curriculum

  • Definition - The New Mexico General Education Core Curriculum includes designated general education courses that are focused on the essential skills that all college graduates need for success and are guaranteed to transfer to any New Mexico public college or university. Read more about the Core Curriculum Requirements here.

Grade Appeals

  • Policy - It is the student's responsibility to communicate concerns they may have about any grade in a class to the instructor of the class. If the issue is not resolved, the student may formally appeal a final grade for the following reasons:
    • Inconsistency between what is written in the syllabus and what is practiced.
    • Grade miscalculation or other grading errors that cause a change to the final course grade.

Students may not appeal disagreements with teaching methodologies, instructor specific policies, specific course assignments, grade weighting methods, or attendance policies.

Grade Mode

  • Definition - A specified method of scoring academic achievement. At CNM grade modes include the traditional grades A, B, C, D and F, as well as Credit (CR)/No Credit (NC), and Audit. Read more about Grade Mode.

Grade Options

Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • Definition - An educational standard computed by multiplying the number of credit hours of a course by the points assigned to the course grade, then dividing by the total number of hours. Point values are: A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0. Read more about Grades.

Grade Point Average Requirement

  • Definition - Grade Point Average Requirement for Graduation: A cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better in the program is required (unless otherwise stated in the program description). Read more about Grades.

Grading System

  • Definition - Final CNM grades are recorded on the student's CNM transcript and calculated in both a term grade point average (GPA) and a cumulative GPA. Final grades are available to students through the Registration/Grades tab of myCNM. The grades awarded in all courses represent the quality of work done.


  • Definition - Official confirmation of the completion of a certificate or degree program. Graduation is dependent on the approved completion of all program and institutional graduation requirements and is approved by the Office of the Registrar. Read more about Graduation.

Graduation Catalog

  • Policy - Students may use the graduation degree requirements in their Entry Catalog, readmission catalog, and subsequent catalogs for 5 years following the end of any Catalog’s academic year(s). Exceptions to this policy may be made by the Registrar’s Office on a case-by-case basis. 

Graduation Residency Requirement *

  • Definition - At least one-quarter of the required program courses and credit hours for a certificate and 12 credit hours of the required program coursework for a degree must be completed at CNM. Note: Credit based on challenge exams and courses graded AU do not apply toward the graduation residence requirement.

         *  This policy will be superseded Fall 2016. (See Degree Residency.)

Graduation With Honors

  • Definition - Formal recognition accorded students graduating with a cumulative GPA between 3.6 and 3.9. The term Graduation with Highest Honors recognizes students graduating with a cumulative GPA of 4.0. Read more.

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Honor Roll

  • Definition - A roster of students who completed 12 or more credit hours with traditional grades achieving a term GPA of 3.5 or higher. Also known as the Dean's List, the Honor Roll is compiled each term. Read more about Academic Standards.




Hybrid Course

  • Definition - A course in which 50% of the course activity takes place online, and 50% is in a classroom or lab. 

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  • Definition - A grade of "I" or "IC" given when circumstances have prevented completion of the work for a course within the official dates of a term. Read more.

Incomplete Grade Assignment and Removal

  • Definition - A grade of "I" or "IC" (incomplete) is given when circumstances beyond the student's control have prevented completion of the work for a course within the official dates of a term. In no case is an "I" or "IC" to be used to avoid a failing grade or to allow extra time to complete work normally expected.
  • Policy - Removal of an "I" or "IC" grade can only be accomplished by completing the work in a manner and deadline acceptable to the instructor. The deadline cannot be later than 5 weeks after the following term.

    An "I" not made up by the established deadline will automatically revert to an F or NC on the student's record and cannot be changed by work completion.

Independent Study

  • Definition - Student works with the instructor on specific topics directly related to the course or program of study. The meeting time is arranged between the student and the instructor. Read more about Credit Hour Guidelines.

Information Technology Use

  • Definition - Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) promotes and provides Information Technology (IT) resources that enhance educational services and facilitate job performance and College operations. These resources are shared by CNM students, CNM employees and the public at large.
  • Policy - All persons using these systems share the responsibility for seeing that they are used in an effective, efficient, ethical, and lawful manner. Read more about the Information Technology Use Administrative Directive.

Integrated Service Learning (ISL)

  • Definition - A teaching method and temporary work experience that combines an existing CNM anchor course with SERV 1190, a specialized one credit CNM course. This faculty-driven work experience emphasizes community service; critical, reflective thinking; as well as personal and civic responsibility. Types of ISL include: direct service, indirect service, research-based, or advocacy service learning. Students complete a minimum of 20 hours of service learning in primarily non-profits, academic institutions or government agencies. The student must enroll in the ISL course and is eligible to earn one credit hour in addition to the credits associated with the anchor course. Contact your specific academic school for more information.

Internship/Co-op Education

  • Definition - A temporary, student learning focused, hands-on work experience with an industry partner that is directly related to the student's discipline. This is a credit course that meets pre-determined learning objectives. The experience focuses on providing practical work experience, while developing professional skills such as oral and written communication, problem-solving, and/or team oriented work, typically completed at an industry location. Internships are generally unpaid while co-ops are generally paid and although they vary in required hours they are generally completed within a semester. The application process may vary between schools. Contact your specific academic school for more information Read more about Credit Hours.


  • Definition - A selection of classes offered in a condensed format between terms.


  • Abbreviation for Instructional Technicians.


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Learning Communities

  • Definition - Courses paired for simultaneous enrollment offering integrated curricula to emphasize connections within and across disciplines. Read more about Learning Communities.


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  • Definition - A program of study comprising a specific group of courses chosen to provide intensive education or training in a specialized field. Read more on a Change of Major.

Maximum Time Frame

  • Definition - A calculation of maximum allowable hours related to limited financial aid eligibility. In general terms the maximum is 150 percent of credit hours required by a program. This calculation includes all attempted hours - including repeated courses, ineligible courses, accepted transferred hours, any courses taken under a previous major and hours for which a student did not receive financial aid. Only developmental/remedial hours are excluded from this calculation. Standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Military Duty

  • Definition - Serving on active duty in the military and who receive orders transferring them to a duty station outside of the CNM District or prohibiting their continued enrollment at CNM or are members of the New Mexico National Guard and/or reserves and are called to active duty.
  • Policy - The Student Policy on Military Duty shall apply to currently enrolled students at CNM. Read more about Military Student Policies.




Multiple Enrollment


  • Definition - CNM's online information portal that houses online enrollment-related systems and information. Read more and Learn How to Access myCNM.

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No Credit (NC)

  • Definition - Students who do not satisfactorily complete minimum course requirements will receive NC if the course grade option is credit/no credit. A grade of NC is not computed in the GPA and the student will not receive credit for the course. Read more about the Grade Mode.

Non-Degree Status

  • Definition - Students who do not intend to earn a degree or certificate at CNM, or students who have not yet declared a major. Read more about Change of Major.

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Occupational Courses

  • Definition - Courses designed to prepare students for entry-level jobs. Examples include AVMT 1280 Aviation Services, BA 1101 Intro to Business, OTEC 1101 Beginning Keyboarding, WELD 1030 Welding Math. Read more about how to Learn a Trade at CNM Through Career Technical Education.

Online Certificate/Degree Evaluation

  • Definition - An official comparison of a student's academic record to their program requirements. Also referred to as CAPP Compliance report or CNM Degree Works.

Online Course

  • Definition - A course in which all of the course activity takes place over the internet. Learn more about CNM Online.

Other Degree Options

  • Definition - A course or activity which carries no academic, developmental or vocational credit at a postsecondary institution. These include ESL, GED, Workforce Training Center courses.

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Part-time Student

Post Degree Certificate of Achievement (1-15 credit hours)

  • A post-degree certificate of achievement program requires that the student has already completed a degree before being accepted into the program. The certificate program prepares students to enter either skilled or paraprofessional occupations or to upgrade workplace skills and knowledge. The courses are often a subset of those required for a corresponding Certificate of Completion or Associate's degree.

Post Degree Certificate of Completion (16-59 credit hours)

  • The Post Degree Certificate of Completion prepares students to enter either skilled or paraprofessional occupations or to upgrade workplace skills and knowledge. A post-degree certificate of completion requires that the student has already completed a degree before being accepted into the program. In some cases, there are restrictions for entry into the program based on federal or state mandates.


  • Definition - A temporary work experience course integrated with academic instruction that prepares a student for specific pre-professional training in occupational fields such as education, healthcare or the arts. The application process may vary between schools. Contact your specific academic school for more information. Read more about Credit Hours.


  • Definition - An academic requirement that must be successfully completed before a student may enroll in a course. Read more about Prerequisites & Requirements.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Proactive Graduate

  • Definition - A student CNM has identified as having met all of their program requirements but who has never officially applied to graduate.


  • Definition - A student whose cumulative GPA (based on at least 16 GPA credit hours attempted at CNM) falls below 1.75 in a given term will be placed on probation effective with the following term of enrollment. Students are continued on probation if they withdraw from CNM while on probation. Notification of academic probation appears on the student's grade report at the end of each term.

Note: Some Health, Wellness & Public Safety programs may have specific requirements that affect a student's eligibility to continue in the program. Students should refer to the program handbook.

Program of Study

Program Proficiencies

Public Directory Information

  • Definition - CNM has defined public directory information as:
    • Student's name
    • Major discipline
    • Classification
    • Dates of attendance
    • Awards and honors
    • Degrees/certificates awarded
  • Policy - This information is available to the public and can be released unless an annual written request to withhold the information is on file in the Records Office. Confidentiality Request forms and Authorization for the Release of Educational Records forms are available in the Registration/Grades tab of myCNM.

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Recommended Prerequisite


Registration Fee

  • Definition - A processing fee assessed to each student for the term in which they are registering for classes. Read more about Tuition Rates and Residency.

Registration Related Grade Appeals

  • Policy - Students who fail a class because they were physically unable to drop or complete the class, (Example: hospitalization or military service) may appeal in writing to the assistant registrar. The appeal, along with required supporting documentation, must be submitted by the end of the first week of the following term. Registration Related Grade Appeal forms are available through the Registration/Grades tab of myCNM.

Release of Transcripts

  • Policy - Official CNM transcripts are available directly from the Records Office and through the Admissions Offices at other campuses. Transcripts may be requested in person, by fax, or by phone. Phone requests may only be used for sending transcripts to another postsecondary institution. No transcript is issued until all institutional obligations are paid. Transcripts from other institutions received by CNM are not copied for or returned to students.

Repeat Course Processing

  • Definition - When a student has enrolled in a course more than once, each course enrollment and all grades will appear on the student's transcript. Only the higher grade will be used to calculate the GPA. This policy applies to courses with identical course abbreviations and numbers except for the following: topics, problems, internship and cooperative education courses and when course abbreviations and numbers change as a result of new programs and/or program revisions. It does not affect any courses taken prior to Fall 1991 (see Course Repeat Limit).

Note: For repeat course processing CR grades are computed as a C; NC grades are computed as an F. Also, certain forms of financial aid will not provide assistance to students who repeat courses previously completed successfully. Compliance with such regulations is the student's responsibility.

Required Coursework

  • Definition - Required coursework to complete a program
  • Policy - All program requirements must be completed, including all courses listed in the course catalog.
    • Approved transfer, nontraditional, exam credit and/or waivers or substitutions used to meet program requirements must be on file in the CNM Records Office at least two weeks prior to submitting the Graduation Application.
    • All credits used for graduation must be displayed on the student’s CNM transcript.
    • All career and technical courses used to meet program requirements must have a grade of C or better, and all general education courses must have a minimum grade of D. Career and technical education courses (including courses in business, information technology, hospitality, health sciences, teacher education, and skilled trades) that are more than ten years old may not be accepted for credit, due to changing technologies, trends, and professional demands. Courses taken ten or more years prior will not apply to program requirements unless they have been approved by the instructional school in which the course was offered and processed by the instructional school in which the program is offered.

Note: Courses numbered below 1000 cannot be used to meet program graduation requirements.


  • Definition - Status as either resident or non-resident used in calculating tuition. 


Rules Governing Classrooms/Labs

  • Definition - Classroom and lab rules.
  • Policy - Information on children on campus, electronic devices, dress, smoking, and animals on campus. Read more on Rules Governing Classrooms/Labs.

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Schedule of Classes

  • Definition - An online list of classes offered in the current/upcoming term specifying CRN, day/time, location; also a webpage linking to information regarding admission, registration, academic calendars. Read more on the Schedule of Classes.

Self-Paced Courses

  • Definition - Students in "self-paced" courses work through the curriculum at their own pace, with the help of their instructor. Students who finish the curriculum early in the term can often enroll in the next level course within the same term. Self-paced classes may also include small group work, small group instruction, computer lab use, real-life application labs, and calculator use.

Service Learning

  • Definition - A teaching methodology that allows faculty to augment classroom instruction with a minimum 15 hours of student service at pre-screened non-profit agencies. CNM's Service Learning has four components: academic coursework; service to the community; civic engagement, and responsibility; additionally, a critical reflection component fosters the integration of course objectives with experiential learning. No separate credit is earned for the service learning component other than what is earned as part of the course. Contact your specific academic school for more information. Read more about Service Learning.

Sexual Harassment

  • Definition - Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment.
  • Policy - Sexual harassment constitutes an unacceptable and punishable offense at CNM. Read more on Sexual Harassment.

Snow Day

Social Security Number

  • Definition - 9-digit federal identification number required for specified college purposes but also subject to privacy and nondisclosure protections. Read more about Student Academic Records.


  • Definition - A student who has completed 30 or more credits at CNM. (Sophomore level courses are those number 2001-2099.) Read more on Catalog Resources.

Spanish Placement Exam

  • Definition - Used to determine course placement depending on the skill level of the student. Read more about Placement Options.





  • Definition - School-approved switching out of/into developmental or lower level career and technical courses to better accommodate a student's academic needs and preparation.

Student Academic Records

  • Definition - The Records Office maintains official academic records. These records include, but are not limited to: the admissions form, high school and/or college transcripts, grades, and academic standing.
  • Policy - CNM's policy for maintaining confidentiality of student academic records is in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA, P.L. 93-380, 512). Copies of the Rights and Privacy Act are available for examination in the Records Office at the Main Campus and the Admissions Offices at all other campuses.

Student Code of Conduct

  • Definition - The purpose of the Student Code of Conduct is to inform the student body of the rules and regulations that are essential to the normal operation of CNM. Read more on Student Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook.

Student Complaint Process

  • Definition - Formal complaint process.
  • Policy - Occasionally students will encounter a problem on campus that they do not know how to resolve. Read more about Student Complaints and Appeals in The Student Handbook.

Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act

  • Definition - Federal requirements mandating the availability of information regarding student retention and completion data and campus security policies and crime statistics. Read more about Crime Reporting.

Study Abroad

  • Definition - Study Abroad refers to any of a number of arrangements by which students complete part of their degree program through educational activities outside the United States. This may include short-term programs led by CNM faculty, or exchange programs with colleges & universities around the globe. Components of study abroad often include service learning, online learning, and project-based learning.

Substance Abuse

  • Definition - Abuse of alcohol and drugs that impairs work and academic performance, poses a threat to the health and safety of the CNM community, and undermines the learning environment.
  • Policy - CNM Policy on illegal drugs and alcohol. Read more on Substance Abuse.


  • Definition - An approved exchange of courses and credit where the competencies and/or learning objectives of the substituting course are comparable, but not equivalent, to those of the required course. Read more.


  • Definition - Status whereby students are held ineligible for enrollment at CNM due to poor academic performance. The duration of an initial suspension is for one term; for subsequent suspensions, one year. Read more on Academic Standards.

Suspension Appeals

  • Definition - Students who have been suspended may submit a written appeal (along with appropriate supporting documentation), explaining the unusual circumstances and justifying why they should be readmitted, to the Director of Enrollment Services, who will approve or deny the appeal. If the director denies the appeal, the appeal will be referred to the Student Academic Appeals Committee. Students may present the case to the committee in person. The decision of the Committee is final.


Abbreviation for South Valley Campus.


  • Definition - A course summary or outline distributed by an instructor usually including topics to be covered; reading list; class, assignment and deadline schedules; attendance policies and grading standards.

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  • Abbreviation for To Be Determined. When found in the Schedule of Classes usually relates to course location.


  • Definition - A portion of an academic year. CNM has three terms a year: fall, spring, and summer.

Topics Course

  • Definition - Topics courses complement CNM's regular course offerings in a subject area or program. They may emphasize subject matter or content introduced in other courses, offer content at a more advanced level, or present content that is not covered in other CNM courses. Topics courses may change from term to term. Read more about Topics Courses.

Traditional Grade

  • Definition - Letter grade (A, B, C, D or F) used in calculating the grade point average and recommended for courses in the major and for courses to be transferred to another institution. Read more about Grade Mode.


  • Definition - An official educational record of a student's enrollment at a college, showing courses attempted and completed, grades and grade point average, and graduation. Read more about transcripts.

Transfer Credits

  • Definition - Credits for courses taken at another institution and counted toward a CNM certificate or degree or credits for courses taken at CNM and applied toward a degree at another institution. Read more about College Transfer Information.


  • Definition - A charge for CNM courses based on course type, credit hours, and the student's residence classification. Read more about tuition.

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Veterans Resources

  • Definition - Services, benefits, and help for veterans and their families who currently attend or plan to attend CNM. Read more.

Visitor Student

  • Definition - Students who do not want financial aid, are not going to declare a major, and are attending part-time. Read more about Non-Traditional Students.

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  • Definition - A computerized function that allows students to place themselves on a Registration Waitlist when a class they want to register for is full.


  • Definition - Notification on a student's grade report that their cumulative grade point average is between 1.99 and 1.75. Read more.


  • Definition - Dropping all courses and ceasing to be a CNM student. 

Withdrawing from a Course

  • Definition - Dropping an individual course. 

Work Embedded Learning (WEL)

  • Definition - A WEL is one type of Work Experience Education course at CNM that differs from a traditional internship, Co-op Ed., Practicum, Clinical, or Integrated Service Learning experience. A WEL component is integrated into credit-bearing courses that offer students the opportunity to create a project or perform a service or activity with real-world context in collaboration with an external partner. The project or activity is relevant to actual workforce practices and mutually benefits both students and industry. The experience advances professional skills such as communication, critical thinking, and collaboration. Students are challenged to learn, apply and reflect upon the connections between classroom learning and the workplace.

    The Catalog Course Description reflects language that the course provides a Work Embedded Learning (WEL) experience. Contact your specific academic school for more information.

Work Study (Student Employment)

  • Definition - Non-credit bearing college employment for students who are financial aid eligible and enrolled in at least six financial aid eligible credit hours at CNM. Students may work in departments at all CNM sites. Although employment may not be related to the student’s field of study, the duties promote professional, career-ready skills through participation in a Career and Job Placement workshop on workplace professionalism. Learn more about CNM work study opportunities.


  • Abbreviation for Word per minute (keyboarding/transcription).




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