Work-Based Learning

Work-Based Learning (WBL)

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CNM strives to ensure that every student has a work-based learning opportunity during your education and training at CNM and CNM Ingenuity. CNM's work-based learning options provide the opportunity to apply what you have learned in the classroom and in your program to practical experience in a real-world setting. Work-based learning is an umbrella term that includes many different types of experiences including:


A student-focused, hands-on work experience course with an industry partner that is directly related to the student's discipline. There are many different types of internships, and internships can be paid or unpaid, and be credit-bearing or not-for-credit opportunities. This can potentially be a credit-bearing course that is performed at an industry location and meets pre-determined learning objectives with a focus on providing practical work experience, while developing professional skills such as communication, problem-solving, and/or team-oriented work. If you are interested in receiving academic credit for your internship, you can contact your academic school or you can email and Student Workforce Success can help connect you to your school for internship course information. Credit-bearing internships can be electives or required as part of your program. Opportunities are available for CNM & CNM Ingenuity students.

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Externship/Job Shadow

Externships and job-shadow experiences involve observation rather than hands-on experiences as part of a credit bearing course. Students are exposed to the realistic context and work flows typical of careers related to their academic discipline. The duration of an externship or job-shadow varies by course. Contact your specific academic school for more information on courses that include observations in workplace settings. Elective credit. Programs: HWPS.


A work experience course that is generally required in healthcare or related areas of study. Students are placed in affiliated external agencies or clinical labs under direct supervision from faculty or CNM staff and a qualified clinical professional with a focus on gaining a broad clinical experience to practice skills learned in the college classroom.  Contact your specific academic school on the application process. Required credits. Programs: HWPS, NPS.


A work experience course focused on student learning that incorporates previous or concurrent academic instruction. The practicum allows students to apply theoretical concepts to practical situations within an occupational field. The application process may vary between schools. Contact your specific academic school for application information. Elective or required credits. Programs: LA, HWPS.

Field Experience

A field experience gives students the opportunity to apply cumulative knowledge gained during the complete program of study in a workplace setting. The application process may vary between schools. Contact your specific academic school for more information. Elective or required credits. Programs: LA, HWPS.


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. Visit the New Mexico IT Apprenticeship Program for more information about becoming an apprentice in the Computer Support Specialist, Network Support Technician, Applications Developer, and Cyber Security Support Technician tracks. Elective credits. Programs: STA, CNM Ingenuity-NMITAP.

Work-Study (Student Employment)

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 campuses. 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. Non-credit. Opportunities available collegewide. 

Integrated Service Learning (ISL)

A teaching method that combines a service learning experience with an existing CNM course. This faculty-driven work experience engages students in community service, critical and reflective thinking as well as personal and social 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 approved settings and additional credit is earned for the ISL component. Contact your academic school for more information. Elective or required. Opportunities available collegewide. 

Service Learning

A teaching methodology that allows faculty to augment classroom instruction with a minimum 15 hours of student service in approved settings. CNM's Service Learning has four components: academic coursework; service to the community; civic engagement, and social 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. Elective. Opportunities available collegewide. 

Work-Embedded Learning (WEL)

One type of a work-based learning (WBL) course at CNM that differs from a traditional internship, practicum, clinical, field experience, or 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.