The UNM innovationAcademy (iA), in partnership with The University of New Mexico (UNM) and Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) today announced a program that provides an unexpected and expedited pathway to a graduate degree.

The new 2+1+2 program offers students the opportunity to transition from an Associate’s Degree, through a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree and into a Master’s of Business Administration in a total of 5 years. Not only does it give students a more efficient and faster path through all three degrees, but also offers unique and important features that help ease the transitions between degrees.

“The 2+1+2 program is a great example of UNM and CNM working together to help students succeed,” said UNM President Robert Frank. “Right now, fewer than one in seven students from a community college goes on to complete a bachelor degree.  This program is not just a pathway; it’s more of a speedway to completion of a master’s degree."

“I’m very excited for the students in our community,” said CNM President Kathie Winograd. “CNM and UNM have had a strong partnership for many years. And this new program is taking our longstanding partnership to a new level, with the success of the student being our top priority.”

“It’s collaborations like these that will propel Albuquerque forward as a national thought leader on education,” said Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry. “I am grateful to these two premiere institutions for innovating within their field for the betterment of our community for generations to come.”

2+1+2 Partners
UNM President Robert Frank and CNM President Kathie Winograd spoke about the 2+1+2 program. CNM and UNM have had a strong partnership for many years. 

Students may be admissible to the program after completing 12 credit hours of CNM coursework, with at least a 3.0 GPA. Applicants will be assessed via a simple application form and short interviews with program staff. Once admitted, students will complete the State of New Mexico General Education Core and their technical requirements for either an associate’s degree at Central New Mexico Community College.

A space in the Bachelor of Liberal Arts (BLA) program will be held for admitted 2+1+2 students, who will then officially apply once they have completed their 2-year degree. While working toward their bachelor’s degree, students will simultaneously take innovation Academy courses to earn their iA scholar levels (more information at The program will also require a cohort course where first semester and final semester students will be combined to complete a large-scale, regionally relevant project.  Graduating students will serve as mentors as new students enter, giving students the opportunity to be in both roles during their time in the program.

After one year of studies at UNM, students will begin their master’s coursework which will count toward both a BLA focus area and their MBA requirements (similar to the 3/2 MBA program currently in existence). Upon completion of the undergraduate requirements and up to 18 hours of MBA work, students will graduate with their BLA degree and begin the MBA program full-time for their final year. The MBA will be awarded at the conclusion of the fifth year.

Overarching this entire process will be a dedicated advisor to mentor and guide the student through all three degree programs.

“This is the core feature of this program and a key to keeping students on track to graduate,” said Robert Delcampo, director of the innovation Academy. “This advisor, housed within the iA, will provide the continuity that research suggests is a key contributor to academic success and degree completion.”

The program offers an affordable option for students who may not have otherwise considered graduate-level studies. A graduate of a New Mexico High School on the Lottery Scholarship can complete all three degrees (including incidental fees) for less than $20,000.

“The cost is far below the average debt of a New Mexico four-year college grad of $28,000 -  and significantly lower than the average cost of an AACSB MBA, which comes in between $45,000-$60,000 for the graduate degree alone,” Delcampo said.

UNM’s Anderson School of Management holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, considered the gold standard in MBA programs.

Media Contacts
Dianne Anderson, director, Media Relations, UNM; Ph. (505) 277-1807; email: or Brad Moore, director, Media Relations, Central New Mexico Community College; Ph. (505) 224-4423; email: