The University of New Mexico is working with United Way of Central New Mexico (UWCNM), CNM and APS on Mission: Graduate, a bold initiative to add 60,000 new graduates with college degrees and certificates to Central New Mexico by 2020.  

A group of community leaders is guiding Mission: Graduate. They recently signed the Central New Mexico Education Compact committing to working together and with the community to address the needs around a prepared workforce. UWCNM is providing resources for the initial infrastructure of the initiative, and a number or public and private partners have already committed to roles of leadership for the initiative.

As New Mexico’s flagship university, UNM has ambitious goals and a wide range of strategies, programs, and initiatives geared toward increasing student success and helping to achieve the Mission: Graduate 2020 goal.

“We have been trying to achieve more degrees independent of Mission: Graduate, but the initiative aligns well with our goals,” said Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Chaouki Abdallah. “We are trying to raise our graduation rates through advisement, targeted financial aid, by clarifying and simplifying our programs, and by reducing the number of credit hours required to graduate.” 

Dual Credit/Concurrent Enrollment is a program designed to provide high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn college credit while still enrolled in high school by taking University courses normally not offered at the high school level.

“We are working with high schools to better prepare students and help them graduate on time,” Abdallah said.  “But more important is acquiring a skill set. It’s not enough to graduate people; we really need to graduate people with the right skills for current jobs.”

UNM also provides tuition remission for employees, spouses and dependents, and encourages flexible schedules for employees enrolled in college courses. 

The University of New Mexico is committed to increasing certificate and degree attainment in the community by approximately 10,800 by 2015, with additional degree attainment targets to be developed for 2016-2020 as we progress toward the 2015 goal.