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Posted: October 5, 2021

Check Your Choices: College Credit in High School

Learn more about College & Career High School and other dual-credit schools during the Virtual APS Choice Fair on Oct. 19.

Janelle Martinez, CCHS sophomore

Janelle Martinez, CCHS sophomore

Finding their passion and chasing their dreams, students at the College & Career High School get a head start on future success.

“I like that they give the opportunity to get ahead and start reaching for your goals because for a lot of students it’s really hard just to be able to get into college or afford it,” says Janelle Martinez, a sophomore who looks forward to graduating high school with two years of college already completed.

The dual-credit program at College & Career High School (CCHS) located on the Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) main campus provides a pathway for students to graduate high school with an associate’s degree or certificate in a lucrative trade at little or no cost. CNM pays college tuition and registration fees for high school students, and APS provides textbooks for both high school and CNM courses.

College & Career High School will be among the magnet and charter schools featured at the virtual APS School Choice Fair on Oct. 19Learn More and Register to Attend

“Last year we had our first student go to MIT, and we’ve sent five or six students to the UT: Austin honors program, and a ton of students to UNM and the honors program there,” says John Gerhart, World and U.S. History teacher at CCHS.

“It’s not just about students who are sure they want to go to college,” Gerhart adds. “CNM has a lot of certificates in the trades, and we’ve had a lot of students come out of here with diesel certificates and go right to work with Caterpillar, or automotive certificates and go work for dealerships. It’s for students who know what they want to do, whether it’s academics or to finish high school with a certificate and apprenticeship already completed.”

“I think that’s what this school is about,” says Leigh Cavazos Galvez, Principal of CCHS. “It’s about finding your niche, it’s about finding something you’re passionate about, finding a career you can see yourself investing in, and following that pathway.”

“It offers a different environment and an opportunity to see really what the value of education is,” Principal Cavazos Galvez continues, “because the people our students are sitting in classes with are here with purpose; they’re paying for those classes and credits, they want to be here. It gives them insight into how important education is, and what it takes to be successful in a classroom.”

“It’s helped me grow as a person as well,” Martinez says, “just learning what college is, and what it does, and how it can help you succeed not just as a person, but also in your future and your career.”

“I love this program,” Principal Cavazos Galvez states proudly. “We have an extremely diverse population who I think somewhat don’t fit in a traditional school, and they find their home here. I think our population shows this amazing index of kids who are here, from second-language learners to LGBTQ to focus-motivated, pre-med students who want to be a doctor and finish school as fast as they can. And somehow, put them all together and it all works.”

The thought of attending college classes while in high school may sound intimidating to potential students, but Martinez offers some sage advice from her experience at CCHS: “It’s not as scary as it seems. A lot of students feel it’s very fast paced, but this school offers a lot of support. Enjoy being in this type of environment, because not a lot of people get this opportunity.”

Learn More About College & Career High School