Incoming CNM Students Can Get College Credit for Work Experience and Non-Credit Classes/Bootcamps

Diane Peshlakai
Diane Peshlakai

Back in 2016 Diane Peshlakai was working as a pharmacy technician but needed a change and started looking for a new career. That’s when she came across a social media ad for CNM Ingenuity’s Deep Dive Bootcamps. The 10-week accelerated programs seemed like a great option so she enrolled in the Fullstack Web Development bootcamp.

After completing the non-credit program she went through several job interviews but still felt like she wanted more coursework before entering the job market. Luckily, CNM offered something called Credit for Prior Learning (CPL), which allowed her to get 15 credit hours from the bootcamp and apply those credits toward an associate degree in Computer Information Systems, a program in CNM’s School of Business & Information Technology. Thanks to those credits and training she was able to graduate in 2018 and go on to start her own website development business.

“I wanted to build my skills even more after the bootcamp, so being able to enroll in the CIS program and get credit was a great opportunity,” Diane says.

CNM currently offers CPL for bootcamp graduates as well as a host of incoming students with certifications and licensures in a variety of fields. Students who want to study anything from Nursing to Fire Science and Cosmetology might be eligible. Military credit has also been aligned so that veterans have a variety of CPL options. Additionally, CNM allows students to petition the college for CPL even if their skills aren’t listed in the college’s standard CPL list.

“We have seen many times how a degree can further increase a student’s potential for promotion and competitiveness in the workplace,” says Sionna K. Grassbaugh, the Associate Dean of the School of Business & Information Technology.  “And it goes both ways. Students in degree programs can increase their competencies and competitiveness by enrolling in non-credit classes or programs to specialize in specific areas.”

Diane is not the only Deep Dive grad to take advantage of the CPL opportunity. So far nearly 70 Deep Dive graduates have received CPL from a Deep Dive program and 13 have gone on to graduate from CNM, including several who also chose CIS. Because of their CPL, these CIS students were able to get a degree in an average of just three terms.

“All of our Deep Dive students get high-level training and if they want to continue their education we want to ensure they have a clear and easy pathway,” says Andrea Sisneros-Wichman, the Deep Dive Program Director.

Right now Diane is back in school at UNM. COVID-19 slowed her business down so she took the opportunity to continue building her skill set. She’s studying Business Administration with an emphasis on the web and says she’s learning valuable marketing skills that she’ll use to grow her web clientele.

“I’ve had a lot of help in developing my skills and my business and I’m really excited to put what I’ve learned to use in helping other businesses,” she says.

For more information on Credit for Prior Learning, click here

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