Campus Services Providing STARS Assessment for Central New Mexico Community College

Sierra-and-Myrna-392x294Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) – the largest post-secondary academic institution in New Mexico — has retained EcoMotion to begin a strategic process toward comprehensive sustainability on campus. The first phase of the project involves an assessment of CNM’s STARS level, and a gap analysis to determine next steps to raise the level to the next STARS certification.

CNM is an extraordinary college, growing and with seven campuses and 30,000 students. Students are ushered into an academic path and then guided through the process as needed by CNM Connect, the “center for student success,” a visible and central counseling/guidance function. Closely related, the CNM Foundation provides financial support, right down to helping an individual student make a car payment, breaking through barriers that would otherwise keep young men and women out of schools and professions.

CNM was transformed from the Albuquerque Vocational Technical Institute administered by the Albuquerque Public Schools to Central New Mexico Community College in 2006. By 2009, it surpassed the University of New Mexico in size, adjacent to the CNM Main Campus.  All of its new buildings are LEED Silver or better. The Rio Rancho campus is air conditioned using ground-source heat pumps.

Today CNM offers 47 associate degrees and 52 certifications in business, health, and other technical fields. It boasts high classroom utilization rates (students/square foot), and thanks to its new buildings, it also boasts a high facility condition index, a measure of the value of the facility versus its maintenance costs.

Thus far, EcoMotion has reviewed all pertinent documentation of campus sustainability activities, and has conducted a site visit in Albuquerque. During the site visit, EcoMotion staff visited four of the seven campuses (including ceramics, aviation, baking, cooking, restaurant, truck driving, nursing learning centers), interviewed more than a dozen stakeholders – from facilities to the president’s office – as well as students on campus in impromptu queries.  EcoMotion’s assessment will guide next steps in greening the campus, providing a strategic plan for continual improvement in sustainability and cost savings, as well as deserved recognition.