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City & Community Launch Running Start for Careers for the New School Year

'Running Start' helps prep high schoolers for their careers.

August 10, 2015

Albuquerque – Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry, CNM President Dr. Kathie Winograd, and Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Luis Valentino came together as to renew their commitment to Career Exploration through their support of the Running Start for Careers program.

Now entering its fourth year, Mayor Berry’s Running Start for Careers (RSFC) dual credit career exploration partnership program enters a new phase. Through this program, Albuquerque high school Juniors and Seniors are able to both earn college credit while considering a variety career options towards which they can work.

"Through working together with local industry partners, CNM and with Albuquerque schools, we have seen great success with this model," stated Mayor Berry. "Students are gaining valuable experience that in many cases is propelling them into both the workforce as well as to continuing education right here in Albuquerque."

This effort is one that is much needed in the Albuquerque community, as indicated by a recent study commissioned by Albuquerque Business Education Compact and conducted by the UNM Center for Education Policy research. The Skills Gap Survey study released this past July stated that local business mostly see a gap in “soft skills” like initiative and professionalism/work ethic. Soft skills, along with many other skills, are taught through the RSFC program through its core mentorship component.

The dual credit aspect of the program has been strongly tied to increasing graduation rates. A recent study stated that 86% of RSFC students continue to purse higher education by signing up for additional CNM courses. “Clearly, the dual credit courses, and particularly Running Start duel credit courses, have encouraged students to graduate high school and take the next step into college,” said Dr. Kathie Winograd. “This program has had a meaningful impact on our community and we are pleased to partner with the City and APS to improve the trajectory of our youth’s lives.”

The same study quoted above went on to say that 98% of the students that participated in RSFC graduated high school.

“Programs like Running Start can impact students’ lives and be instrumental in changing the course of their future,” stated Dr. Luis Valentino, Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent. “Our goal is to engage more students in programs like Running Start and other dual credit courses, while with working with our local business community to engage all stakeholders and create better outcomes for our students.”

Juniors and Seniors headed back to school this week are encouraged to sign up for learn more about the courses by calling 311 or contacting Andrew Mathis, [email protected] In addition, new industry partners are always welcome, and are invited to contact Andrew Mathis in the Mayor’s Office for more information on partnership opportunities.

Conceived in 2007 by then State Representative, Richard Berry, Running Start for Careers is a public-private career exploration pathway for high school students in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that has served over 500 students since 2012 with courses and internships. Unlike traditional approaches to vocational training, Running Start is not bound by campus infrastructure or trades faculty, nor is it the domain of specialty schools or limited to specific industry types. Rather, RSFC gives students direct entry into industry-developed and taught training programs in fields with demonstrated demand, while earning college credit. High school students enroll in a semester-long, dual-credit career exploration class, often held at industry sites, and can then enter work-and-learn positions the following term. The program addresses high dropout rates and the skills gap by supporting those students who are most likely to quit school and forfeit job opportunities.
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