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Nationally Recognized Running Start for Careers Program Expands

Now more classes and internships offered in additional industries

September 8, 2016

Albuquerque- Joined by Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) President Dr. Kathie Winograd and other industry partners, Mayor Richard J. Berry encouraged New Mexico high school students to enroll in the fall 2016 courses and announced five new courses being added to the program.

Now entering its fifth year, Mayor Berry’s Running Start for Careers (RSFC) dual credit career exploration partnership program expands to now include courses in IT and coding, plumbing, veterinary reception, electrical technician, and public safety. Courses are currently open for enrollment with 170 students registered at this time. The majority of classes will begin on Monday September 19th.

The expansion of the RSFC is a result of the success the program has seen over its tenure. The program has had over 700 students participate since its inception with 98% of those students graduating on time, compared to the 62% on time graduation rate within Albuquerque Public Schools. The RSFC educational initiative has received many accolades including being recognized as a Top 25 Government Innovation in 2015 by Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

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. 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.