Distance Learning

Guide to CNM Class Types

We're working for you to make classes accessible in a variety of formats. Below you can find what you need to know about the class types offered:

CNM Online College vs. Traditional Online 

Please see the information below to determine the best online path for you!

CNM Online College is an all-inclusive degree and certificate program that allows you to move through specific degrees in an accelerated format. Traditional online provides a less structured, larger selection of online courses and programs. 

Flex and Guided (CNM Online College)

Think of CNM's Online College, CNM Online, as its own, structured, 100% online college. CNM Online is for any student in the world who plans to never set foot on campus and is looking for an accelerated way to earn a degree or certificate.

Flex and Guided are the two paths within CNM Online and cover five degrees in English, one degree in Spanish and two certificates.

As a student in CNM Online you have:

  • access to an achievement coach embedded in your courses;
  • no program placement requirements;
  • a tuition model that includes all fees and required books;
  • the ability to earn your degree in 17 months; and
  • the option between two different learning models (Flex or Guided).

If you’re pursuing a degree or certificate in the following areas, we strongly recommend the CNM Online:

  • AA Criminology
  • AA Liberal Arts (also offered in Spanish)
  • AAS Business Administration
  • Digital Marketing Strategies Certificate
  • Digital Media Marketing Certificate
  • AA Business
  • AA Communication

Traditional Online (

Think of Traditional Online courses through as similar to face-to-face classes.

Traditional Online courses are:

  • any length of time between 2-15 weeks;
  • not pre-determined or guaranteed on the schedule.
    • You can piece together a degree (psychology, for example) by taking all of its courses online, but the courses are not offered in a prescribed sequence (like the Guided option in CNM Online College), nor are they guaranteed to be on the schedule (such as with Flex and Guided offerings).

Placement testing is also required and tuition is not inclusive of fees or books.

If you're not interested in pursuing the Flex or Guided degree/certificate offerings and want an online experience that is less prescribed, less accelerated and with a greater selection of programs/classes, Traditional Online is for you.

Institutional OLC Member Logo

Online Learning Consortium (OLC) 

Central New Mexico Community College has become institutional members of the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) formerly Sloan-C.  The Online Learning Consortium is the leading professional organization devoted to advancing quality online learning providing professional development, instruction, best practice publications and guidance to educators, online learning professionals and organizations around the world.

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Approved Institution Logo

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

Central New Mexico Community College has recently been approved to participate in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) via the NM Higher Education Department and the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) As a participating institution, CNM Distance Learning Courses/Program will need to to follow the Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education programs. SARA Guidelines.

Distance Learning Department Quality Statement

To create an environment of continuous quality improvement in the Distance Learning Department that generates processes and systems, which support and strengthen CNM's mission, vision, values and goals.

Higher Learning Commission: Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education (On-line Learning)