Secretary PED Kurt Steinhaus
Secretary PED Kurt Steinhaus
SANTA FE – A new online course catalog will help New Mexico Course Consortium expand in the 2022-23 school year after helping 245 students take courses previously unavailable to them this year, including 35 who took an online course that helped them graduate.
In its first year, the consortium offered online courses ranging from art to space science to 34 elementary, 110 middle and 101 high school students in 17 school districts and charter schools.
The New Mexico Course Consortium is a growing state-led network of public school districts and charters that serve as supplemental course providers for students statewide through a memorandum of understanding with each student’s district or charter of residence.
“The first year was kind of an experiment, and the experiment was a huge success,” said Secretary (PED) Kurt Steinhaus. “The Consortium is already expanding the horizons of New Mexico students, no matter where they are enrolled. These are New Mexico schools working together to help students get the classes they want and need.
In its first year, students and families had to search websites run by each member of the consortium to find course offerings. The Consolidated Online Course Catalog, launched this month, provides a one-stop shop for online or hybrid courses offered by consortium members, including credit recovery courses, AP, vocational technical education, fine arts and more.
“The catalog will make it easier for counselors, principals and families across the state to search for available courses and enroll students,” said Lynn Vasquez, director of the management system division of the Assessment and Learning Department of Public Education.
The Department of Public Education created the consortium last fall to help New Mexico students access online courses that might not be offered at their school. Students remain enrolled in their home district, which pays a fee ($375 per course, per semester) to the consortium member offering the course.
Bryanna Stephens, a senior at Fort Sumner, completed the required courses this year in Financial Literacy, English 4, and Economics and Government through consortium member TriStar Academy. She said the flexibility of online learning helped her stay on course until graduation despite working full time.
“The teachers were very understanding and accommodating to this,” Stephans said. “I had also lost the spark to finish my studies. I thought it wasn’t very important and I didn’t need it. But my teachers encouraged me to continue, and now I have my I felt that my teachers understood what I was going through.
Seventeen districts and charter schools signed memorandums of understanding this year to allow their enrolled students to take online courses from one or more consortium members. The idea is for districts and charter schools to partner rather than compete for student enrollment to provide students with additional tuition.
“It was an honor to work with these passionate and innovative individuals who see opportunities rather than barriers in the education of New Mexico students,” said Gina Corliss, Consortium Coordinator in the Department of Public Education.
Any district or charter interested in becoming a member of the department’s New Mexico Course Consortium can learn more about New Mexico Course Consortium.
Active members of the consortium:
- Taos Tiger Connect K-12 Online Academy, Taos Municipal Schools, K-12 classes;
- SODA – V, School of Dreams Academy (Los Lunas), K-12 and dual credit;
- TriStarAcademy, a consortium of Santa Rosa Consolidated Schools, Fort Sumner Municipal Schools, and Vaughn Municipal Schools, K-12;
- OWL – Online with Las Cruces Las Cruces Public Schools K-12;
- Pecos Cyber Academy, Carlsbad School District, grades 9-12; and
- TA FLEX, Taos Academy.