Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Enrolled at CNM

Filed under: Education — Tags: , , , — mikewb1971 @ 2:20 AM (02:20)

I had been planning on enrolling in the Photonics program at Central New Mexico Community College for about two months now. Partially out of a desire for self-improvement, and partially after hearing about how a student in the program was offered a position in the field that pays around 100-120K while about halfway through the program.

The first step was getting my transcript to the Department Chair, Dr. Gordon Bennett. It was easy to do this online via the Penn State Registrar’s Office — all I needed was a credit card, and a Wal-Mart Money Card served that purpose. My transcript made it from PSU to CNM, but then the CNM Registrar’s Office thought they lost it. The good news is that they (eventually!) got it to Dr. Bennett, who then told me that about half of the courses that I took while at Penn State would transfer over, and that I could skip CNM’s requirements for electives and humanities, etc., and go straight into the core of the program.

Next, before registering for classes, I had to enroll at CNM. Now while CNM has an online process for doing this, the web scripts operate a little on the funky side. For example, on the page asking for high school information, I clicked on the link to look up the relevant code number. First it took me to a page asking in which state I went to high school. No problem — Pennsylvania. Next, the script asked me if I had a GED or diploma — again, simple: diploma. Instead of asking me what county or town I went to high school, the script then kicked me back to the main script page. In the spot for high school, it was now marked “PENNSYLVANIA HS.”

On the next script page, which asked me for past college information, I had a similar experience. The script couldn’t find a code for Penn State at State College, PA, despite the fact that if not for Penn State, State College would most likely be named something else, and would have a population of about 5,000 — 10,000 people, instead of the 50,000 from the student body. Instead, I found a code for the Penn State Ogontz Campus (now called Abington) just by guessing. But the page did have codes for obscure A&M-type schools that I had never heard of until seeing their names on that page.

To make a long story a bit shorter, I get all the way through the process, and after clicking “Submit,” I get the following error message —

MICHAEL

BLESSING

Thank you for your application to Central New Mexico Community College for SUMMER 2008.

A processing error has occurred. If you receive this notice, please DO NOT
RESUBMIT AN ONLINE ADMISSION FORM.

You will be contacted when the processing error has been resolved and your
admission form has been processed. If you prefer, you can visit any CNM
Admissions Office for assistance. You will be required to provide photo
identification.

We appreciate your patience.

Sincerely,
Jane Campbell

Director of Enrollment Services

So today, I went down to the Admissions Office at the Student Services Building (near intersection of Buena Vista and Coal SE in Albuquerque). It took me all of a minute to explain to the clerk how I tried to enroll online. She looked up my file after checking my National ID Card, er, I mean New Mexico State Driver’s License and gave me my Student ID Number, all in about a minute. It took me longer to find parking than to explain my situation and for her to look up my information.

Then tonight, I took the online “Orientation” course, which while being a required step, was nothing more than a waste of my time. I didn’t bother listening to the narraration (but couldn’t find a way to turn it off!) and skipped through the course. At the end of each section, there was a little “quiz,” each of which I “aced” (not really that hard!) easily.

Next on this coming Wednesday morning, I have a meeting with the head of the School of Applied Technologies, a Dr. Bob Hall.

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