Pilot Program to Link Community Colleges with UNH Expanded

MANCHESTER, N.H.

A pilot program that makes it easier and cheaper for community college students to transfer to the University of New Hampshire is being expanded statewide.

The pilot program allowed students who were not originally accepted to UNH to attend Great Bay Community College in Stratham and then, if they met certain standards, automatically be accepted to the university without having to reapply or pay a fee. Under the expanded program, all seven of the state’s community colleges will be involved, along with Plymouth State University and Keene State College.

Participants must take at least 12 credits for two consecutive semesters and earn at least a ‘C’ in every course. Officials say the program fits the trend of students enrolling in community colleges with the goal of transferring into one of the university system schools.

“This single most important component of this program is taking fear of the unknown in transferring out of the equation,” said Barbara Wheatcraft, assistant admissions director at UNH.

Though community colleges continue to serve students interested in career training or associate’s degrees, more students have been enrolling with plans to transfer to one of the university system schools, said Charles Annal, vice chancellor of the state’s community college system.

“This program is a natural evolution of what we’ve been seeing over the last 10 years.”

The pilot program started three years ago with 13 students. That number grew to 26 in 2006 and 45 last year.

Jake Hayward, who started at Great Bay Community College, is a sophomore business major at UNH.

“For me, the Connections Program has been a great stepping stone into UNH,” he said. “It gave me a chance to show them I could get the grades that they were looking for in their students and allowed me to go to the school I’ve always wanted to attend.”

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