Chester College and New England College Announce Agreement
Robert Baines, President of Chester College of New England, and Dr.
Michele Perkins, President of New England College, announce the
formation of an agreement that allows all students accepted to or
currently attending Chester College to enroll automatically at New
England College. The Chester College Board of Trustees voted to name New
England College as their institution of choice for this transition and
the New England College Board of Trustees also voted in favor of the
“The faculty, staff, and students of New England College look forward to welcoming all students from Chester College into our academic community,” states Dr. Michele Perkins, President of New England College. “Chester College students will find the same supportive and personalized learning environment at New England College that they have previously enjoyed at Chester. Although we are saddened at the loss of one of the northeast’s unique academic institutions, we are committed to providing a seamless transition for Chester’s students so that they may continue to develop their academic and artistic lives without interruption.”
The agreement, which takes effect immediately, allows all students currently enrolled at Chester College to resume their education at New England College at their current tuition rate and to retain all credits previously earned toward their degrees. All new students accepted to Chester College are automatically admitted to New England College at the same tuition rate.
In addition, New England College will hire several faculty members from Chester College for minimum one-year appointments and will consider additional staff members for open positions at NEC. “Bringing members of the Chester College faculty to New England College will enrich our community and help us to replicate the academic environment that is familiar to Chester students,” notes Perkins.
“New England College was an excellent choice for this agreement,” states Robert Baines, President and CEO of Chester College. “Their commitment to honoring the traditions and the academic environment that have been so important to Chester students has been impressive. I am confident that Chester students and alumni will be truly valued through this association.”
New England College faculty and staff will visit Chester College to meet with their students. Representatives from both institutions are planning a series of on-site meetings that will allow students from Chester College to ask questions and seek out information on enrollment, financial aid, and student services at New England College. Follow-up visits to the Chester College campus will provide additional information on academic programming. New England College will hold weekly “walk-in days” during the month of June allowing students multiple opportunities to complete the transition process. President Perkins will visit the Chester College campus and is looking forward to meeting with students.
According to Perkins the two institutions share common strengths in their visual arts and writing programs. “Students at New England College excel in the creative environment on our campus,” she explains. “Our faculty members include noted visual artists and award-winning published writers, and our students enjoy the creative collaboration that develops from a close working relationship with a strong group of accomplished professionals. I know that students from Chester will feel right at home in an environment that fosters creativity and seeks multi-disciplinary collaboration.”
Dr. Perkins’ previous association with Chester College, earlier known as White Pines College, will serve as an asset in transitioning students to New England College. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Perkins served as the Vice President of Enrollment and advised the administration of White Pines College through its evolution to a four-year academic program. “We would like to honor and perpetuate the history and identity of Chester College,” explains Perkins. “We will be looking into identifying one of NEC’s facilities to carry on the Chester name so that students and alumni can retain the sense of pride they feel in their academic experience.”
“The recent effort by students at Chester College to raise funds to sustain their school is nothing short of heroic and has been greatly admired by faculty, staff, and students at New England College,” observes Perkins. “Those qualities of dedication, initiative, and entrepreneurship align with the values of our students and we look forward to providing a welcoming environment where Chester College students will flourish.”