New England College Rolls Out Innovative New Program
Michele D. Perkins, Ed.D., President of New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire, announces plans to introduce an innovative new partnership with the state’s community college system. The program, known as the New Hampshire Community College Honors Program, is designed to increase the capacity of each of the state’s seven community colleges to meet the educational needs of their students.
The Community College Honors Program, scheduled to begin in the spring of 2010, will allow community college students to take advanced baccalaureate-level coursework, taught by New England College faculty, at the school where they are enrolled. According to Dr. Perkins, the new program bridges a significant gap that has not yet been addressed by either transfer agreements or existing recruiting programs between community colleges and high schools. “The program provides two significant benefits,” explained Dr. Perkins. “It increases the capacity of community colleges to provide a robust academic program to their students. Additionally, the bridge that will be created between community colleges and New England College will provide a seamless transition for students with a strong academic history and who aspire to a four-year degree, to complete their baccalaureate programs.”
“Many schools already offer a service that evaluates and recognizes college credits earned at community colleges,” said President Perkins. “The Community College Honors Program differs substantially in that students are able to move directly into a baccalaureate program without a break in their education. They will already have gotten to know the New England College faculty and will be entirely comfortable with our engaged and experiential learning curriculum which we believe is fundamental to academic success.”
The strength of the new Honors Program rests on New England College’s successful track record in working with transfer students, explained Perkins. “New England College has increased its transfer admissions over 63% in the past three years. We now welcome over 110 new transfer students to our campus each year. We find that transfer students actively seek leadership roles and retain at a significantly higher rate. About a third of them are already eligible for the honors program. This program acknowledges the academic achievements of motivated community college students and empowers them to complete their baccalaureate degrees with a seamless transition process that is already in place.”
Senator Jeanne Shaheen applauded the Community College Honors Program as a way to promote education in the state. “Access to higher education is something we need to focus on so that our workforce can compete in the competitive global marketplace,” she said. “This program will increase the opportunities our students have to pursue their educational and professional goals, and will help them attain the skills they need to find meaningful employment.”
The initial funding to begin the New Hampshire Community College Honors Program was provided by a generous grant from Jane’s Trust. Funding from Jane’s Trust will allow New England College to implement this multi-year program to serve the higher educational needs of New Hampshire students.
New England College, located in Henniker, New Hampshire, is a private, comprehensive college offering 31 bachelors and 12 masters degree programs in the liberal arts tradition. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report in the top tier of baccalaureate colleges in the north, New England College is committed to experiential learning that promotes civic engagement and social responsibility. Our students find a creative and supportive learning environment that challenges them to transform themselves and their world.