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NEC’s Response to Federal Requirement that International Students Attend Classes in Person

July 13, 2020

Posted in News Press Release


New England College’s Response to Federal Requirement that
International Students Attend Classes in Person

Henniker, NH (July 13, 2020) – Amid a national health emergency, the federal government just reversed its own policy to now require that all international students attend college in person, under threat of deportation. This move imposes an unjust hardship on international students already residing legally in the United States and upsets plans by colleges and universities to use online and remote learning to support students during this difficult time of an unprecedented pandemic. The administration’s decision also casts aside months of work that institutions of higher education have completed to support the educational goals of all of our students in this time of COVID-19.

I place an enormous value on in-person education. But a pandemic makes us all adjust and provide quality education to all our students in various modes of delivery.  Times like these call for quick wits and cool heads. Not scapegoating. Therefore, as New England College President and Chair of the New Hampshire College & University Council (NHCUC), I support the legal challenge put forth by Harvard and MIT and  have joined my colleagues at the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and the American Council on Education (ACE) in a letter to Congress expressing our opposition to this decision. We will ask legislators to convince the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to withdraw the July 6 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directive affecting international students or immediately pass legislation granting the flexibility both students and institutions need during a pandemic.

Educating international students is a long and proud endeavor for U.S. higher education. Our country’s post-secondary offerings draw the most brilliant and talented minds from almost every country on earth.  The intellectual energy and the tireless pursuit of knowledge so evident in our students from abroad set an example for us all. Some of these students do remain in the U.S. after graduation and add to the talent pool that continues to make our country the world’s leader in technology, medicine, business, and the arts.  The majority who return home leave with a positive attitude toward the United States, which also benefits our country in many ways.  I have presided at thirteen commencements during my tenure as President of New England College and at these ceremonies I have proudly shaken the hands of thousands of accomplished international graduates.  These students personify the very yearnings that built the country we cherish. It will be a great error to dampen their spirits with an unfeeling and unneeded rule.

We must not remain silent in the face of this action, but rather follow Thurgood Marshall’s urgent counsel: “Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it.” By stepping forward and asking for redress, we in higher education may, I hope, provide a valuable civic example for our students and the larger community. Let’s hope we can resolve this problem quickly and get back to the work of education in the time of COVID-19.

Joint Media Advisory from New England College and the New Hampshire College and University Council

June 12, 2020

Posted in News Press Release

This afternoon we were delighted to learn that Governor Sununu designated $10 million from CARES Act funds for COVID-19 related support for private colleges and universities in New Hampshire. This step represents the most recent effort by the Governor to support all of higher education, both public and private, in New Hampshire. 

On behalf of all our private college and university colleagues in the New Hampshire College and University Council, we want to express our gratitude and appreciation to the Governor for this decision. As you may know, private colleges contribute $5.6 billion to New Hampshire’s economy, educate 121,000 students (FY2018) and employ thousands of Granite Staters.

The Governor’s decision sends a clear message that private colleges and universities are an integral part of the higher education enterprise, committed to educating students who then choose to work and live in New Hampshire. These funds are critical to ensuring that every college student in New Hampshire has access to a safe and productive educational experience as we open our campuses again this fall. In addition, this funding reassures the communities home to private colleges and universities that each institution has the resources to open its doors safely and responsibly.

We are most grateful to Governor Sununu for his leadership and his steady and responsible stewardship of resources during this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michele D. Perkins, Ed.D
President of New England College
Chair of the NHCUC Board of Directors
Debby Scire, Ed.D
President of the New Hampshire College and University Council
Chair of the NHCUC Board of Directors
June 11, 2020

New England College Announces New Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3D Studies

May 29, 2020

Posted in News Press Release

Reshapes Ceramics Program to Include all Three-Dimensional Media.

The Institute of Art and Design (IAD) at New England College (NEC) announces a new Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in 3D Studies. This program launches for the fall 2020 semester and prepares students for careers based on a variety of three-dimensional art forms, from ceramics and sculpture to installations and time-based art.

This new 3D Studies program exposes students to the expanding scope of three-dimensional studio practice and provides students with a wide range of processes, including mold making, casting, and construction. Students will pursue their personal artistic interests within three-dimensional art and be encouraged to incorporate technologies—such as video, sound, and new media—into their studio practice.

“Our 3D Studies program is very exciting,” comments Lars Jerlach, Associate Professor of Art at IAD’s campus in Manchester. “By making ceramics a component of this new program, we’re building upon our ceramics curriculum to offer students a broader study of contemporary sculptural practices that will strengthen the individual areas of study and enhance our students’ experiences as they continue to develop into artists.”

This new academic program allows IAD to better serve current students and to meet the needs of prospective students who are looking for innovative and exciting new educational opportunities. The 3D Studies BFA is rooted in rigorous study of contemporary sculptural practices. It emphasizes the development of technical skills and theoretical understanding as students work through an inclusive hands-on studio program that combines a customizable education and tangible learning.

One Thousand Virtual Participants Attend New England College’s Fourth Annual Higher Education Assessment Conference

May 15, 2020

Posted in News Press Release

Recordings for keynote address and 22 sessions now available.

On May 12, New England College (NEC) hosted the fourth annual Higher Education Assessment Conference with the theme of “Assessment and Equity: Methods Matter.” The conference focused on student success and program improvement within higher education. Due to COVID-19, this year’s conference was presented in a virtual format, becoming one of the first full higher education assessment conferences in the country to be offered virtually.

The remote nature of this year’s conference did not deter higher education professionals from participating. In total 1,000 registrants representing 500 institutions from 48 states and 13 countries were in attendance. Registration reached capacity quickly; with all 1,000 spots filled within 14 hours, with another 700 attendees added to a waiting list.

This level of interest prompted New England College to record the sessions for higher education professionals unable to join the virtual sessions. The keynote address from Dr. Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director of the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and the National Survey of Student Engagement Institute, and 22 break-out sessions will be posted at in the coming days as they are edited and embedded with closed captioning.

In her keynote address, “Equity-Minded Assessment to Advance Student Learning and Success,” Dr. Kinzie provided a foundation for this year’s conference theme. She described how assessment can be used in higher education to promote inclusivity and equitable outcomes—one of the hottest topics in higher education assessment today—and provided specific strategies to accomplish this goal.

The conference then moved to 22 break-out sessions that covered Equity and Assessment, Student Learning Assessment, Program Assessment, and General Assessment. The session topics are included in the conference program booklet at

“As colleges and universities continue to cut professional development budgets, I’m very proud that this year’s conference was free for attendees. Generous sponsors covered 85 percent of the conference costs, and New England College covered the rest,” explains Gavin Henning, Professor of Higher Education at New England College and primary architect of the Higher Education Assessment Conference. “And we now know that we can present a high-quality virtual conference. In fact, other conference organizers have asked me how we did this, as they are transitioning their conferences online as well. We’re happy to share what we learned along the way.”

The new virtual format posed some technical and organizational challenges for the conference organizers, but it also offered some exciting new opportunities—for reaching wider audiences, reducing the cost of travel for conference attendees, and improving the diversity of participants from around the globe. The virtual environment allowed moderators to better control the flow of discussions and questions which proved to be more inclusive for the audience members.

New England College Student Work Accepted into the Society of Illustrators Student Competition

May 13, 2020

Posted in News Press Release

Two students enter original artwork in exclusive annual scholarship competition.

Two Illustration students, Annabelle Meszynski and Tyler Soucy, at the Institute of Art and Design (IAD) at New England College (NEC) captured the attention of the Society of Illustrators, America’s oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to the art of illustration.

Each academic year, IAD’s Illustration faculty submit original student work to the Society of Illustrators’ Student Scholarship Competition. Faculty collect a select number of student pieces that demonstrate outstanding use of drawing, composition, value, color, and technique. They also look for work that exhibits a unique style with an inventive approach to conveying a concept.

“I can easily say that Annabelle and Tyler, two highly skilled and motivated students, absolutely fit the bill,” says Ryan O’Rourke, Associate Professor of Illustration. O’Rourke submitted three professional-level pieces that were accepted into the Society of Illustrators 2020 competition, two from Meszynski and one from Soucy. The works of Meszynski and Soucy, both juniors at IAD, were among this year’s 2,278 entries from 74 art and design institutions.

“The Society of Illustrators Student Competition is extremely competitive. The students who have their work accepted represent the next wave of talented professionals bound to make their mark on the industry,” explains O’Rourke. “Having worked with both Annabelle and Tyler, I am continually inspired by the work they produce for their classes. I look forward to seeing the illustrations they will continue develop as they embark upon their careers.”

Meszynski created Bavarian Heist in O’Rourke’s hand-lettering class. She and Soucy created their respective pieces, The Cartographer’s Daughter and Hereditary, in Assistant Professor of Illustration Rich Pellegrino’s Narrative Figure class.

Since 1981, the Society’s annual Student Scholarship Competition has accepted original student artwork from the professors of college students across the country. A jury of professional peers, including art directors and illustrators, accepts pieces based on three elements: concept, quality of technique, and skill of medium used. The competition accepts only those works considered to be exceptional and can serve as the jumpstart of a student’s career.

About the Society of Illustrators

Founded in 1901, the Society of Illustrators is the oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to the art of illustration in America. Notable Society members include N.C. Wyeth, Rube Goldberg, and Norman Rockwell, among many others. The Society of Illustrators’ mission is to promote the art of illustration, to appreciate its history and evolving nature through exhibitions, lectures and education, and to contribute the service of its members to the welfare of the community at large. The Society’s Museum of Illustration was established in 1981. It offers year-round themed exhibits, art education programs and annual juried competitions. The Museum’s Permanent Collection houses 2,500 pieces that are cataloged for scholarly use and displayed periodically. In 2012, the MoCCA Gallery was created with a focus on curated exhibits of comic and cartoon art.

New England College Plans to Open Henniker and Manchester Campuses for In-Person Learning This Fall

May 11, 2020

Posted in News Press Release

New England College (NEC) is pleased to announce its plan to open its campuses in Henniker and Manchester, New Hampshire, this fall for in-person learning. After deciding to move classes online on March 13, the college is preparing to reopen its doors August 24, 2020 to over 1,000 new and returning residential undergraduates.

NEC President, Dr. Michele Perkins said, “We are very fortunate to be in New Hampshire, where the coronavirus has not been as widespread or devastating as other regions. Because of our location, our small class sizes, and the continuing efforts of our faculty and staff to ensure the safety of our students, New England College plans to be open this fall for in-person living, teaching, and learning.

“We consult regularly with health experts and government officials who will help shape our planning to ensure the safest environment possible when we open campus. But rest assured, we plan to be open, and we will do everything we can to provide the best and most complete college experience our community has come to expect—all while ensuring the safety of our campus.”

Working closely with New Hampshire health officials, NEC expects to use several measures to ensure campus safety, including:

  • Establishing hybrid learning where students or faculty who are at high risk or exhibit symptoms can continue to participate in classes while living remotely
  • Conducting rigorous sanitation of all locations
  • Staggering move-in times and dates
  • Limiting capacity in the dining hall
  • Maintaining social distancing in classrooms
  • Refraining from public and large-scale events

Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Wayne Lesperance said, “Nothing can replace face-to-face interaction with students. We did have great success, however, moving two campuses and over 35 majors to remote learning in the span of two days. We’ve determined that it’s time for us to come back together as a community, while still making our education available to those who may not be able to attend in person. This hybrid approach to learning ensures all of our students have access to the classes and faculty they know with the highest quality and individual attention they’ve come to expect from us. After all, it is a well-established fact that the best environment for a traditional college student is in a classroom, face to face with well credentialed faculty and fellow students.”

“The health and safety of NEC’s students, faculty, staff, and guests will remain our top priority, as we make decisions on a wide range of campus activities,” added Lesperance. “NEC will adapt our instructional and residential life models and on-campus events, as needed, to protect the members of our campus community while continuing to offer the distinct college experience that is New England College.”

This spring, NEC has worked diligently to mitigate any threat to students, faculty, and staff. In the weeks ahead, NEC will fine tune its plans to ensure a safe, productive educational environment for everyone on campus for the fall semester. “We will, of course, continue to follow updated state and federal guidance as we proceed with plans to open responsibly on August 24,” said President Perkins. “While some things will understandably be different, NEC’s commitment to a quality educational experience for every student remains unwavering.”

New England College Projects Record Summer Program Enrollment

April 29, 2020

Posted in News Press Release

First Summer Session Will Be Remote. Plans for Second Session to be In-Person.

New England College (NEC) is pleased to announce it is anticipating a record enrollment of 120 students for this year’s summer academic programs. The first of two summer sessions begins online on May 11 and runs through the end of June, offering 18 classes with subjects including Criminal Justice, Health Science, and Photography.

Summer participants include current NEC students, along with high school students and those attending other colleges, who want to get ahead in their coursework. Students often use NEC’s Summer Programs to complete general education requirements, or to fulfill prerequisites for their majors. Some students find the summer session a good time to get a head start on college credits, or to make sure they are on track for degree completion. The increase in summer enrollment is part of NEC’s ongoing effort to develop a true “12-month campus” to help keep students engaged and to take maximum advantage of college resources throughout the year.

NEC President Michele Perkins said, “We could not be more thrilled at the enrollment we are seeing for our summer courses. Students from NEC and across the country are eager to get caught up, stay on track, and even get ahead in their academic programs. I am very pleased with the work our team has done to meet these students’ needs and that our cost of tuition is one of the lowest and most affordable in the state.”

In light of COVID-19, faculty and students in the first summer session will participate remotely, using synchronous instruction over video conferencing supported by digital materials. Students will see their instructors and classmates in these video sessions and be able to ask questions and engage in discussions, just like on-campus classes.

“We continue to meet students where they are during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this case, they are home in New Hampshire, other parts of New England, and across the United States, joining us remotely to take everything from an introductory course in their major to fun general education courses like, ‘Star Trek and Philosophy: Civil Rights and Tolerance,’” said Wayne Lesperance, Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Our faculty are committed to ensuring that summer online offerings are of the same high-quality educational experience that students typically expect from all NEC programs,” Lesperance added.

NEC plans to offer its second summer session beginning Monday, June 29, 2020 in person if conditions surrounding COVID-19 permit. More information on the status of the second summer session will be announced soon.  For more information about NEC’s summer programs, visit

New England College Expands Programs in Entertainment Design with Animation Major

April 22, 2020

Posted in News Press Release

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Identifies Animation and Entertainment Among the Top 10 Employment Fields for Creatives.

The Institute of Art and Design at New England College (NEC) announces a new Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Animation. This program launches for the fall 2020 semester and prepares students for the 21st-century career field of entertainment design.

The Animation Department at NEC offers a diverse curriculum that explores the ever-expanding world of visual effects (VFX), motion graphics, artists, and animators. The program combines traditional hands-on experiences and cutting-edge digital tools and design platforms, guiding students to become competent and confident in animation, mobile media, augmented reality, multimedia animation, and applied games. NEC’s state-of-the-art VFX labs allow students to create a cohesive body of work using the latest techniques and software that will prepare them for careers in their chosen field.

“The creation of our BFA in Animation opens the door for the Institute of Art and Design at NEC to expand in the Entertainment Design space to meet next-generation workplace demand for the creative fields of animation design, digital illustration, stop motion animation, and 3D modeling,” explains Darryl Furtkamp, Associate Dean for the Division of Art and Design. “Our Animation program further promotes New England College as a leader in the arts within New Hampshire and northern New England.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies animation and entertainment design among the top 10 employment fields for Creatives. NEC’s BFA in Animation complements the existing programs of Comic Arts, Illustration, and Digital Media and Game Design, rounding out the College’s entertainment design offerings.

New England College is known for developing students through opportunities to live what they learn. In the Animation BFA, students will see their chosen field in action through fieldwork, internships, and more. Learn more about this exciting new program at

New England College Launches Two Degree Programs Looking to the Future

March 26, 2020

Posted in News Press Release

New Online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Hybrid Master of Science in Applied Data Analytics

New England College (NEC) announces two new degree programs designed to meet the needs of the modern world and to develop graduates who make a difference on day one of their careers: an online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and a hybrid Master of Science in Applied Data Analytics.

Students complete the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity one hundred percent online. Students in the Master of Science in Applied Data Analytics program meet one evening each week at NEC’s Manchester campus with additional classwork done online, making this hybrid model ideal for working professionals who desire a traditional classroom experience. Both programs are accepting applications with rolling admissions.

“The development of these programs shows New England College’s commitment to offering innovative academic programs,” explained Lisa Conn, Director of Graduate Enrollment in NEC’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies, which also manages online undergraduate programs. “NEC students want a high-quality education that fits their lives and makes them career ready. These programs check both those boxes and prepare students for two pivotal career fields that are growing today and are expected to continue to grow well into the future.”

There is projected to be a global cybersecurity workforce shortage that will reach close to two million positions by 2022, with shortages in nearly every area of cybersecurity. NEC’s online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity follows the Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense (CAE IA/CD) model. This model establishes core program standards and is sponsored by both the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The program offers two tracks—a technical track for programmers, database specialists, and networkers, and a business track for project managers and other leadership roles—and it allows students to earn CompTIA certifications.

“We’re proud to have highly experienced instructors, some of whom are doing amazing cybersecurity work with partners outside of NEC, and our students will benefit from that,” added Rick Mitchell, Program Director for the Master of Science in Computer Information Systems at New England College. “Our graduates will be able to walk into a job interview and show practical, real-world proof of their cybersecurity training and readiness.”

The demand for data analysts in the United States is growing rapidly, with a projected shortfall of data scientists in the next decade alone of close to a quarter million positions. NEC’s hybrid Master of Science in Applied Data Analytics taps into a skill set that has seen increased global demand: the ability to extract meaning from data so that better, and smarter, decisions can be made across all aspects of an organization. Students in this program gain the acumen to make data and themselves strategic assets within a company.

“Our Applied Data Analytics faculty are industry experts,” added Conn. “We’re excited to offer this new program and help students— with or without data experience—become sophisticated decision makers in their organizations.”

New England College is known for developing students through opportunities to live what they learn, and these two new programs live up to that philosophy. In both, students see their chosen fields in action through real-world simulations, fieldwork, and more. Learn more about these exciting new programs at and

New England College Announces Shift to Online Classes in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

March 14, 2020

Posted in News Press Release

New England College, with campuses in Henniker and Manchester, New Hampshire, will shift from in-person classes to a remote format using online instruction and video conferencing beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The shift will remain in place thorough April 3, 2020 when the plan will be reviewed, and future actions determined. 

Classes are cancelled next Monday and Tuesday to transition to the remote plan. The College takes this action out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our community. Both campuses will remain open on a limited basis, with schedules adjusted to facilitate cleaning and other preventive efforts. Students will remain on both campuses; dining facilities and other critical offices (campus safety, health, housing etc.) will remain open.

Staff will report to campus on Monday to complete plans for working from home, and after Monday only essential staff will be expected on campus.  During the remainder of this emergency, the College will limit all visits to campus to encourage social distancing, a proven prevention strategy. 

The College very much appreciates the willingness of faculty, students, and staff to make major adjustments in such a critical time. For the full details about NEC’s plan to move online, please click here.