The new arrangement will draw from the state’s seven community colleges, including NHTI – Concord’s Community College. (Dana Wormald | New Hampshire Bulletin)
This story was updated on Oct. 19 at 12:30 to correct the number of community colleges in the state.
Plymouth State University has partnered with New Hampshire’s community college system to offer certain community college graduates guaranteed admission to its business program, the university announced Friday.
Beginning in the 2022 school year, Plymouth will allow any student who graduates with an associate degree in business from a community college program to matriculate into its bachelor of science in business administration.
The new arrangement will draw from the state’s seven community colleges, and it follows an earlier program by Plymouth State University to allow students with community college associate degrees in liberal arts to do the same.
The idea is to minimize wasted time, Plymouth State Director of Admissions Matt Wallace said in an interview.
Plymouth’s program can help students enter into the four-year college with their entire first two years in credits. That will allow students to enter in year three and negate the patchwork crediting system often used by four-year colleges, Wallace said.
“It’s a transfer pathway that serves students better because they’re not losing credit,” Wallace said. “… By transferring they’re not wasting money.”
The partnership comes months after House and Senate Republicans struck down a proposal by Gov. Chris Sununu to merge the Community College System of New Hampshire with the University System of New Hampshire, which Sununu called an “evolution … not to benefit any one system, or any singular college, but to every student across the state.”
The Senate and House kept the proposal out of the budget bill, not even allowing a study commission to move forward, after lawmakers expressed a lack of interest and a worry that the consolidation would be too sudden.
To Wallace, the community college bridge presents an alternative path for high school students who may not be ready for a full four-year college experience, may want the flexibility of attending community college close to their home, or may not have financial resources.
“After COVID, we also saw people having the trauma of losing family members, really hard hit, financial impact, home care, people who just want to stay closer to their home,” he said. “… We’re just hoping that this is a real easy pathway for them. So the students who find themselves in that situation but know a bachelor’s attainment is their end goal, that this is just a natural pathway for them, and it takes a lot of that gray area away.”
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