GBCC Extends In-State Tuition to Border Areas to Help Meet NH Workforce Needs

02/02/2016 by Lisa Proulx

PORTSMOUTH - Great Bay Community College announces a new initiative: in-state tuition to students in Maine and Massachusetts who enroll in one of three high demand programs offered at the College.  Programs selected to be part of this unique initiative include Advanced Composites Manufacturing Technology (ACM), Massage Therapy, and Surgical Technology. The in-state tuition plan will begin starting this Spring as a pilot with the potential for expansion. 

According to Great Bay Community College President Will Arvelo, approximately 10% of Great Bay students currently are from neighboring communities in Maine and Massachusetts.  By offering out of state students the in-state rate of $200 per credit, the College hopes to serve a wider audience and fill employer demand for specialized job training.  “The programs in this initiative are unlike other in this area and serve to fill employment gaps in manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality and other key industries in NH, Mass, Maine and beyond” said Arvelo. “A more open access to training just makes sense.” Arvelo also sees the program as a necessary step to remaining competitive in what he sees as a challenging environment. “Some institutions in neighboring states offer lower tuition and several states have also recently announced plans to provide ‘in-state tuition’ to New Hampshire or New England Regional students. We must act to close this gap.” 

 “Right now, we are filling jobs with qualified graduates at an alarming rate” said Kristin Whitney, Surgical Technology Program Director at Great Bay. “At the time of graduation this past May, twelve of the thirteen students were employed by hospitals in New Hampshire and beyond including Tufts Medical Center.”

“Demand for composites technicians keeps increasing both regionally and nationally” said Debra Mattson, Advanced Materials Manufacturing Program Director/Designer at Great Bay’s Advanced Technology & Academic Center in Rochester. “We have the capacity to train as many as 200 students per year and our graduates work in a variety of key industries like marine, automotive, aerospace, architecture and construction.  There is no other program like ours in the Northeast.”

According to Carla Bashaw, Program Coordinator of the newly revised Therapeutic Massage Program, her graduates are also filling a wide array of positions in the spa and hospitality field as well as working directly with physicians and chiropractors, physical therapists and mental health care specialists. “The jobs are there and we are here to train” said Bashaw. “and, unlike other programs across the border, ours is not only accredited and more affordable but can be completed in one year.”

To be eligible for the new in-state tuition pilot plan, students must live in Maine and Massachusetts and be within a 50 miles of the College’s Portsmouth or Rochester campuses. Students must be new to the College, and be starting their degree or certificate program no earlier than the Spring 2016 semester.