GBCC Hosts First Annual Campus2Campus Event for High School Students Enrolled in Career or Technical Courses at High School or Regional Technology Center

04/27/2015 by Lisa Proulx

PORTSMOUTH: On Thursday, April 16, forty high school students and their families attended the first annual Campus2Campus event at Great Bay Community College.   The program, held at the Portsmouth campus at the Pease Tradeport catered to student currently enrolled in career and technical courses at their local high schools or regional technical centers.  Attendees included students from  Rochester , Hampton, Portsmouth, Exeter, Milford, Somersworth, Derry, Dover, Newmarket, and Hudson.

 “The reaction to our first event of this kind was very gratifying” said Dr. Sarah Bedingfield, Vice President of Student Affairs at GBCC. “I believe we helped both students and parents to better understand the role of Great Bay Community College in facilitating student transition from high school to industry. We are the middle man in a young person’s growing career. Our goal for the evening was to present a seamless pathway to a certificate or associate degree that started in high school and will eventually end with an industry-ready credential or transition to a four year institution.”

Many of the students who attended the event are currently enrolled in Running Start courses in their high schools or regional technical centers.  Running Start, Bedingfield explained, is a dual enrollment program that allows high school students to earn high school and college credits simultaneously. The course are taught by high school faculty that work in partnership with college faulty to ensure that the courses maintain standards identical to those taught on the college campuses.   GBCC  offers over 36 Running Start courses in 20 different high schools including:   Animal Science, Biotechnology, Business, Careers in Education/Teacher Prep, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Digital Media, Health Sciences and Hospitality.  “By GBCC offering programs that align and expand on introductory courses taken at career or technical centers,” Bedingfield points out, “we are uniquely poised to serve this population.”  

In addition to exploring their career interest with college faculty, attendees also learned about the College’s degree and certificate programs and transfer pathways.  Information was also provided on student-run clubs and organizations the new student success center slated to open this fall which will house athletics, student government, and a fitness center.  

During the event, Mark Sullivan CEO of Seacoast Asset Management, also spoke offered insight into the value of a community college education.   As financial advisor and parent of a graduate, he encouraged both parents and students to consider the economics of attending a community college.  “Today, you need to look at the selection of a college as something that is part of a long- term strategy tied to financial, academic and career goals.” he said. “Education and retirement are intertwined when it comes to building an investment strategy. Kids can get student loans, but there’s no such thing as a retirement loan.”

“The smart choice”, Bedingfield reiterated, “is to attend a community college, if at least for the first two years, and avoid the debt that so many of our NH students are facing after four years at an expensive college.  With tuition at $200 per credit, Great Bay is the most affordable choice for a quality education.”