Great Bay Community College and University of New England Partner to Create Pathways to Academic Degree Completion

09/30/2015 by Lisa Proulx

Agreement allows transfer pathways from GBCC to over 20 UNE programs

PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire - Great Bay Community College (GBCC) and the University of New England (UNE) will join in a ceremony on Wednesday, September 30 at 2 p.m. at Great Bay Community College’s Portsmouth campus to celebrate the signing of a memorandum of transfer agreement that will enable GBCC students who obtain an associate degree at the College to transfer into any one of 20 plus bachelor’s and master’s degree programs at UNE.

This event will mark the beginning of a new partnership between the colleges that offers students access to an affordable pathway to bachelor’s degree and master’s degrees. GBCC President Will Arvelo and UNE Provost Jim Koelbl will speak to the significance of this initiative for Seacoast New Hampshire and Maine students.

“Out of the colleges with which we have transfer agreements,” said UNE Provost Jim Koelbl, “GBCC is one of the richest because they are so comprehensive in offerings. We also have a shared value in academic integrity and attention to student success.  GBCC has demonstrated that their students are successful when they transfer to UNE, and UNE continues to offer what GBCC students and others have come to expect --  a high return on investment.” 

“This exciting new partnership provides our students expanded access to defined career pathways.” said GBCC President Will Arvelo.  “In addition to providing a track to a quality, high ranked university close to the Seacoast, our students now have a seamless and affordable option to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in new programs including pre-medical career paths  and marine biology.” 

The collaboration between the two colleges enables students who successfully complete coursework leading to an associate degree in a specified program from Great Bay Community College to matriculate into specified UNE programs, if accepted, with up to 63 transferrable credits towards their bachelor’s degree.  Advising from each institution is provided to participating students.  Students are also eligible for financial aid and merit scholarships at the University of New England.

The partnership was initiated by GBCC, which, in recent months, has seen an increase in the number of students enrolling in the community college to take the pre-requisite undergraduate science courses required for the master’s degree in the Physicians Assistant (P.A.) program at the University of New England.

“We sought this agreement because of UNE’s undergraduate pre-P.A. track,” said Diane King, Center For Teaching and Learning Coordinator at Great Bay Community College. “We began to develop an initial agreement that would allow students to go from GBCC straight through to their master’s degree post-baccalaureate P.A. program. Students who complete a bachelor’s program can apply to master’s programs at UNE or other institutions.  The initial proposal for a P.A. track eventually grew to additional agreements and transfer pathways from GBCC to UNE to more than 20 programs."

Among those agreements, GBCC’s biology programs align with UNE’s Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Biology.  From this, graduates may choose the College’s Medical Sciences track or Pre-Physician's Assistant track. Great Bay Community College’s biology programs also align with UNE’s marine programs, including its new Marine Entrepreneurship major.  GBCCs General Biology program also has a track with UNE’s B.S. in Oceanography, and GBCCs Biology University Transfer program aligns with UNE’s B.S. in Marine Biology.   GBCC’s science programs aren’t the only significant alignments for transfer.  GBCC’s Teacher Preparation program also aligns with UNE’s B.S. in elementary education.   Additionally, GBCC’s Liberal Arts and Business programs will transfer to many majors at UNE.

According to a recently published report by the Brookings Institution, the University of New England was ranked number one among Maine universities and colleges for its ability to increase students’ career earnings.