Great Bay Community College cited for enrollment growth


PORTSMOUTH - Great Bay Community College was recently cited in an annual report conducted by Community College Week as being among the top 50 colleges with the highest enrollment increases in their category.

The report provided an analysis of enrollment changes among community colleges across the nation between fall 2011 and fall 2012, the most recent years for which comparable national data was available. Great Bay was listed at number 24 among the "Top 50" institutions in percent change enrollment and number 2 among all two-year institutions in New England.

Data was collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System for the Community College Week ranking.

"We are extremely proud of the growth that is reflected by our ranking in the report," said Bruce Baker, vice president of Enrollment Services for Great Bay. "The fact that we continue to grow despite demographic trends in New England is significant, and is attributable to the many opportunities students can find here at Great Bay to build a strong future for themselves and their families."

By offering direct workforce training at a lower cost, community colleges have traditionally experienced growth during recessionary times as unemployed and underemployed workers sought to gain marketable skills. Baker said Great Bay saw this trend during the recent recession years, but credits its recent growth to a proliferation of transfer partnerships with colleges and universities including the University of New Hampshire, as well as to collaborations with industry that create economically relevant programs in fields such as advanced manufacturing, computer technologies and health care.

Baker said GBCC has grown significantly over the past 10 years.

"We now have two campuses, the newest one in Rochester, specifically designed in partnership with regional employers as an Advanced Technology and Academic Center that brings access to greater numbers of students," he said. "We offer credit and non-credit programs, workforce training and customized programs through our Business and Training Center and WorkReadyNH program, and we look forward to breaking ground on a new Student Success Center to enhance student leadership and career readiness programs. By continuing to react to the needs of our student population and the New Hampshire industry, Great Bay is positioned for growth and continued contributions to the economy and quality of life in the Seacoast region."

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