Great Bay Community College Rolls Out New Associate Degree and Certificate Programs Starting this Fall

07/10/2015 by Lisa Proulx

PORTSMOUTH, NH - Great Bay Community College is launching several new programs for the start of the Fall 2015 academic year.  The new credit programs are designed to prepare students with the skills to enter a variety of in-demand careers ranging from data analytics and software development to aviation technology and massage therapy.

“We are excited to roll out new degree and certificate programs that continue to support employment needs in a variety of industries” said Paul Petritis, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Great Bay Community College. “Our new Associate degree and shorter-term Certificates have been designed to create pathways for students and build the skills that lead to in-demand professional opportunities.”

Aviation Technology Associate Degree Program

Developed in collaboration with Seacoast Helicopters of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the College’s new Aviation Technology Helicopter Pilot Program provides graduates with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certifications required to start a career as a professional helicopter pilot. Hands-on training is provided by Seacoast Helicopters with instruction delivered by FAA-certified flight and ground instructors.  Students graduate with certifications and licenses necessary to immediately start a career as a helicopter pilot or pursue a career path for entry into fields including Airport Management, Aircraft Maintenance, Airport Line Management, Fixed-Base Operation Management and Airport Maintenance. Prior piloting experience is not required.

Software Development Certificate Program

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of software developers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.  The new Software Development certificate program offered at Great Bay, provides a solid foundation for software and application development. Successful completion of the certificate prepares students for entry into the exciting industry of developing apps for smart devices/tablets and mobile platforms and graduates are prepared for careers such as Software Developers, Software Project Managers, Java Developers,  Android Developers, iOS Developers and .NET Developers.  In addition to the benefit of faculty who are working technology professionals, GBCC also provides students with access to two new 20-seat iMac labs equipped to support IOS, Windows, Linux, Web and mobile platform development. 

Liberal Arts/Fine Arts Associate in Arts

The Liberal Arts program with a concentration in Fine Arts offers Liberal Arts students  a foundation in fine arts and is designed to facilitate transfer into a four-year fine arts program. A variety of studio experiences in two and three-dimensional mediums are offered as well as art history and the inclusion of digital media electives.  The program is designed to develop traditional technical skills in studio art, while inspiring creative problem solving, the ability to express visual thinking in oral and written work, the ability to critique art as well as self-assess, an awareness of contemporary culture, and the exploration of personal artistic expression. The program will prepare students for transfer into a degree in studio art, art education, art history or digital art. Several  agreements currently exist for transfer into four-year BFA programs at New England institutions.

Massage/ Therapeutic Massage Certificate Program

Therapeutic Massage has become integral to conventional healthcare and is frequently used in sports medicine, hospitals, physical therapy, physicians’ offices, as well as in the chiropractic offices, spa/resort settings, gyms, and acupuncture clinics. The newly re-designed one-year Massage Therapy Certificate program offered at GBCC offers students real world experience offering both a lecture and lab component as well as access to an onsite massage clinic, where they practice technique, learn customer service skills and the details of operating a massage center while fulfilling the required hours for licensure.  "The program was redesigned to better accommodate a student's busy life while giving them the training in technique, customer service and client care skills that employers are now searching for in the shortest reasonable time. Emphasis is also being placed on creating access to career options by giving them opportunities to fulfill their clinic hours at an external location." said Carla Bashaw, Program Coordinator for the Massage Therapy Program.

Students take courses in Anatomy and Physiology, Pathology, Kinesiology, Business, Ethics, and gain training in several techniques including Swedish Massage, Neuro Muscular Therapy, Trigger Point Therapy, Hot Stone and Maternity massage.  The Therapeutic Massage Certificate program also complements the Spa Management Certificate program offered at GBCC by providing students with additional skills which will make them more valuable in the spa industry. 

The Program is approved by the State of New Hampshire Massage Therapy Advisory Board, The National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and by the State of New Hampshire Department of Education, Post-Secondary Education Division.  Starting this Fall, the Therapeutic Massage Certificate Program will also be offered as an evening program.

Practical Data Science Certificate Program

Increasing number of companies with job listings are looking for people who can handle data in multiple formats.   A practical approach to communicating with data involves a combination of analytical and coding skills and for individuals to have an appreciation for the process of handling data at all stages of a project.  According to Mary Rudis, Associate Professor of Mathematics at Great Bay, the new Practical Data Science Certificate Program offers students the opportunity to learn to apply data analysis skills in any career or job that requires reporting from quantitative and qualitative sources of information.  In addition to learning how to conduct surveys and experiments, data wrangling, cleaning, sampling, analyzing, and visualizing, students will work with all modern data formats, including XML, CSV, JSON, XLS (Excel), XHTML (web pages), and understand how to appropriately transform this data for use in structured analysis projects and reporting.  Students  pursuing STEM fields who want to be able to conduct research and enjoy a practical approach to learning their chosen field (such as Biology, Chemistry, Biotechnology, Environmental Science, Engineering Science) should consider embedding the Practical Data Science Certificate into their Associate Degree program.   “The program is also suited for students in Liberal Arts who want to put their Math requirements to good use, who show interest in computational mathematics and data visualization (charts and graphs)” says Rudis. “In addition, it can also be appropriate for those who already have a Bachelor’s Degree and want to improve their resume or job application, or graduate  school application.”  Examples include individuals wanting to take their career in a direction that involves working with data using the open source platform “R” – journalists, social scientists, business managers , experts interested in doing independent research using publicly accessible data or individuals with degrees in Software Development, Computer Science or Information Technology looking to make themselves more marketable.