UNH, Great Bay launch dual admission program

08/06/2014 by Robert Michaelson

PORTSMOUTH — Great Bay Community College and the University of New Hampshire have combined forces to give more students the chance to earn a bachelor’s degree.

UNH President Mark Huddleston and GBCC President Wildolfo Arvelo officially implemented a new dual admission program this week that will allow students to more easily transfer into UNH after earning an associate’s degree at GBCC. The deal was signed at GBCC Tuesday afternoon.

Students in the program can earn credits that apply to both their associate’s and bachelor’s degree. Qualifying students with a 2.5 grade point average or higher will be guaranteed seamless entry into UNH’s College of Liberal Arts.

“We really do share a common mission to try and make education more affordable and accessible,” said Huddleston. “It doesn’t matter to me where a student starts or where he or she finishes. It is just the opportunity to get higher education in New Hampshire.”

GBCC students enrolled in the dual admission program will only have to pay one application fee, have access to specialized academic advising, invitations to all events at UNH throughout the year, eligibility for merit-based scholarships and guaranteed university housing.

The first student in the program is Exeter High School graduate Gates MacPherson, who will start at GBCC this fall. She said that the dual admission program will prepare her for the next steps in her education without the higher cost.

“I am able to really decide what I want to do without spending so much money,” she said.

She isn’t sure what she will study for her bachelor’s degree, but plans on focusing her efforts in the communications field.

Her father, Robert MacPherson, said the he fully supports his daughter’s decision to take a different path in her higher education. He hopes to see the program grow because it makes sense for upcoming students who are in a totally different world when it comes to student loan debt and opportunities.

It will also allow her to get a taste for UNH before she decides to go there, and by then she will have her required general education credits completed.

This program is intended to serve as a pilot that will include all University System of New Hampshire and Community College System of New Hampshire institutions. GBCC and UNH currently have agreements that guarantee transfer into the university’s college of Life Sciences and Agriculture, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, and the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics.

Arvelo said that he hopes this new partnership with UNH will encourage others in higher education to forge similar agreements that will give accomplished students like MacPherson opportunities to grow.

“This is another piece of the puzzle for the relationship of Great Bay Community College and the University of New Hampshire, but also the community college system and the university system,” said Arvelo. “These are students who have the potential and should have the opportunity to move onto the university system.”

For information on the dual admission program, visit www.greatbay.edu/dualadmission or contact Natalie Girouard at (603) 427-7607.

Seacoast online