Thinking “I can’t afford to go to college”?... Think again!

Posted by Granite State College on Aug 26, 2015 3:00:00 PM

Are you thinking, "I can’t afford to go to college"??? If so, we have a challenge for you:  Look into it.

It just might be more achievable than you think. Here’s how:

College affordability is achievable!The typical GSC student brings a considerable amount of transfer credit.
The less credit you need to earn, the less tuition you need to pay.

71% of our students qualify for financial aid
We’re talking scholarship and grants—not loans.

Two-thirds of our students on financial aid qualify for a Federal Pell Grant.
Federal funds awarded to undergraduate students who have exceptional financial need and who have not earned a bachelor’s degree.

 

The biggest X-factor in this mix is Pell Grants mostly because, they’re often misunderstood.

Let’s dig into Federal Pell Grants and clarify some little-known-facts and common misconceptions.

YOU ARE ELIGIBLE IF....

  • You are an undergraduate student (no age limit) in financial need

  • You are enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, in an eligible degree program

  • You have a high school diploma, GED, or home school equivalent

  • You are a U.S. citizen or elgible non-citizen

GRANT AWARDS ARE...

  • Determined by your financial need, cost of attendance, full- or part-time status, and plan to attend school for a full academic year or less. You can only receive Pell Grant funds for one college at a time

  • Different than a loan. Pell Grants do NOT have to be repaid

  • Determined on an annual basis. You will need to submit a new FAFSA every year

  • To be used only for eligible school-related expenses (i.e. books, lab materials, off-campus housing, transportation costs, etc.)

  • Higher/lower depending on your enrollment status. There are minimum and maximum amounts, and full-time enrollment will be awarded a higher amount than a part-time enrollment

  • Disbursed by your college applying the funds to your school costs; providing direct payment to you; or a combination of the two methods

Still have questions about Financial Aid? Check out "Q&A - The financial aid information you need to know," and learn more about our affordable bachelor's degree programs.

  Download Our White Paper  on our commitment to affordability

Tags: Affordability, Financial aid

Masters in Project Management student creates Resource Guide for Veterans

Posted by Granite State College on Aug 21, 2015 3:49:00 PM

In front of an audience filled with Graduate Studies faculty, alumni, loved ones, and GSC staff, six graduate students presented their M.S. Capstone presentations.

The students represented diverse industries, including education, marketing, nonprofit, public service, and entreprenurial startups.

Among these students was Grisel, who is pursuing her masters in Project Management. Grisel's capstone chronicled her experience creating a guide with community resources to help Service Members, Veterans, and their families.

Her presentation was impressive, so the blog team was inspired to share her story.

The Beginning

Grisel-image_blog

At first, Grisel’s student journey seems quite typical.

She earned a bachelor’s degree, took on new career opportunities, and eventually worked her way up the ladder, landing a position as a general manager at a chain of retail clothing stores. On the side, she offered consultant services for small businesses to keep her skills sharp and broaden her experience. 

Eventually, Grisel moved from Venezuela to New Hampshire where she now lives with her husband. With a solid foundation and a strong resume, she knew that she would be presented with the challenge of learning a new language and leveraging her experience to U.S. industry and commerce.

I knew that I wanted to get a master’s degree when I moved here from Venezuela. I thought it would be a good and positive challenge.

Grisel started out taking online courses. This environment allowed her to build confidence.

Being from another country, I was scared that I would feel out of place but you can have a different background at Granite State College. What I find is that people respect these differences and it’s something that they encourage me to express.

Through online courses, Grisel quickly saw that the differences she brought to the classroom were actually strengths that fellow students and the faculty embraced.


Connecting Coursework to Career

Grisel curerently works at Easter Seals NH, specifically the Department of Veterans services. The department works with a group of Care Coordinators who are in charge of taking care of the needs of Service Members, Veterans, and their families. They offer psychological aid and connect their clients with the different resources that are available in the community, such as financial assitance, educational grants, food banks, and more.

There are hundreds of resources that the Care Coordinators recommend, and it can be challenging to remember the names and numbers.

Grisel saw an opportunity:  What if all of these resources were digital? What if it was categorized in a user-friendly manner so clients could use it too?

She shared her idea and it was quickly embraced by the organization! Grisel took on the project, which became the foucs of her capstone project.

The Results

After months of research and organizing, the Resource Guide Project reached completion. It is over 300 pages and has been revered by leadership at Easter Seals as one of the most comprehensive resources in New Hampshire.

Grisel has conducted training with her colleagues on how to use the guide. Outside organizations have also asked to use the guide since it's such a helpful resource.

If you have an idea, even if it's something simple, if it's tackling a need that's not being met, it can have an impact.

Congratulations to Grisel and her classmates for an amazing round of M.S. Capstone presentations!

We wish you all the best!

 

Click here to download M.S. Undecided:  a guide to select the right graduate program

Tags: Adult students, Online classes

4 myths about online learning

Posted by Granite State College on Aug 20, 2015 9:09:00 AM

Nearly 20 yeamyths_blog_imgrs ago the first online courses were introduced. Ten years ago, you started to hear about people earning their entire degrees online. Today, you probably know a handful of people who are getting a degree online.


Yet, there’s still an air of mystery. Even though the benefits of taking online classes are evident, some students think that there still is a catch.

Let’s debunk some common misconceptions about online learning:

You need to be a computer expert
Online learning is about learning not just technology. If you feel comfortable using a computer, have a general understanding of the internet, and can save documents you are already a fit for online learning!

Still, there are parts about using a computer that might make you nervous. That’s when technical support comes into play. Every college (whether on online or traditional) offers students technical support that can help you build the skills you need to take your class online.

We use Moodle as our online course system. Moodle is one of the most user-friendly systems that takes little tech knowledge to use. The intuitive design helps students feel confident so that they can focus on their classes. Orientations are offered to help get new students started, and we have tons of resources that you can refer back to if you need a refresher.

The great news is if you got to this blog you can take an online class!

You will be isolated and have to teach yourself
In many ways, taking a class online is a lot like taking a class in a physical classroom on campus. You are still required to complete assignments outside of class, submit them for grading, and have classroom discussions.

Along with getting instruction from your teacher, you will learn with your peers through discussion, video, and other applications designed for collaboration.

The best online colleges hire teachers not only for their professional expertise, but also their ability to teach online. The technologies these teachers use are designed to be interactive. Tools such as blogs, chat, and video-conferencing make it easy for students to interact with their classmates and teacher.

Some students meet in person to work on projects. Places like their regional campus, a library, or a coffee shop are great spots to get together and work.

Online learning is easier
Unlike the traditional classroom, online students have to participate in their class. You can’t skate through a course by just attending and handing in your assignments.

What is easier is the flexibility of your class schedule. You plan your time for schoolwork around your schedule. This independence is attractive to people who value their education, but might have other commitments that come first, like family and work.

Online degrees are ‘less than’
The best online colleges undergo the same accreditation as traditional colleges. Accredited schools must prove the quality of their education by being assessed on national educational standards. The standards for online courses are the same for courses you take in a classroom.

Taking courses online to complete your degree has become ordinary at most every college and university across the nation. All you need to succeed is a computer, internet access, and basic word processing skills.

When you take a course online you are not alone. You are with a class of real people who are also working at home after tucking the kids into bed, finishing work emails, and between commercial breaks of their favorite TV show.

And, sorry, just because the course you are taking is online is online doesn’t make it any easier than if you were taking it in a classroom. The biggest benefit of taking an online class is that you get to set your class time and work schedule around family and work.

Were any of these misconceptions holding you back from taking an online course and finishing college? Were you surprised about some of the pros of online classes? Have you encountered misconceptions about online learning that you later found out just weren't true?

Leave us a comment!

 

Download our course schedule. Learn how you can start or return to college.

Tags: Online classes

How to become a teacher in NH - Find out at an Info Session this Fall!

Posted by Granite State College on Aug 13, 2015 1:40:00 PM

Nelson Mandela Quote - How to become a teacher in NH
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

This Nelson Mandela quote is widely shared by teachers, often as a poster in their classroom or a quote they share personally on Facebook. When you think about this passage and the impact that you can have by choosing a career as an educator, it's inspiring.

It's no wonder that we see so many GSC students drawn to this profession and it's consistently one of our top areas of study!

There are many students who have always known that they were meant to teach, as well as others who make a career change to education after working in a different field.

Paula came to GSC after working in science labs - she had always regretted not pursuing a career as a teacher. She found a GSC Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification and used it to help guide her career transition.

For Heather, it was important for her to be there for her kids as a stay at home mother, putting her dream of becoming a teacher on the back burner. When it was time to finish her degree she was apprehensive at first. After helping her son complete his college applications, she was unsure of how to approach the process as an adult student.

Kayt had a serious illness in high school and began college a few years after her peers. GSC not only offered the education program she wanted to study, but the flexible options let her manage her illness and balance her coursework.

No matter what sparks your interest in teaching, a solid college education is key and there are several ways that you can gain these qualifications.

The School of Education is hitting the road this Fall with Information Sessions at NINE LOCATIONS in New Hampshire.

If you want to know how to become a teacher in NH, these sessions will help you get on the right track!

  • Sept. 10th - Portsmouth, 3:30 - 5 p.m.
  • Sept. 17th - Nashua, 3:30 - 5 p.m.
  • Sept. 24th - Conway, 3:30 - 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 1st - Mancheser, 3:30 - 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 8th - Rochester, 3:30 - 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 15th - Claremont, 3:30 - 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 22nd - Littleton, 3:30 - 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 26th - Lebanon, 3:30 - 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 28th - Concord, 3:30 - 5 p.m.

Email beth.hoyt-flewelling@granite.edu to RSVP or inquire below to begin a conversation to learn more about our programs!


dream of becoming a teacher!

 

 

Tags: Teacher certification

8 fall courses for finishing college quickly

Posted by Granite State College on Aug 6, 2015 2:02:00 PM

Finishing college quickly with 6 week courses - Student studying.A few weeks ago, we shared the advantages that summer courses offer to you when you’re aiming to power through your degree program quickly.

A great way to apply this momentum to the Fall term is by checking out some of our 6-week courses.

What is a 6-week course?
The full Fall term is 12 weeks long. However, this Fall we will feature a small selection of 6-week courses that run within the regular Fall term. This allows you to take back-to-back 6-week courses, one at a time, within the full Fall term.

What are the benefits?
Taking two classes per term can be tough if you have a busy schedule, but it’s absolutely necessary if you have an ambitious timeline for finishing your degree.

The 6-week classes make this do-able.

Instead of balancing two classes with different week-to-week expectations, you can put all of your attention into just one course at a time. Applying your full-focus into just one course can help you in several ways:

Staying organized
Have you ever mixed up the course requirements when taking multiple courses… Maybe one instructor wants you to post to Moodle twice a week, and the other requires three posts? We’re human. We make mistakes, but boy does it make you feel small when you've made a mix up! One benefit of the 6-week courses is that there’s just one syllabus for you to consult. It minimizes the risk for confusing your requirements and allows you stay organized.

Staying engaged
No matter what, college is a huge investment and you want to get the most out of your experience. If you’re stretched thin and you’re putting everything you got into just complete your assignments each week, you might notice that you’re losing out on that ever-so-import reflection time.

You want the opportunity to connect with the subject matter on a deeper level and get the most out of your learning experience. That’s why you’re here.

When you enroll in two 6-week courses, you gain the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the course topic. You can take your learning to a whole new level!

What courses are you offering as 6-week courses?

Great question! What we have done is schedule courses in four of GSC’s most popular areas: Psychology, Management, and Healthcare. We also feature a pairing of General Education requirements in the 6-week courses.

First Half of the Term

September 7 – October 16, 2015

Second Half of the Term

October 19 – December 4, 2015

Comm 542 (Gen Ed)
Interpersonal Communication & Group Dynamics
CRN: 10211
Instructor:  Julie Ann Zink

SCI 502  (Gen Ed)
Nutrition Concept/Controversies
CRN: 10281
Instructor:  Amy Wilmarth Tuller

PSY 501 (Psychology) 
Introduction to Psychology
CRN: 10273
Instructor:  Heather L Geoffroy

PSY 509  (Psychology) 
Human Development
CRN: 10275
Instructor:  Heather L Geoffroy

ECO 600  (Management)
International Economics
CRN: 10222
Instructor: Mark Gregory Friedman

MGMT 629  (Management)
Global Marketing
CRN: 10262
Instructor:  Carol Kilmister

HLTC 637  (Health care)
Health Information Systems
CRN: 10240
Instructor: Michael Patrick McGowan
HLTC 629  (Health care)
Law & Ethics for Health Care & Human Services
CRN: 10238
Instructor:  Michael J Zaino

We are thrilled to offer you another option for finishing college quickly through Granite State College!

Download our course schedule. Learn how you can start or return to college.

Tags: Register for classes, Online classes, Finding balance

How well do you actually understand your student loan debt?

Posted by Granite State College on Jul 29, 2015 5:27:15 PM
Understanding student loan debtAnother term, another gentle reminder from the friendly student accounts office to make your tuition payment or payment arrangements.

For most of us, this will involve taking out a loan or two.

Before you push through this paperwork, stop for a moment. Think. How well do you actually understand the implications of what you’re doing?

Do you know how much you borrowed this term? Do you know how much you’ve borrowed throughout your college education? Most importantly: are you sure that you need to borrow that amount—should you borrow less?

Let’s explore a few important (but not often talked about) student loan facts, and also highlight some equally important implications.

Fact #1: Did you know that part-time students can borrow the same maximum amounts as full-time students, according to federal rules.

At first glance, you may think “isn’t this wonderful! Full- and part-time students are treated equally.”

There’s more to it than that.

This federal rule creates an opportunity for part-time students to borrow—this is good. But it also creates the opportunity for you to accumulate twice as much debt. This is extremely risky for part-time students. If you’re in this situation seriously consider these two options:

  1. Borrow only what you need. It’s nice to have a cushion to cover living expenses while you’re in college, but remember that there’s still a “cost.” That “cost” is the increased risk of taking on more student loan debt than you need to.

    Rule of thumb: If you’re enrolled at half-time status (4 credits per term, undergrad), try to accept no more than half the maximum loan amount that the government offers you. If you can manage this financially, it’s a way to borrow smart.

  2. Consider going full-time. This seems 100% counter-intuitive to saving money, but follow us for a moment... Ideally, you want to finish college as quickly and affordably as possible.

    If you widen your course load and finish your degree program a few semesters ahead of schedule, you won’t need to incur the debt that would’ve covered the expenses for those extra semesters.

    When you're working towards your degree, these extra semesters don't seem like that big of a deal, but in the end, they do add up.

Fact #2: There are Federal rules that outline how much you can borrow
The federal government sets a limit on what undergraduates can borrow in federal loans.This is called an aggregate loan limit. This threshold is way easier to hit than you would think.

Let’s illustrate the process.

Student profile: 30 year old man who takes out the maximum in loans each term and takes six years to finish his bachelor’s degree program. As of the summer of 2015, the aggregate loan limit is $57,500.

Year #1        $9,500 (max.)
Year #2        $10, 500 (max.)
Year #3        $12,500 (max)
Year #4        $12,500 (max)
Year #5        $12,500 (max)
Year #6        $12,500 (max)
TOTAL         $57,500 limit

In this scenario, if the student hasn’t started to pay back any of these loans, he won’t be able to borrow any additional funds. Not only will he have a lot of money to pay back, but if "life happens" and he needs to enroll in an additional semester, he won't be able to use federal loans.

Good news!

GSC students don’t actually need to borrow this much. An entire bachelor’s degree costs less than that aggregate loan limit by almost $20,000 (and that’s before factoring grants, scholarships, and other free money).*

Even more good news!
The typical student arrives at GSC with four major advantages: transfer credits, financial aid, Pell grants, and work experience and training (that can equate to college credit).

The combination of transfer credits, financial aid awards (free money, not more loans), Pell grants, and Prior Learning, can drive down the cost to complete a GSC bachelor’s degree for as little as $10,000.

Student loan lesson bottom line
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Having access to federal student loans is so important, but be sure to borrow smart. Taking out the maximum amount can help you comfortably cover all of your expenses, but pursue other avenues before you make this decision. Tap into the "free money" resources, like Pell grants and a GSC financial aid award, first and consider student loans second.


Download our course schedule. Learn how you can start or return to college.
*Cost breakdown (based on 2015-2016 tuition and fees):
$293 per in-state credit, 120 credits total for bachelor's program
Fees at $75 per term, 24 terms total (four per year, six years total)
Estimated $100 per term for books/other expenses
$100 Degree conferral fee

Tags: Affordability, Financial aid

Paula gets her Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification

Posted by Granite State College on Jul 24, 2015 2:14:00 PM

Paula Schoonmaker reached many milestones before attending Granite State College: receiving a bachelor’s degree, getting married, and raising her children.

As an undergraduate, Paula studied Biology and Chemistry. She always regretted not getting her teaching certification. But like many working adults, she found her calling through hands-on career experience and identifying the things that interested her most about her job. For Paula, it was the teaching aspect of her work in science labs.

20131011_162253I was teaching science labs at a university in Florida. After I got married and had kids, I decided to leave the workforce.

When her children were older, she re-directed her career goals and started to build a resume of part-time jobs in special education eventually making the transition to public schools.

Paula knew she wanted a special education degree and a colleague recommended our Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification program. Paula set up a meeting to discuss the options.

I decided on GSC after speaking with Beth Hoyt-Flewelling. Beth was so accommodating and wonderful. She came to my house, we had a cup of tea, and she handed me the all of the information. I was 48 at the time and wondered who would hire me when I finished. I just looked at her and said, Can I do this? Beth answered, Absolutely! Beth was more than encouraging and explained how to become a teacher in New Hampshire. I looked at her and said I’m in!

Along her journey, Paula has found support that helped her balance her many roles: mother and spouse, teacher, and student.

My family has pulled in, giving me so much support and picking up the slack around the house. They knew that mom’s got to do what mom’s got to do. And at work, every single one of the teachers that I work with has been in my situation and everyone is rooting for me. The faculty at Granite State has been so encouraging and always available. They understand working and going to school. That is what makes Granite State College really attractive to me and a really good fit.

Leveraging her experience and education with unconditional support from her family, colleagues, and Granite State, Paula is close to achieving her life goals becoming a teacher and a getting her Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification.

 

dream of becoming a teacher!

Tags: Teacher certification, Finding your passion

Staying motivated during the Summer term

Posted by Granite State College on Jul 15, 2015 5:33:00 PM
flipflop_coconutIt’s the middle of July and it seems like everyone around you is having the best vacation ever.


They’re uploading these great photos to Facebook. Meanwhile, you’re uploading your assignments to Moodle.

More than any other time of year, you feel pressure to your work/life balance. Every student taking summer courses will feel this way to some extent, but it hits home for any adult student who is balancing work or family life.

At work, you hear about co-workers’ weekend getaways. At home, even your kids have fun activities through camps or day care. When sitting at your computer or reading your textbook, it’s hard to NOT feel like you’re missing out.

Your feelings are legitimate—we all deserve some time to soak in the summer!

At the same time, dwelling doesn’t help. It’s not productive.

It’s time for some real talk.

Why are you here? For most of you, going back to college at GSC is all about finishing college quickly. You want to get that degree and take your career to the next level.

When you feel like your summer is a bummer, think of your goal. Think of all of the amazing advantages of powering through your degree program, taking summer courses, and getting that degree sooner rather than later.

  1. Staying sharp
    Have you ever been in an upper-level class and needed a refresher on the material that was covered in the pre-req? When you take courses every term, you can avoid this hurdle. You won’t have long gaps in between related course topics and it will be easier to apply what you’ve learned.

  2. Finishing college faster
    If you enroll during every term of the year, you can cut a semester or two (maybe even a year) off of the traditional time frame that it takes to complete your degree program. Yes – you may lose your summers. You’ll also need to develop time management skills to keep up with this pace as a student. At the end of the day, it gets you closer to completion and closer to your career goals.

  3. Saving money – smart management of your student loan debt
    Today, many students rely on student loans. When you take a long time to earn your degree, you need to be mindful of how much you borrow. Part-time students who borrow the maximum amount term-after-term risk accumulating a lot of debt. When you enroll full-time and work to finish your degree quickly, you can have a better handle on student loan debt.

  4. Keeping your momentum
    Your education is a huge undertaking. That can’t be said enough. It’s important to stay motivated and a key part of motivation is seeing progress. If you knock off a course or two each term, your progress is tangible. If you earn your degree at a slower pace, it gets more difficult to fully appreciate your progress.

    Person-to-person and student-to-student this will vary, but for many people it can be hard to get back on the wagon after taking a break. If you identify with this scenario, taking courses each term is a good strategy to keep yourself engaged so you achieve your degree.

We hope that this list is refreshing and gives you the motivation you need to not only get through the summer term, but to look forward to the next semester, too!

Download our course schedule. Learn how you can start or return to college.

Tags: Adult students, Student success tips

From Community College to GSC: A transfer student's journey...

Posted by Granite State College on Jul 1, 2015 1:27:00 PM

Bruno: A transfer student's journey from Community College to GSC and beyondWhen we announced our partnership with Nashua Community College (NCC), the news quickly caught the attention of Bruno.

After graduating from NCC with my associate degree, a staff member approached me and asked if I would be interested in going to Granite State College. I knew that this was the opportunity for me. Everything just came together.

Good timing is only a small part of this transfer student's story. From the earliest stages, Bruno had a vision for what it was going to take to not only graduate from NCC, but to move onto a bachelor’s degree and ultimately pursue law school. He focused on his coursework and achieved good grades. He also took on various internships, leadership roles, jobs, and volunteer work that would complement his studies and help him grow as a professional.

I had an internship at DCYF as an interpreter, volunteered for charities, served as the online learning assistant, taught a Portuguese language class, and I most recently helped out at a middle school with English language learners. Because I want to become an immigration lawyer, I also work in a law office in Manchester, New Hampshire.

As a busy young professional, Bruno counts on his family and his mentors when he needs support. Bruno has encountered faculty members and staff that have helped him transition from NCC to GSC, and who provided guidance that have helped him refine his goals. Bruno also credits his mother:

My mom, even though she lives in Brazil, helps me a lot and encourages me to do my best.

Education has a major role in Bruno’s journey, but it is also his ability to connect what he’s learning to all the other aspects of his life that has helped him progress towards his goals at such a rapid pace. Both academically and in his community, those around Bruno think of him as a leader and when asked for advice that he’d give to a community college student who wants to follow a similar pathway, Bruno shared:

It’s the best thing you can do. Earning a bachelor’s degree is something that nobody can take away from you. And at GSC, you can tell they care and they’ll help put you on the right path.

 

Download our white paper  Granite State's $10,000 bachelor's degree

Tags: Transfer Students, Partnerships

A look at the impact of our master degree programs in NH and beyond!

Posted by Granite State College on Jun 26, 2015 10:56:00 AM
They’re protecting the natural resources in your neighborhood.

They’re finding the right leadership prescription for today’s every-changing healthcare industry.

They’re community champions who help connect young people to leadership opportunities.

Graduate_Classroom
These are the students in our graduate programs and this is how they are making an impact in New Hampshire and beyond!Last week, the GSC community got to experience this impact when more than a dozen graduate students shared their Project Management and Leadership capstone projects.

In our graduate programs, the capstone course is where our students really shine. When you become a student, it’s the last course you’ll take before graduating and it gives you the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in a project that’s relevant to your world. The topics are personal—you can focus your work on a passion, future aspirations, or a project that holds importance in your career. For many, the experience is a catalyst. It’s what helps you connect your journey as a graduate student to the next big thing.

Sitting among the instructors, mentors, family, and friends in the audience, it’s clear that you’re witnessing a “big moment,” so we were compelled to share!


Here’s a summary of the Spring 2015 M.S. Capstone presentations and a interesting facts and take-aways we learned from their projects:


Eric Barrett, M.S. in Project Management
Science DMZ
In a research-rich workplace, being able to share data quickly is essential. Eric Barrett helped create a network that can make direct connections to transfer sizable amounts of data at a rapid pace. Upon project completion, this solution will help researchers save money, time, and resources on their important projects.

Defining success
Thinking of the Triple Constraint of time, budget, and scope, Eric considers the scope of the project to be the most important factor in defining its.


Pamela Doherty, M.S. in Project Management
Master Gardener State Wide Speakers Bureau
Pamela Doherty helps bring horticultural information to New Hampshire’s communities through her work at the UNH Cooperative Extension. More than 3,000 volunteers extend the work by conducting educational sessions throughout the granite state. Pamela’s capstone focused on a volunteer development program that can help volunteers further develop their presentation skills.

Pro tips
Pamela’s advice was to start small with your projects… and pamper your volunteers with good food and fun trainings!


Louise Dube, M.S. in Project Management
Workforce Management: Software Development Project
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center was looking for a solution that could help them analyze their large workforce and assess the organization’s HR needs. As an IT Manager with PMI – PMP certification, Louise Dube was entrusted with this ambitious software development project, which she chronicled in her capstone.

Take-away
When a project is a huge undertaking, Louise emphasized accuracy when estimating the required resources and timelines. Being able to convey realistic expectations can help you demonstrate the need for more support when discussing the project with the c-level executives.


James Edgell, M.S. in Project Management
Development of a Social Franchising Center
Recently the University of New Hampshire launched a stand-alone Social Franchising Initiative (SFI). It seeks to further the development of social franchising as a viable social franchising business model. In his capstone, James worked with subject matter experts to build the vision and launch the initiative.

Take-aways
“Embrace culture and plan for change.”


Kevin Flynn, M.S. in Project Management
Flynn Fence and Deck Project
Kevin Flynn applies the principles of project management in his career as a financial advisor. Kevin demonstrated the versatility of these skills when he applied them to a personal project, outside of his industry. In his capstone, Kevin designed and executed a three-stage remodeling project for a residential property.

Best practice
Kevin made a point of developing close relationships with the work crew and contractors. This not only fostered a positive work environment, it led to more open discussions when there were challenges to address.


Sara Grady, M.S. in Leadership
#change: A Second Look at Student Involvement Theory
Sara Grady can see the ways that technology and social media influence traditional college students through her position as a residential director at Plymouth State University. She can see how traditional engagement techniques are becoming less relevant to college students. Most importantly, Sara sees the opportunity for #change. Her capstone explored the need to evolve, adapt, and integrate the student engagement theory.

What surprising knowledge did you gain through your capstone experience?
“Be approachable. Be authentic. It will help with all of your leadership goals.”


Paul Hodgdon, M.S. in Project Management
Funding the Cub Scouts
Between fundraising, paying for outings, and other activities, keeping track of which Cub Scout has what money presents a booking challenge. As the Troop leader, Paul Hodgdon used his IT experience and project management skills to find a solution. His capstone sought to create an online app to centralize and streamline the entire troop’s fundraising efforts.

Lesson learned
Timing matters. Paul recommends scheduling your rollout at a time of year that’s convenient for your organization.


JoAnna Jaskolka, M.S. in Leadership
Healthcare Leadership Needs a New Prescription
JoAnna works for an organization that helps health systems maintain and enhance their quality, amidst healthcare’s rapid changes. Her capstone created a call-to-action to her industry. JoAnna advocates for a transformational leadership approach which will help the industry thrive as it evolves.

Most valued course
“Leading teams. Regardless of the scope of the project, you need to keep people involved and excited about what they’re doing.”


Candy King, M.S. in Project Management
Spring Registration Events
Candy wanted to find innovative ways to connect parents and students to the spring registration events at Colby-Sawyer College. She used her capstone as an extensive study on two events: Accepted Student Day and The Summer Picnic Event.

Lesson learned
“Document, document, document. You need the lessons learned to refer back to so you can see continued success year-to-year.”


Andrew Lathrop, M.S. in Project Management
IT Services Relocation
What do you do when technology that services staff throughout North America needs to be moved to a new facility? This was the challenge Andrew faced and his goal was to minimize any and all downtime during this process. Andrew’s helped the company move the server to an offsite location. This solution offered better security and a more efficient environment.

What surprising knowledge did you gain through your capstone experience?
“There’s no right way and no wrong way to approach a project. Be open to the multiple ways you can manage projects. You could find a way to make it better.”


Erika Liljestrand, M.S. in Project Management
Summer Conservation Project
Every summer, the Colorado Mile High Youth Corps is busy maintaining the trails, protecting the natural resources, and making improvements at regional parks. Erika leads groups of young adults through this experience, exposing them to career development and leadership opportunities. She used her capstone to connect project management essentials to these conservation projects.

How will you use the knowledge beyond your graduate program?
“Learning the different tools and project management terms really helped me become better at organizing my projects. Before, I had my own system. Today, I feel like I can jump in on conversations with any project managers.”


Amanda Moore, M.S. in Leadership
Optimal Leadership Models to Successfully Influence Change in a Healthcare Organization
In her work as an HR professional in the healthcare industry, Amanda is interested in finding leadership models that can thrive during rapid change. Amanda recognizes that people process change in different ways and through her capstone, she explored Leadership models that can minimize stress among employees and encourage change readiness throughout the organization.

Offering a perspective
To help illustrate an environment of change, Amanda incorporated a clip about leading change from the movie “Remember the Titans.” 

Robert Robinson, M.S. in Project Management
Cohas Brook Sewer Project – Contract No. 3
City projects that intersect with the environment require an advance level of skills and attention. Robert manages sewer infrastructure projects and when one such project focused on an area near Lake Massabesic and Cohas Brook Watersheds, it was a major undertaking. Robert’s capstone provided insight into how project management principles are used in this setting.

Bringing the audience on-site
Typical of a regular work day, Robert began his presentation by putting on his hard hat and then got into the details of the project.


Larry Scola, M.S. in Project Management
Waste Water Treatment Plant Project
Larry works for an innovative company that has created a unique brand of electro-hydraulic products and technology. With experience in the maritime industry, Larry saw the opportunity to introduce this technology to waste water treatment plants located on maritime college campuses. His capstone covered the creation of a successful partnership and new account with his undergraduate alma mater, Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Take-away
Even when you switch industries, your experience is always an asset. The success of the project can be attributed to Larry’s roots in the maritime industry.


Justine Stadler, M.S. in Project Management
Developing a Collaborative Project Tool Kit
Justine’s work aims to bring members of the community together with scientists to address coastal wild life. Collaboration is key and in her capstone, Justine created a tool kit of best practices, case studies, interactive tools, and project management templates to help future collaborative teams communicate successfully.

Take-away
The tool kit that Justine created recommends online tools like Google Docs and Basecamp, but she also suggests weekly phone calls to make sure that everything that’s discussed online is understood.



The capstone projects represent a transformation. Students transform into graduates. They develop skills and grow as leaders and managers.

They take their next step and work to transform their community, their industries, and themselves.

With their masters in project management or masters of leadership complete, our graduates are making a difference with their master degree programs in NH and beyond!

 

Click here to download M.S. Undecided:  a guide to select the right graduate program

Tags: Graduate studies