Why we're thankful: Six moments in 2015 that made us proud

Posted by Granite State College on Nov 25, 2015 2:27:51 PM



It's Thanksgiving! It’s a time for turkey, football, and family. It’s a time to think of all the wonderful things that make you so thankful all year round.

Here are just a few of our moments that remind us of why we’re proud of the GSC community and thankful to serve our students.


Our new Granite State College president

In April 2015, we welcomed Dr. Mark Rubinstein as the sixth president of Granite State College. Our students, alumni, and friends are having a tremendous influence on how he views higher education. If you haven't had the opportunity to meet Mark, here are the Top Five things you should know about our new President.


Strengthening our Community College connections

The math is simple: the most affordable associate degree + the most affordable bachelor’s degree = the most affordable degree (period). This is what you can achieve when you transfer from a NH community college to GSC. We’re thankful that we can build meaningful partnerships with community colleges so students can get a high quality and affordable education in New Hampshire.


Our veteran community

We were thrilled to be honored as a “Best Online Program for Veterans” by U.S. News and World Report. While recognition is wonderful, we’re proud of what it took to get there. From our participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program, to our partnership with American Corporate Partners that provides long-term career development for veterans, we’re thankful that we can offer veterans the resources and support they need.


Our teachers

An important goal of our School of Education programs is to provide education for every stage of a teacher’s career. The introduction of our new master’s degree programs help us do just that. Check out the new M.S. in School Leadership with focus areas in Instruction and Leadership, Library Media Specialist, and School Principal.


Our extended family

For many students, their journey at GSC has an impact on their entire family. Although they’re not enrolled at the College, the loved ones of our students (and the support they provide), play an enormous role. Nowhere is this more evident than on Commencement – relive the memories!


Giving you a quality education

Class after class, term after term, you’re putting a great deal of work into your education. It's important to us that you know that it's one of high quality. We once again topped U.S. News and World Report’sBest Online Degree Programs” list for both undergraduate and graduate degrees and our nursing program received its accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

What has made you thankful this year? Share your story below!

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

Preparing for your next term taking online classes

Posted by Granite State College on Nov 19, 2015 4:53:38 PM

With finals a week away, you are starting to think about next term. If have been taking online courses, you already understand the in’s and out’s of what's expected of you.

As you prepare for you next term, here are four ways you can up your game as an online student.

Use a profile picture 

A profile picture personalizes your posts - it helps students feel like they are in a classroom talking to one of their classmates face-to-face. Think about how you want to be represented in your profile pictures. Do you want a family photo? One of you on vacation to make you seem laid back? Or maybe a professional headshot so your posts are taken more seriously? Your profile picture is up to you.

Post first and reply often

It’s natural for you to want to be recognized when you put a lot of thought into your posts. You worked hard - your work deserves at least one reply, right? It’s hard to standout in an online class. With other students posting on the same discussion boards about the same topic, you may feel lost in the sea of other students.Preparing for your next term taking online classes

In the discussion forum, try to post your ideas first. As you reply to your classmates’ responses to your post, you will develop your understanding of the coursework. It is proper online etiquette to respond to any question other students ask about what you have written. The discussion board is made for discussion- it is not a bulletin board where you post a written assignment. It is important to stay engaged with both the class and dialogue that is occurring.

Be polite and engaging

Use an engaging, specific subject line. This will help students get an idea what your post is about before they click to read your post. Make your posts engaging, too. Invite your classmates to answer questions you may have asked in your post. Instead of saying, “what does everyone else think?” be specific about what you are asking.

Also, stay positive in your posts. Don’t complain about the amount of reading you had to do for that week or how you hated recording a presentation for your class. School is hard work and can be frustrating but it’s important to stay positive and professional.

Make connections off topic and off-line

If you connect with another student’s writing in your class, email them privately and tell them. Or, if you feel like another student could use guidance, email them and offer to help. Connect with the other online students like you would in a face-to-face class.

You can also use a forum that is dedicated to off-topic subjects. Many online classes have these forums because professors want you to have the opportunity to make personal and professional connections in class. These forums may be called, “the virtual student lounge” and “online break room”.

We hope these four tips will make your online learning experience a great one next term.

Can you think of other ways online students can become more active in their classes? Leave us a comment and tell us.


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

Tags: online courses

Alumni Update: Lisa shows qualities of a school leader

Posted by Granite State College on Nov 12, 2015 10:30:00 AM

When Lisa Wedge, a Title One Reading Aide at Josiah Bartlett School, needed extra resources to support a new reader’s workshop, one of the first calls she made was to her alma mater Granite State College.

Over the summer, the teachers got together and started to brainstorm what we can do to make sure our students could easily organize their reader’s workshop materials. We thought about backpacks, but that’s not realistic with school budgets. Because I have been involved with Granite State College, I called and said we have these great kids doing great things and are enjoying reading. I am so thankful everyone at Granite State came through to help our kids.

These backpacks will help the students keep all of their reader’s workshop materials accessible to them; not in different bins, cubbies, or shelves around the classroom.

Today, we are celebrating the reading and writing you guys are accomplishing! Granite State College was kind enough to donate book bags because we all love that all of you are enjoying reading books.

Lisa, a Title One Reading Aide at Josiah Bartlett School, shows qualities of being a school leaderLisa finished her Associate in Early Childhood Education and took some time off to raise her son. She went back and completed her B.S. in Behavioral Science. Lisa started out in early childhood education at HeadStart as an assistant teacher. She stayed there for 14 years going from an assistant teacher to a family support specialist and then as a manager.

She decided it was time to add more education under her tool belt. She is currently working towards her post baccalaureate teacher certification in general special education and reading and writing. She plans on continuing with Granite State to earn an additional teacher certification in order to become a reading and writing specialist.

Her advisor, Nancee Caughey, was at the presentation of the backpacks. When Lisa met with her advisor years ago for the first time she was nervous. She thought she could never be a successful college student because she was a new mom who had to work.

Nancee sat with Lisa, gave her a hug, and said that it was great to see her develop into the strong, professional woman she is today. Nancee held Lisa’s hand and said that it was wonderful to see Lisa excited about her work, doing what she loves, and involving the community to help the kids at Joshia Bartlet Middle School. Lisa thanked Nancee for being there for her in both an academic and personal sense. She continued to thank Granite State for acknowledging the hard work her middle school students are doing by providing them with materials to succeed.


dream of becoming a teacher!  

Tags: Leadership, Alumni

Going back to college with two daughters at home: Jena-Lyn's story

Posted by Granite State College on Nov 6, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Jena-Lyn has a strong vision for her future career, complete with a plan to earn her master’s degree and become a counselor that focuses on Veterans.

Right now, it’s all about being the best mother and student she can be and preparing to make her vision a reality.

JenaLynSMWeekI used to help run a few businesses and I also worked in billing. After a while, I decided it was best to focus on going back to college and raising my two daughters.

After being away from school for more than seven years, I had a better idea of my goals and the level of education I wanted to achieve those goals.

When searching online in Carroll County, the Conway location appeared in every search. I read about the courses provided at GSC and how they focus on getting students an education around work and home. It made a big difference.

Jena-Lyn appreciated how her instructors valued her life outside of the classroom and could understand her priorities.

Last summer, I had a C-section with my second daughter. During this time, my professors were outstanding. We made a plan to get my coursework settled, letting me focus on a week of taking care of my daughter without having to worry about my grade suffering.

With her associate degree completed, Jena-Lyn is continuing onto her bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in Human Services. Once completed, she wants to earn a master’s degree and become a counselor.

My dream is to open my own practice that will focus on veterans. I have family and friends who have served our country. Some never made it home; others deal with the stress of seeing a war zone. I want to give back to those that have provided this country with its freedom.

With big dreams and a busy schedule, Jena finds a lot of support in her local campus.

Without the GSC location in Conway, I would have never attended college. I met staff members who are amazing, helpful, considerate, and understands what it is like to attend college and raise a family.

In June 2015, Jena-Lyn celebrated the completion of her associate degree at Commencement with her family by her side.

It was truly a day to remember and it was nice not to be the only one feeling like they have struggled at some point during their education but are still fighting their way through completing their goals.

Congratulations. Jena-Lyn!

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

Alum lands DREAM JOB after taking online classes & earning her degree

Posted by Granite State College on Nov 5, 2015 8:56:00 AM

When Lyndele decided to return to college as an adult, she didn’t have her degree program pre-selected or a dream job in mind: she had a purpose.

LyndeleSMWeekI'd been telling my children since they were young that they'd be going to college. I shared that my lack of a degree has had a big impact on my lifetime earning potential.

When it was time for my oldest child to select a college, I realized that it was important to set a real example for them. I wanted them to see that it was possible get good grades, while still working, or pursuing their volunteer interests.

Due to constraints on her busy schedule, Lyndele needed the ability to attend all of her classes online. She began her search considering colleges and universities across the nation.

As an adult learner working full-time, I was looking for a college that understood -and valued- the unique life experiences that I would be bringing to my academic efforts.

The most important factor for me in selecting a college, however, was the importance of earning a credible degree, from a respected institution.

Lyndele settled on three colleges, one of them being Granite State.

For me, one of the best opportunities at GSC was the ability to design an Individualized Studies program. This possibility hadn't even occurred to me until I spoke with someone at GSC who took the time to talk with me about my goals and dreams.

Every step of the way in the pursuit of my degree, GSC staff were available to help me and make sure that I was staying on track for my planned graduation. From the moment that I began my program, I felt completely supported in my college career.

In the online enviroment, Lyndele was delighted to build great relationships with classmates and faculty.

One of the most satisfying aspects of being an online student was the opportunity to work with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. I “met” people working in different parts of the country and even someone taking online classes from the U.K.!

I suspect that online students are an especially motivated group: my classmates were engaged in the coursework, and the discussion boards were lively and interesting. 

Lyndele graduated in 2015 with full academic honors. She travelled to New Hampshire from her home in Virginia.

I'm proud of finally obtaining a degree, but I'm most happy about how proud my children are about my accomplishments.

I want them to see that learning is a lifetime process; that it's never too late to learn new things and take up new challenges.

Several months after the graduation ceremony, Lyndele hit another milestone: landing her dream job!

I selected Granite State College because GSC offered a way for me to create an individualized study program, tailored to my specific interests. I knew that I wanted to work in the areas of diversity and communication - having the vague idea that I'd eventually find a position that would allow me to offer training programs related to diversity issues.

I graduated four months ago, and have just been hired as the Director of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at a wonderful organization! This a HUGE career bump for me.

More importantly, I will be doing exactly what I envisioned myself doing when I started at Granite State College.

Congratulations, Lyndele!

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



Going back to college? What you should know about our faculty

Posted by Granite State College on Nov 2, 2015 10:30:00 AM

We call our instructors faculty. Our students often refer to them as mentors.

As a student, the faculty will understand your goals, challenge you in the classroom, celebrate your milestones, and support you if you encounter any challenges during your experience.

But who are they, really?

Our experienced faculty are also business leaders and practitioners in their fields.There are three qualities that make a great GSC instructor:

  1. Textbook + Tactics. We want our faculty to know the material you're covering in your textbook (the theory), but more importantly they know how to use these concepts your real-life working situations (the practice). It's all about making that connection from theory to practice!
  2. Understanding of Adult Students. Our faculty also apply principles of adult learning that recognize the educational value of bringing their students' work and life experiences into class.
  3. Use of Real Examples. Our faculty use case studies to engage students in simulations and team exercises directed at developing decision making that you can use in a work environment.

Here's a profile of an interesting and dynamic member of our faculty!

LauranStarMeet Lauran Star

Lauran is an author, public speaker, mother, coach, and CEO and Founder of LS Consulting Group. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology; a master’s in organizational psychology; and is currently working towards her Ph.D. in organizational leadership and diversity.

With little to no support from her family when she decided to go to college, Lauran joined the Army to help pay for her undergraduate degree, and then served in the Reserves for 10 years as a medic.

Lauran started teaching for GSC in the fall of 2013.

I remember getting teary-eyed during my interview… “Why do you want to work at GSC?” and I replied, “Because these are my people. I’m ex-military. I had to work for everything. These are MY people. That’s why I want to teach here.”

I went to 3 different schools, paying my own way, and just barely graduated with my undergraduate degree. I didn’t have the necessary support system, but I paid for my degree so that I could get out of the lifestyle my parents had, and that kept me going.

Does GSC offer the supports you were missing in your undergraduate journey?

Yes. I go out of my way, and know most of our faculty does the same. I really entrench myself in my students’ academic success. My students know that they can send their resume for me to review; and that I’m available to chat offline about assessments; and that I’m always there for them.

I love how much GSC supports our military students. I had a student over in Afghanistan who let me know he was going to be in “radio silence” for three weeks. Not a problem – when you get back, send me your papers. We have a bulk of military students. I think the education they’re getting at GSC fits perfectly with the military mindset, and that paradigm. They get the support they need and apply it immediately.

So, I think we do a phenomenal job.

How would your students describe you?

Dynamic. Fun. Energetic. Some would say that I’m a fair grader; not easy, but very fair. If someone has to submit (and re-submit) their assignment 15 times, I’ll look at it 15 times if that’s what it takes to ensure their understanding of the theory or application.

How would you describe your teaching style?

Kinesthetic…I don't want my students to only know theory and abstract concepts; I want them to be able to apply those skills. That is when true learning takes place. It’s not just about the grade you get; it’s how you apply the knowledge.

How are GSC students different than traditional undergraduate students?

I’ve taught at a handful of traditional universities, and the students at GSC just don’t compare. They are passionate; they want to learn; they are bright; and they bring in business experience. I love my students!

What are some words of wisdom that you would like to share with those considering going back to college?

Education empowers you. Teachers hold a responsibility to ensure their students are given the best possible education, while also fostering each student's individuality and strengths so they can find their own personal success. If you’re not learning, you’re not growing.

With that said, YOU are responsible for your success. No one else. It is solely up to you…. either reach for it, or don’t. The accountability component is huge. You’re in charge of that success, but you don’t have to go it alone, There are plenty of people willing to give you a hand. And when you achieve that success, help the next person along. Always pay it forward.

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

Tags: Adult students, Working moms, Military

Associate to Bachelor’s: Finishing College in Nashua

Posted by Granite State College on Oct 29, 2015 3:07:15 PM

“I want to graduate by the time I’m 25.” This was the goal that Jessica set for herself when she began college.

I became a mother at the age of 16. I always knew I wanted to attend college. I didn’t think it was possible after getting pregnant at such a young age.

Jessica_Cortes_RodriguezJessica received her associate degree in Human Services at Nashua Community College in 2011. As a human resources administrator at a non-profit organization in Nashua, the degree gave Jessica a great foundation to build her career and she wanted a bachelor’s degree to qualify her for even more great opportunities.

I took a year off before returning to school to obtain my bachelor’s degree. GSC was a great fit for me since it offered numerous programs that relate to my career.

With a strong focus on her career, Jessica has a strong vision for how she will use her degree to make advancements.

I assist the Director of Human Resources and I wear many hats, often taking on extra projects. There are special focus areas within HR. My current goal is to remain with my employer and use my bachelor’s degree to gain experience in some of these specialized areas like organizational analysis, employee welfare, and recruitment.

The online environment was essential for Jessica.

IJessica_Cortes_Rodriguez2’m a single mother of an eight year old boy and I work full-time. There was no way a face-to-face classroom setting could fit into my schedule. If taking online classes wasn't an option, I could not have done it.

Through Granite State’s partnership with Nashua Community College, Jessica could meet with her GSC advisor on the NCC campus, which is close to her home.

When I first sat down with my advisor, she mapped out the required courses that I’d need to take and helped show me how my credits transfer in. It was a solid plan and I felt very comfortable about getting my degree and building my career path.

By finishing college by the age of 25, Jessica met her goal! At the 2015 Commencement Ceremony, she was surrounded by loved ones to celebrate her achievement. Among them, Jessica was particularly proud of making the Dean’s List consistent, graduating with honors, and becoming the first female granddaughter from both her mom and dad's side of the family to earn a college degree (out of a total of 29 grandchildren!).

Overall, GSC allowed me to go further than I had ever imagined!



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

Tags: Adult students, Commencement 2015, Online classes, Finding balance

Inside our Master of Science in Leadership: Faculty and Winter classes

Posted by Granite State College on Oct 22, 2015 6:27:35 PM

Mark_JewellRemember when it was normal to work in the same job for 20+ years? That just isn’t our reality today. When you don’t plant roots at an organization for the long-term, sometimes it can be challenging to emerge as the leader that you want to be. This is just one reason why a master of science in leadership is valuable.

By learning about organizational relationships, leadership models, project management, and change management, you’ll be able to serve as a leader wherever you land.

What Mark Jewell, an instructor in our master of science in leadership program, wants his students to take away from his courses is the ability to view the world through a different.

I challenge them to look at how they interact with others, not only in their personal lives but their professional lives, and realize that their perspective is but just one perspective.

Mark enjoys teaching at Granite State and is continually impressed by the diversity in the classroom.

Each student brings different expectations as far as what they want to get out of the program. Some are here because they are interested in expanding their careers and others are here to augment what they’re already doing.

If you’re interested in exploring a Leadership class this Winter term, here’s a quick summary of some of the courses being offered.

LD 820 (Online, Concord)
Cultivating Your Leadership Capabilities
In this course the student is introduced a variety of unique perspectives about leadership, which will be drawn from different traditions in the literature and from which the student will select to develop his or her own model of leadership.

LD 821 (Online, Concord)
Ethical Decision-Making
The course will focus on the conflicts which arise when an individual's ethics are counter to the organization's practices.

LD 822 (Online, Portsmouth)
Maximizing Your Organization's Potential
This course will focus on the choices that are important for cultivating and sustaining an effective and efficient organization.

LD 823 (Online)
Emergence of a Strategic Leader
This course will focus on the strategy making process. Strategic leaders must consider multiple aspects when developing a strategic approach.

LD 830 (Online)
Leading Public and Non-Profit Organizations
This course examines the diverse political, economic and social contexts of how to lead in Public and Non-Profit Organizations.

LD 850 (Online, Concord)
Leadership Integrative Capstone
Students during the capstone experience will form e-learning teams of approximately 6-9 participants who will contract to support each other in their workplace project activity. Learning teams members, often assisted by a facilitator or coach, help each other make sense of their action learning project experiences in light of relevant theory.
This integrative course is the final course in the Master of Science in Leadership. All other required coursework must have been completed prior to receiving approval to register for this course.

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



Tags: Leadership, Graduate studies

Family Fun in New Hampshire: Making Time for You

Posted by Granite State College on Oct 15, 2015 2:04:00 PM

FallFamilyFunWe’re hitting peak foliage season and all around us there’s no lack of options for family fun in New Hampshire.

But the weekends are your peak time for marathon homework sessions.

Adult students have a lot on their plates - balancing work, family, and school work. When the weather's just right and there's fall fun all around you, you can really feel the pressure.

Making time for yourself and your family is important, too! There are plenty of activities that can fit in to even the busiest of schedules.

Get out there and enjoy this beautiful season in New Hampshire!

Homework can wait for a few hours.



Six Ideas for Family Fun in New Hampshire this Fall: Busy Student Edition

Pick Your Own Apples and Pumpkins

Fall is in the air, and it’s the perfect time to pick your own apples and pumpkins. Enjoy warm, freshly made apple cider donuts and a hay ride.

Advantage for students:  With the dozens of orchards and farms in New Hampshire, there’s like one close to you so you can be home in time to post to Moodle when taking online classes. 


Explore Apple Recipes

Apples are a healthy addition to any lunch box but you don’t need to stop there. Use your pickings to create another activity for the kitchen. If you’re no Betty Crocker – no worries. Try the Lazy Apple Pie recipe from Stay Work Play NewHamphire’s blog.

Advantage for students: You’ll get even more mileage and memories out of your “pickings,” and potentially something yummy to eat and talk about around the dinner table.


Extreme Field Days for Kids

Cheer on your children as they race up, over, and through obstacles. Make a day of being outdoors and active.

Advantage for students: Your kids will LOVE being the center of your attention during the event. If you’re not sure when’s the next time you’ll be able to put another fun weekend on the calendar, an Extreme Field Day is a great choice since it a high level of quality time that’s all about your kids.


Take a Hike!

The bold colors of autumn are here; get out there and enjoy them! Check out the New Hampshire State Parks for walking trails, or just walk right out your back door and into the woods to explore. Like mazes? Try navigating through a local corn maze!

Advantage for students: Trails are all around you. Whether it’s in your town or just beyond the border, you’ll be able to find a hike that’s close to home to fit both fall fun and fall coursework.


All Aboard!

Leaf-peeping has a touristy reputation to those of us in the Granite State, but don’t knock it until you try it! New Hampshire has a wide variety of scenic drives that will take it to an entirely different level. The views you'll see are literally fit a scenic New England calendar—what could be better than seeing it in person. For something more unique, check out one of the many scenic train rides offered in New Hampshire.

Advantage for students: The time spent riding around as a family is uninterrupted time together. Limit the screen time in your car, turn up the music your family loves, and for however long or short you have on your calendar, enjoy your time together.


To our current students - What's your suggestion for family fun in NH for your fellow classmates?

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

Tags: Adult students, Working moms, Finding balance

Spotlight on Veterans education benefits: the Yellow Ribbon Program

Posted by Granite State College on Oct 8, 2015 3:53:00 PM

For veterans transitioning from military to college, affordability is important. You want to make the most of your hard-earned (and well deserved!) veterans education benefits as a result of your service to our country.


If your service has you stationed in another part of the country and you’re hoping to relocate upon your transition to civilian and college life, you could encounter a financial roadblock: in-state tuition vs. out-of-state tuition. If your legal address is based in a state that’s different from your college of choice, the cost of your education (and the "mileage" you’ll get out of your benefits) can be stretched to the max.

Even though the difference between our in-state and out-state-tuition is only thirty dollars per credit, we want to help our veterans bridge this gap. We participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program to help make it happen, which can save you more than $1,500 on your bachelor's degree at GSC.

Chad is a Granite State College student living in Maine. He left the U.S. Army in November 2014 and currently benefits from the Yellow Ribbon Program. He started his search and met with their military representatives. One representative suggested Granite State, saying that it’s a great fit for veterans and has a local campus that’s close to his home in Maine.

Granite State made my transition from military to college a very easy process. After applying to Granite State, I met with the academic advisor Bette Pappa. Bette took over from there. She gave me a list of exactly what I needed to do to get my ducks in a row, as far as using my GI Bill and getting financial aid. I knew the school was in the Yellow Ribbon Program, because I did some research prior. Everything was taken care of, so I I only needed to focus on my classes.

Chad is now in his third year at Granite State completing his Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a minor in Human Resources.  

The Yellow Ribbon Program is a result of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This act created an entitlement giving Veterans in-state tuition to any school and access to money to cover some college fees.

If you reside outside New Hampshire there is no additional charge to your G.I. Bill entitlement. There are some requirements that you have to meet in order to take advantage of the Yellow Ribbon Program. Namely, being a Veteran at the 100% benefit level and having served after September 10, 2001. You receive the 100% benefit level after having served three years.


Download Our Veterans Education Benefits Checklist

Tags: Military