Top 10 reasons GSC is a great college for working moms

Posted by Granite State College on May 20, 2015 1:29:00 PM
Top 10 reasons GSC is a great college for working momsAs a working mom, you don’t have much free time. Your life is divided between career and family. A normal day starts early, ends late, and is typically full of dramas, deadlines, and an occasional commotion.

Is it gratifying? You bet! Can it be a bit overwhelming? Absolutely. But, you deserve, and can have, a fulfilling family life and a career that inspires you to be the best version of yourself and an example for your kids.

If you aspire to have a thriving work-life balance, here are the top 10 reasons why GSC is a great college for working moms:

  1. Focused on Adult Students
    Granite State College is devoted to the working adult who is trying to advance their life and career. It’s been their mission since 1972 and will always be their top priority.

  2. Flexible Schedules
    Students can take courses that won’t take them away from the important things in life, like being with their families.

  3. The Academics
    The degree programs are comprehensive with classwork that will add to your professional development.

  4. High-Quality
    In its annual compilation of “Best Online Degree Programs,” U.S. News & World Report awarded Granite State College three top rankings for 2015. In both categories, GSC is the #1 ranked institution in New Hampshire.

  5. The Faculty
    GSC’s instructors are active in their industries and experts in their fields. You’ll be exposed to real world practical skills with lessons that are inspired by true experiences (not just textbooks), making your learning so much more interesting.

  6. The Opportunities
    Students can begin with an associate program and progress all the way through a bachelor’s or even a master’s degree - all at one institution.

  7. ELEVEN Locations in New Hampshire and Online 24/7
    Students don’t have to travel far to get to class, and online learning is always available.

  8. Supportive Environment
    The staff is always eager to answer students’ questions by phone, email, or otherwise.

  9. Great Value for such an Important Investment
    Granite State College offers the most affordable bachelor’s degree in New England. With a focus on affordability and a focus on accessibility, Granite State College offers additional qualities that make a bachelor’s degree even more affordable.

  10. True Balance
    In today’s complex world, not many people have extra time or money to invest in education. With GSC’s flexibility and affordability, many will find the opportunity they’ve been looking for so they can move their career forward, bettering themselves and their families.
Download our course schedule. Learn how you can start or return to college.


Tags: Affordability, Adult students, Working moms

Celebrating International Nurses Day and our RN to BSN degree program!

Posted by Granite State College on May 12, 2015 5:34:00 PM

If you think about the balancing act that a nurse has in their everyday life and compare it to the balancing act that a working adult student manages, you’ll see a lot of cross-over.


This made introducing an RN to BSN degree program at GSC a natural fit. We specialize in flexibility and that’s a must for a busy nurse’s schedule.

We awarded our very first awarded Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees at the 2014 Commencement and we will see even more graduate this year. The program continues to grow, so we’re excited to jump in on the National Nurses Day celebrations!

What better way to reflect than to share our students’ journeys!

Amy LaForest of Hopkington, NH, was one of the first nurses in the program:

Years ago, I left a BSN program after I had secured a job at a hospital. Today, most hospitals prefer a bachelor’s degree for their nursing staff so I wanted to finish what I started.

The RN to BSN program started with the insights, feedback, and ideas of an advisory board made up of nursing and patient care experts.

They are the people who understand exactly what their industry needs. They serve as supervisors and hiring managers who mentor their organization’s next qualified nursing professional.

Serving on this board is Marjorie Wiggins, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Maine Medical Center.

 I am very impressed with the caliber of the RN to BSN curriculum. It captures the contemporary areas of focus our nursing professionals need in today’s health care environment.

The program has both online and in-class courses, making it easier for full-time RNs to fit it into their busy schedules.

Loretta Holmes, an RN at a long-term care facility in Portsmouth was one of the very first nursing graduates.

I love this program because I can do it while I’m working. It gives me the flexibility. The fact there are four semesters in a year helps, too. You can get through the program quicker, which is great. I love it and I really enjoy it.

Laurel Corson of Contoocook adds:

An important part of being a nurse is being able to practice autonomy. The online courses have allowed me to be autonomous in my home life, work life, and in school while having the support of the faculty.

To the nurses in our community – we appreciate you!


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

Tags: Adult students, Finding your passion, Nursing

Teacher appreciation week! Celebrating teacher certification students

Posted by Granite State College on May 8, 2015 4:46:00 PM

In our student community, there are some inspirational students with ambitious goals.

Kayt, an aspiring teacher, is one of these individuals.

Forced to drop out of high school due to a serious illness, Kayt completed high school independently and began college as an adult student.

Kayt - GSC teacher certification and bachelor degree student

By the time I was ready to start my degree, I was already in my 20s and it took me a long time to gain the confidence to start college.
I looked at most of the options in New Hampshire. When I saw Granite State College, it was the most affordable but it was also the most accessible for me. I knew I couldn’t go to a college where I had to be in class every day, all day. I needed to work. I needed to be in the real world because I lived on my own and supported myself.

Even after Granite State College emerged as Kayt’s top choice, beginning the process wasn’t so simple.

I was terrified. Even after I had determined that GSC was the best place for me, I was still terrified to take the next step. One of my biggest fears was college math. Math was the only course that I ever failed in high school because I’m dyslexic and miscalculate.

Upon meeting with an Academic Coach, Kayt learned that the fears she held were all challenges that she could handle.


My Academic Coach organized a study session for myself and a few other students to study for the Accuplacer test. With a passing score, this would allow me to have to take one math course instead of two, which was ideal. She really made it happen for me.

In 2014, Kayt graduated with a bachelor’s degree with teacher certification and will pursue a career as an elementary school teacher.

I want others who are considering GSC to know how easy it is to start. If you work hard and you show that you’re determined, every single person at GSC who can is going to help you. That’s been my experience.

The illness that caused Kayt to drop out of high school still plays a role in her life and has affected her as a student at Granite State College.

I have SLE lupus, which is the most severe kind you can have. I even had to withdraw one term because of it. I am even able to accomplish everything even struggling with that disease, which often times is debilitating.
There’s really no reason to fear whatever roadblocks are standing in your way. At GSC, it really comes down to how encouraging the professors are and how wonderful and flexible the college is—they are here to support you when you’re ready to go for it!

With her degree and teacher certification, Kayt is off in the “real world” growing her career in education!

To Kayt and the many other GSC teachers – we appreciate you!


  dream of becoming a teacher!


Tags: Teacher certification, Finding your passion

Q&A – The financial aid information you need to know

Posted by Granite State College on Apr 30, 2015 4:26:00 PM

Facebook_FinancialAid_QA_imgThe relationship between students and financial aid is always complicated.

Financial aid can be the game-changer that puts a college degree within your reach. But, questions and misconceptions can prevent you from understanding financial aid in its entirety.

It’s a push and pull. It’s important for you to understand the intricacies of financial aid, but it's a challenging topic.

The blog team sat down with financial aid to get answers to common questions. We learned about lesser-known financial aid issues that every student should know about.


Most Common Question

What does it take to qualify for Financial Aid?
First, you need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the U.S. government’s requirement for eligibility, and what college’s use to determine financial aid award packages.
We’re lucky in that a good chunk of our students do qualify for Pell Grants. With the Pell Grant, federal grant, and state grant, it’s enough to cover a lot of your tuition, fees, and books, so that is definitely a benefit.


The FAFSA is the first step to getting federal financial support for college. It has a reputation for being confusing and hard to complete but in reality, most students complete it in 30-45 minutes.

To get started you should have access to your most recent tax information (more on this later) and a secure, reliable internet connection.

Tell me more about the tax information that I’ll need to complete my FAFSA?
There are basic facts and figures about your earnings that you need to transfer over to your FAFSA. You can do this in two ways: use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or obtain a tax return transcript from the IRS and type in the information manually.
What if I haven’t done my taxes yet?
It’s always better to use estimated tax information and get the FAFSA done early. Later on, you can return to your FAFSA and update it after you do your taxes.
What is the Data Retrieval Tool? How do I use it and how does it work?
It allows you to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete your FAFSA, and transfer the data directly into the FAFSA from the IRS website.
For most students, the Data Retrieval Tool is a fairly straightforward way to pull your tax information from the IRS and just dump it right into your FAFSA.
There are two things that can go wrong when using the Data Retrieval Tool.
You have to be able to type in your address exactly as it was on the tax return. So if you spelled out “Road” on your taxes, you’ll have an issue if you use the abbreviation “Rd.” during authentication. If you moved recently, enter the address that you would've put on your taxes, even if you have a new permanent address.
The name on your taxes needs to be consistent, too. So if you got married, separated, divorced, or had a change in your head of household—any of those things—be aware. The Data Retrieval Tool needs you to provide an exact match.
There is good news. The IRS has upgraded their online support so students can visit their website and actually print out their tax return transcript. The transcript will be a full view of everything that you put on your taxes, so you won’t have any guess work. You used to have to call or go down to the IRS to request this information. Then, it could take 2-3 weeks for the IRS to mail it to you. Now if they go to, you can get your tax return transcript right away.
But a heads up... You need to authenticate yourself on this website, too. If you had authentication issues with the Data Retrieval Tool, make sure you have these straightened out. Even so, getting the tax return transcript is now a really good option to be aware of.
Submit Button
The other common issue with the Data Retrieval Tool is that people will complete the entire process, but forget to hit submit. If you miss this step, your tax information never populates the FAFSA.
How long does it take to process my FAFSA?
During our normal awarding cycle, it takes about 2-3 weeks for the Federal Government to process your FAFSA and send it over to GSC’s Financial Aid office. Within 24 hours of us pulling in that information, you’ll have your financial aid award. We pull in the FAFSAs every day, and we award every day.
The timeline is slightly different when we’re approaching a new awarding cycle. Basically, financial aid follows a fiscal year starting on July 1st. Let's say you apply for financial aid in February, but you won’t be taking classes until the Fall term in September. Our office can't process the financial aid award until we’re a little bit closer to the new awarding cycle. We wait until the Spring term to switch everything over to the new financial aid year and the new awarding cycle. By the time registration opens for Summer classes (the first term in the new financial aid year), you’ll have your financial aid award.

Academic Association
Academic performance has an important impact on financial aid eligibility. I don’t think that students always get the connectedness between the two.

What are the scenarios where my academics can affect my financial aid?
If you drop a course, but never actually make it official (e.g. an administrative failure), you may lose some of your financial aid and owe the college the difference. The other scenario is satisfactory academic progress. To continue to get financial aid, students need to balance a certain GPA and complete a percentage of attempted credits.
Some of these examples seem severe. As long as you take your courses seriously and do your best, your financial aid will be fine.

The best thing students can do for their financial aid

Don’t take out more loans than what you need
Just because you’re eligible for a certain amount of money doesn’t mean you should take it. Pay very close attention to what you take out in loans—the huge refund checks aren’t necessarily worth it.
If you constantly use the maximum in loans, you can potentially run out of financial aid money and not have enough to reach the finish line.
Sometimes, students never get this message so when the funds are dry, they’re taken by surprise.
Changing your plans? Call us, we’ll help!
If there are any changes to your academic plan, like taking a semester or two off, communicate to us early and often. This will help maximize your financial aid dollars.

This is just a sampling of common questions and answers.
If you want to discuss personal financial aid information, call our team at 888-228-3000 ext 392 or email


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

Tags: Affordability, Financial aid

Alumni Update: Heather becomes a teacher

Posted by Granite State College on Apr 13, 2015 12:30:00 PM

The Summer 2015 course schedule features an inspiring and bright recent GSC graduate, Heather.

We recently had the opportunity to get an update from Heather! Learn more about what she has been doing since graduating last year.

Heather's starts her journeyHeather_grad

Carpenter Elementary School in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire is a place I know well.

As a young mom who was new to the area, I first visited Carpenter Elementary 17 years ago while holding the sweaty palm of my nervous five-year-old son, Everett. I felt warmth and acceptance from the principal, kindergarten teachers, and staff as I set foot inside. Many years later my daughter Allison attended Carpenter and now my nine-year-old son who is in third grade is there as well. 

This year was different. When I entered those big front doors and walked across the gleaming hard floors, I was the kindergarten teacher. I was reaching out and welcoming my new young students and their families, assuring them of the exciting journey of learning we would all be taking together. 

Life is a journey and though the path may have detours along the way, it is these detours and tests of faith that mold us into who we are. On my journey to finish my degree and become a teacher the single most important thing I would say to myself is, “Heather, don’t give up! You can do this.” 



Heather perseveres

Did I have doubts? Yes, of course. But fortunately, I had professors at Granite State College who believed in me and encouraged me every step of the way (Christine Thompson at the Conway campus and Claude Caswell at the Rochester campus to name just a few).  I was also able to do much of my coursework by taking online classes because of GSC's education programs.

When I heard our district was going to all day kindergarten in the fall of 2014, I kicked my studies into high gear. I wanted to be considered a candidate for a possible full-time kindergarten teacher. Though I knew there was no guarantees, I knew I needed to get my ducks in a row in order to be considered for  a position.

Up until this point I was taking two courses a term and working as a paraprofessional during the school year and was a camp director during the summer. This was in addition to being a mother of three busy children and wife, my two most important jobs. With the assistance of GSC, we mapped out what classes and tests I would need to take over the course of 4 terms in order to finish.

Heather_FamilyHeather shows determination

I took four classes each term, studied and passed the Praxis and Pearson’s Foundation of Reading test, and had many nights my head would not touch the pillow until well after 2 a.m. I kept these late nights in order to limit the impact on my family as I accelerated my course load.

Though Mount. St. Laundry was a permanent fixture in all of our bedrooms and crock meals were a staple, I mustered up every piece of strength and courage within myself to forge ahead and finish my degree and certification.  

I finished my college journey last summer with a bachelor’s in early childhood education with NH teaching certification. 

A kindergarten position did become available and with my portfolio in hand and on a USB drive (thank you GSC School of Education), I applied and interviewed for the position

Heather becomes a teacher

When the principal spoke to me and offered me the position, I had to catch my breath before answering as the tears of hard work and perseverance started rolling down my cheeks. I did it!   

Today I am proud and fortunate to be the kindergarten teacher of eighteen wonderful students. 

Heather's Advice

Dreams really can come true you just need to take that first step. You are worth it!



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

Tags: Teacher certification, Finding your passion, Alumni

Thank your loved ones at Commencement 2015

Posted by Granite State College on Apr 10, 2015 4:54:00 PM

Hey Class of 2015!

Are you looking forward to your big day on June 7, 2015?

The journey to graduation is unique for Granite State College students. We're a college that embraces busy, working students. Throughout the process of completing a college degree, you often rely on your friends and family for support. These people have been with you every step of the way and we're sure they'll be there at graduation, too.

Don't they deserve some love?

We think so!

For the first time ever, we've developed a really cool way for students to thank their friends and family at graduation. These messages will be displayed on the big screen for everyone in the audience to see as you get ready in your cap and gown prior to the ceremony.

Here are some examples of how these messages will look:

Option #1 (with your picture):


Option #2 (if you're camera shy):



This is amazing!! How do I submit my message?

It's easy - we promise!

1. Find a photo (optional)
Either find your favorite picture that you have saved on your computer or snap a selfie. We have three golden rules, here: format, file size, family friendly.
As long as you follows these rules, your photo will be included! If it does not fit these guidelines, a text-only message will display instead.
The photo must be in .jpg format (which is the most common).
File size
File size must be at least 2 MB. If not, the quality of the image will be too blurry to display on the Jumbotron.
To find out the file size of an image that is stored on your computer:
  • Open the file where the image is saved.
  • Place your cursor over the image icon, and right-click if you are using a PC or Ctrl-click if you are using a Mac.
  • Choose Properties.
  • Click the Details tab.
  • Scroll down to the File section - To view the image file size. Keep in mind a KB is smaller than an MB.

Family Friendly

The audience at graduation will range from infants to the elderly, so please choose a photo that will be in good taste for all attendees.

2. Fill out the form
Click here to access the form. You'll provide your name, hometown, degree type, and major. You'll also type in your message to your loved ones (25 words or less) and upload your photo.
Pro tip:  spell check, spell check, spell check!
3. Review your information
If any of the required sections are not completed, you'll be prompted to fill it in again and re-upload your picture (sorry!). We encourge you to get it right the first time to prevent this scenario.
4. Submit!
It's easy as that! You'll receive a confirmation email after you complete the form.
Deadline:  Monday, May 25, 2015

We're really excited to offer this interactive component to our 2015 Commencement Ceremony and we can't wait to put it together!

Tags: Commencement 2015

Spring term kickoff and advice for new students

Posted by Granite State College on Apr 9, 2015 2:18:00 PM

It’s the first week of classes for the Spring 2015 term at Granite State College!

Getting tips and advice can help you stay organized and on track throughout the term will be valuable whether you're taking your first, fourth, or fourteenth class.

To help set the pace for a successful semester, especially for those just starting or returning to college, we asked our faculty and staff to offer their best advice for new students.

Blog_Happy-First-Week_imgCommunicate, communicate, communicate

If you have questions or just want to have a point or two clarified, definitely reach out to your instructor. There is a ton of information to take in at the beginning of the term:  new material, new deadlines, new goals. Your instructors understand this reality.

Whether it’s on your syllabus or not, consider asking questions and addressing anything that seems confusing as part of your assignments for week #1 of your course.

In this case, it pays off to over-communicate versus under-communicate. Don't worry about whether it's a "silly" question. If there's something that's preventing you from fully understanding your responsibilities, it's worth asking.


Create a master calendar

Once you have deadlines for the term, record all of the dates that are important to you over the next few months. A few things to consider…

  • Course due dates
  • Academic calendar (GSC holidays, Add/drop, etc.)
  • Your personal vacation
  • Appointments (doctor, car service, hair salon, dentist)
  • Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day
  • Graduation celebrations and other family get-togethers
  • Your kids’ school vacation days, weekly activities, and last day of school
  • A little "me time" for some relaxing, fitness, or family time
  • The season finale of your favorite TV shows or a a few Red Sox games. If you don't want to miss it, lock in the date and time so you don't feel under pressure/


No matter what you’re studying, find a way to draw a connection between your life and the subject of your course. This can be tough when you're taking a general education requirement, but the pay off is big for a few reasons:

  • You will gain more valuable take-aways
  • Class discussions will come alive
  • Your instructor will learn more about your interests and be able to provide mor relevant and helpful advice
  • It will foster a sense of community with your classmates

Know where to go for tech support.

GSC can provide support and resources to get you back on track if you’re having technology issues. For log in related questions, get in touch with IT Department by visiting or call 1-888-372-4270.

If you're taking online courses, make sure you're comfortable in Moodle, GSC’s online learning system. Anytime throughout the term, you can check out our self-paced tutorial on to get a refresher on how it all works.


What is your advice for a successful term? 


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

Tags: Student success tips

The real benefits of taking online classes (from our online students!)

Posted by Granite State College on Apr 1, 2015 5:30:00 PM

If online classes are a mystery to you, you probably have questions about what they’re are really like. Our blog team could certainly put together a fact sheet to help demystify online learning but to really get at the heart of the matter, we went directly to the source: we asked our current online students what they think.

Online_learningSpecifically, we wanted to know: what are the benefits of taking online classes? They described what students can expect and explained that the advantages from their perspective.

The feedback was awesome!

Some students summarized the benefits in a few simple words and others submitted multiple paragraphs, rich with nitty gritty details.

We compiled their responses and have summarized them here. If you’re considering an online class and you’ve been looking for more information about the experience, check out our top five takeaways.


The real benefits of taking online classes (from online students!)

  1. Real interaction. Real community.

For someone who has only taken traditional courses, it’s hard to imagine not having the feedback and energy of a room full of classmates. Believe it or not, the interaction and deep sense of community was talked about a lot among are online students. The instructors are known for incorporating new tools that allow the class to have deep discussions and interactions that are on par (if not greater), than what you’d experience face-to-face. In some classes, you’ll use the chat function and have real-time discussions with the professor and your classmates. When it comes to doing presentations, many courses use Kaltura—a video tool that allows you to upload videos of your presentation to share with your class. These tools all emphasize group participation and aim to help online students build real relationships.


  1. Time to reflect

Have you ever been in a meeting or had a group discussion and thought of the perfect way to add to the conversation after the fact? One advantage of taking a class online is that you don’t need to miss these opportunities. If you think of a really insightful perspective a day after your post—guess what, you can log in and post your new idea that very same week. Overall, you’ll be less rushed to provide the perfect post and you can edit your work along the way.


  1. You save money

Without the back and forth to a campus, you’ll definitely save money on gas. You won’t need to pay to park at a large campus garage or pay room and board. At the end of the semester, the savings can really add up.


  1. It’s flexible

If there are parts of your life that you just can’t reschedule such as a full-time job or caring for your family, online classes are worth looking into. You can go online from your own home at a time that is convenient for you anytime throughout the week so you can balance all your responsibilities. Instead of fitting everything else around your classes, your classes fit into your priorities and responsibilities. Instead of locking in Tuesdays from 6-9:30 p.m. on your calendar each week, you fit in your study time based on what makes sense to you: an hour here, an hour there, a block of time on your days off.


  1. It will reveal or strengthen professional skills

One student shared that taking courses online helped him build up his writing skills. If you think about it, some professionals have jobs that are more hands-on and rarely require writing at all. An online class can really help you perfect this skill. It’s not just about writing, either. You’ll learn about technology, sharpen your time management, and overall communication skills. These are all qualities that businesses are looking for in their employees and will help you when you’re in the market for your next big career opportunity.


Like any other undertaking, learning online is what you make of it. Like every single college course, it will require organization, self-discipline, and hard work. You’ll learn a lot, and even expand your professional portfolio of skills in new and unexpected ways.


What is your favorite part about online learning?


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


Tags: Register for classes, Online classes

Choosing a graduate program: what they don’t tell you

Posted by Granite State College on Mar 26, 2015 2:10:00 PM

Think about purchasing a home

Grad_school_check_blog_graphic-696454-editedlt’s an enormous investment and when you’re in the market, you invest a lot of yourself in that search. You chat with friends and family who have recently gone through the experience. You can do a ton of research online. You can even download apps that will show you listings that fit your exact criteria. On top of that, you can get a real estate agent who you trust and will work hard to find your dream home.

Now think about enrolling for a master’s degree.

It’s not quite as expensive as purchasing a home (hopefully!), but it’s another important and very personal search. You can once again ask for the advice of your loved ones. You can search online, read lists of rankings and reports, and discuss it with a representative from the College or University.

But when there’s a selection of programs that will suit your needs, the search suddenly becomes infinitely more complicated.

The tricky part (and the part nobody really talks about) is that local colleges are really working hard to develop high quality, relevant, and affordable degree programs and they’re doing a great job. They’re making their programs more affordable, more convenient for working professionals, and easier to access.

It creates a good news/bad news scenario for potential students: having options is amazing but it can be a huge challenge when it’s not clear which one to pick.

Does this sound familiar? What can you do to move forward with choosing a graduate program?

Think real estate: you’re the buyer and the potential graduate programs are the motivated sellers. Just like a real estate agent would steer you away from properties outside of your criteria, you can take this approach when finding your master’s degree program.

Of course it’s not easy to separate yourself from the search process. A real estate agent doesn’t have to live in the house they sell to a client—they don’t need to live with the result. You however will be deeply tied to the result of your master’s degree search, so how do you shift your approach?

We put together our tips for executing your search for a master’s program with the focus and determination of a real estate powerhouse.

Here are five steps to becoming your own college search agent.

1. Criteria – what are your “must haves”?

To think like a college search agent, you’ll need to be highly aware of which features are the most important to you. Is it affordability? How quickly do you want to start? Do you want to study online or on campus or both? How soon do you want to earn a degree? Do you want a broad program that’s applicable in any field or a niche area of study? Are you willing to take a GRE or GMAT?

2. Rank it.

Distractions happen. We have all gone to the grocery store and purchased items that weren’t on our original list. Maybe you had the intention of buying the generic version and ended up with the name brand instead. In most cases… no biggie. But you don’t want this to happen with your college search—you can potentially lose time, money, and experiences that you would’ve really valued.

The beauty of developing your criteria and ranking it is that you build up a natural defense against these distractions.

3. Stick to your guns and limit negotiations

Referring back to the real estate analogy for a moment… if having a yard is a must then a good real estate agent is not going to show the client a house on a postage stamp-sized lot.

Let’s say that your top priority is to finish a degree in less than two years. You’re also interested in programs that offer diverse electives, but that’s further down your list. If you happen upon a program with amazing elective courses that you’d love to study but the program takes four years to complete, you’ll need to stay true to your criteria. It’s a tough call, but it allows you to stay focused on your goals.

Only consider the most relevant “listings” so you don’t end up giving your attention to master’s degree programs that won’t ultimately make you happy. Critically examine your criteria alongside the features of the potential master’s degree programs and aim to narrow it down to two or three.

4. Narrow it down and inquire

When your list of potential schools is whittled down, it’s a great time to reach out.

With your refined criteria and your ability to stick to these parameters, you’ll be able to forge a really productive conversation with representatives from your master’s degree program.

Be sure to have your criteria handy. If you’re speaking with someone on the phone, have it nearby. If you’re meeting face-to-face, bring it in a padfolio. We already addressed how it’s easy to get distracted. It’s also easy to forget to ask a question that’s important to your decision.

5. Make your choice!

At this point, you should have one or two programs that fit your needs. Use your criteria (or at this point, your gut instinct) to make your final choice and submit your applications.

And of course, congratulate yourself! You found your master’s degree program and you didn’t even have to pay a finder’s fee (college searching is so much better than house hunting!).


With the added structure you get from thinking like an agent, you can feel confident that you’re moving in the right direction as you narrow down your options.

Download Winning your Grad School Search Checklist and move closer to choosing a graduate program.

Click her to download a free checklist for your grad school search


Tags: Graduate studies

Interested in becoming a teacher? Learn how one graduate is making a difference in Coos county

Posted by Granite State College on Mar 19, 2015 7:30:00 PM


Have you ever asked a teacher why they chose a career in education? In their explanation, they’re sure to exude passion for their work. Even if you know that teaching isn’t for you, hearing a teacher’s answer will often have you feeling inspired. did a great job at bottling this energy when they put together a blog of their top "7 Reasons Why Becoming a Teacher is Awesome:"

  1. Be a leader kids can look up to
  2. Give kids the skills they need to compete in a challenging global market
  3. Create new and innovative lesson plans
  4. Become an expert in your subject
  5. Be the most important person to many families
  6. Fulfill your true calling
  7. Shape our future

There’s a strong common thread here. Becoming a teacher is all about making a difference.

Granite State College has the opportunity to be a small part of a teacher’s journey. It’s something that means a lot to the institution.

The facts and figures show that our education students are working in almost every single school district in the state. A recent report announced that teachers from our programs have an 85% hire rate in New Hampshire.

This is incredible reach that makes GSC proud, but there’s just something different and powerful when you see this impact in action.

This is how we felt when alumna Sue Cloutier was in the news for being Named Recipient of the Sylvia Evans Award. Cloutier received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from Granite State College.

"I have been working with young children since before mine were even born and I continue to do it because I know that child care providers do the most important job in the world," Cloutier said.

"We have both the responsibility and the ability to influence children's entire lives. We are helping to raise the future leaders of our community. Every day in the field of early childhood education there is a new adventure. That is what captured my interest early on and what has kept me in the field for over 30 years," she said.

Cloutier emerged as the 2015 honoree for building a true legacy in her community. In her career as a teacher, she has served a leadership role and at the Gorham Community Learning Center and the Early Childhood Education Center at White Mountains Community Center.

Becoming a teacher is all about making a difference, just as Sue Cloutier has demonstrated. Congrats, Sue! We hope your story inspires others!

dream of becoming a teacher!

For our current and future teachers, what reasons inspire you to pursue this career?

Thank you to the Berlin Daily Sun's Barbara Tetreault for covering Sue Cloutier’s accomplishments!


Tags: Teacher certification, Alumni, In the news