John is also a gifted photographer. He is also exhibiting his astrophotography at a showing at the Galleries at One Washington Center in Dover, begging the question -- Where do science and art meet?
John is also a gifted photographer. He is also exhibiting his astrophotography at a showing at the Galleries at One Washington Center in Dover, begging the question -- Where do science and art meet?
Other institutions within the University of New Hampshire System provide work-study opportunities to their students. A student may find themselves in the dining hall, washing dishes for the 2000 students who come in. One of my personal favorites is cleaning the horse barn; a twice daily ritual reserved for the lucky few work-study candidates who desire a truly hands on approach to learning.
When I go online and look-up work-study, I often see lists of benefits that college-aged students reap when they participate in the program; earn money while going to college, develop time management skills, build work ethic, etc. But the funny thing is, those are not the benefits I need to reap as an adult learner. The benefits I need to have must be geared towards my goals, incorporate my experiences and enhance my learning. So as a budding student of teacher training education, I NEED to have a place where I can foster examples of new learning for young people; I NEED to practice the skills of implementing the theory I have encountered during my course work. So I was really curious about how Granite State College work-study could benefit me.
In 2007, when I began looking into utilizing work-study funds as a means of decreasing my reliance on student loans I found that most if not all the jobs listed were in Concord and the surrounding areas. Being from the Seacoast this was a disappointing development. But as I read more I found out I could actually do meaningful work, that would also enhance my studies; utilizing work-study funds I could work in my community where I felt there was a need. This was new information for me. Did you know that work-study funds could be used in the community and not only at the college? A win-win solution.
With the help of Cortney Henry at the Financial Aid office, and the support of my employer, we created an after-school mentoring program (a desperately needed component when working with at-risk youths). Together the students and I created a concrete form for a garden bench and then went on to pour it. After the bench was finished, we then went on and created a garden area for our bench to be displayed in. It was meaningful work which fit in nicely with my degree program and it is a project which continues to grow today. It has created a lasting tribute to the students who participated in the program and they now have a tangible connection in their community. When we make purposeful connections, between people and places in our community, we then share common values which enrich us all.
Now that’s a benefit you can’t put in a pamphlet -- and after all isn’t that what learning should be about?
Well, that is what happened with the new Granite State College campus at Rochester, NH. The new campus opened two weeks ago. We were told from the beginning of the spring semester that Granite State College would be moving to a new location. It was a bit further from the seacoast, but it was a building all of its own. It was the former Cabletron building, if you knew what that was, which I didn't.
So in my head I imagined a college campus in an older building. I imagined the extra travel time. I imagined getting lost the first time I went there.
But I was so amazed! My preconceived images were so wrong. The new campus is only about 8 minutes further from the seacoast than the old campus. (So commuting is still easy for those of you from the Portsmouth area.) The building is large, very new and set out on the top of a hill like a college campus should be. The classrooms are large and have all the latest technology available. There is even a large entry area with computers available for use!
The new Rochester, NH campus is a beautiful site. It gives the feel of a college and it is a place worth visiting!
So, if you are looking for a great college experience, stop by the new Rochester campus of Granite State College.
The new address will be 35E Industrial Way, and locals know this facility as the former Cabletron building. For both faculty and students, to say that I/we are thrilled would be an understatement. This new Rochester NH College is much larger and will have substantial upgrades in classroom technology. I also expect that students will enjoy the campus feel - outside the building offers opportunities to walk around and soak up the greenspace.
For those interested, here is a sneak-peak at key Fall Term 2010 course offerings in Rochester:
Daytime Courses! (Look for our flyer and speak with an Advisor)
HIS 602, History of New England (we anticipate off-campus historical site visits)
ARTS 503, Introduction to Watercolor (to be held in our new lab classroom)
SOSC 644, Families At Risk (A special topics course with beloved Instructor, Molly Connelly)
MGMT 500, Principles of Management (kick off your Business/Management Degree)
PSY 509, Human Development (kick off your Behavioral Science Degree)
ENG 500, The Writing Process
(do you need adult college classes that fit your schedule? This course will be a "hybrid" that mixes face-to-face with online instruction)
The good news is that for the most part it will be seamless for students. You will be required to sign a New Master Promissory Note (MPN) with Direct Lending, but other than that, things will remain the same in terms of how and when the aid is disbursed.
The real change will happen behind the scenes at the Adult Financial Aid office here at Granite State College. We have been working feverishly to make sure we are ready for the July 1st deadline imposed by the government.
What was the reason behind the switch you ask? The intention is to provide increased funding for federal grant programs such as the Pell Grant. Now, rather than private lenders collecting origination fees from students and using them towards their own services, the Department of Education will now take the fees charged for the Stafford loan programs and funnel it back into the Federal Grant programs.
Also, over time, the Department of Education is planning to lower the Stafford Loan Interest rates, making educational loans more affordable for students.
In order to make the process of signing the new Direct Lending MPN easier for our students, the Office of Financial Aid will be making visits to the Rochester NH College, the Claremont NH College, the Conway NH College and the Manchester New Hampshire College to assist students and answer any questions. To find out the specific times of our visits, please contact the regional centers. Also, as always, students are welcome to stop in and see us at the Concord New Hampshire College at any time.
This perspective really captures our NH State College, and what adult college education entails.
Pics below. . .but don't forget, you still have time to register for Spring classes at our Rochester NH College and Portsmouth NH College. I should also probably mention that you can take classes at our Conway NH College. . .which is only 20 minutes down the road from where I started my hike!!
We love the success stories when we can congratulate a recent GSC graduate who has just received a promotion as a result of finishing their degree. MaryJane Lavoie, our lead Rochester advisor, passed on this wonderful story about one of our students.
Lisa Merrill first came to meet with an advisor at “College for Lifelong Learning” in the summer of 2004. She was working at the State of NH as a Family Service Specialist II, and she had already earned an Associate’s degree from McIntosh College many years earlier. But she wanted to pursue her Bachelor’s degree to be able to advance within her department at the State. She took one course per term starting in the fall of 2004, and although her progress at times seemed a bit slow (at one point dealing with a back injury and the serious illness of a family member), she steadily completed more of her requirements each year, primarily taking her courses at the Rochester Center.
She did well in her courses and made the Dean’s List for 2006-07, 2007-08, and 2008-09. By the end of the summer 2009, she had finished the last of her degree requirements, and was conferred her Bachelor of Science with a major in Management, with an Option in Leadership and Strategic Management,
at the end of December. She graduated Cum Laude and plans to attend the
Commencement ceremony in June.
Lisa has recently been promoted to a position with the State of NH Health and Human Services offices in Concord. She will be starting 4/9/10 as the Administrator I for Q/C in the Department of Improvement, Integrity and Information. This position is federally mandated as part of reviewing Food Stamp and Medical Assistance cases to make sure the guidelines and required percentages are met.
Lisa indicates that “This move would not have happened if I had not returned to school to obtain my degree.”
The Rochester GSC staff congratulates Lisa on her promotion and we all wish her much success in her new position!
But why not you? Do you realize that you could be taking courses at home on your computer instead of watching tv? You could be enrolled in a course at Granite State College right now at home, or you could be in Rochester, Concord, Manchester, or any number of locations sitting in a classroom and learning new things.
Oh, I lost you again. You say to yourself, "I can't sit in a classroom. I am too ____," (old, tired, busy..) But what if you went to class one night a week? Everyone else in the room is just as busy as you. Even most of your instructors are working somewhere else during the day. They know what it is like to juggle responsibilities. So instructors give you work that is geared to help you in your profession, classmates support one another and suddenly, TADA! You have taken your first course.
Give it a try! Granite State is a place where adult learners can grow and learn and only by giving up a tv show or two!
It was quite the treat this Saturday - I was able to join a field trip with our Enviromental Heritage class in Maine. The course is offered out of our Rochester NH College, but it also includes some time outdoors.
The course is being taught by Dan Gardoqui, and it is safe to say that he is truly a Master-Teacher. As Executive Director of White Pine Programs based in Cape Neddick Maine, Dan supplies a tremendous amount of passion, knowledge and experience in his teaching with Granite State students. He is well-known for field components in his courses - frankly, it is an aspect sought out by students. For adult college students, or students of any age, learning doesn't get any better than being outside, being active, and having a Master like Dan making science accessible.
We started our day atop Mt. Agamenticus, and ended up at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve. It seems clear that potentially abstract notions about conservation, our environment, and public policy, are transformed during class time spent in this manner. As I have written before, the New Hampshire University System through Granite State, offers such a wealth of experienes for students. Be they online classes, weekend college classes, or classes that get students outdoors, it is thrilling to offer such a range of educational experiences.
View from atop Mt. Agamenticus (York, ME):
Inside the Wells National Esturaine Research Reserve (Wells, ME):
For my students, they are almost always juggling a job with the college evening classes they are taking. Many of them are working in day care centers that don't even close before they need to be in class. Often, they are running out of work, driving up to 40 minutes, and then coming in to class. They occasionally run in even a little late because the last child was picked up late from daycare.
One thing that all this juggling causes, is a lack of time to eat. Students and faculty come from one job to another and arrive at their early childhood education classes without having eaten dinner. Often they bring something to eat in class, maybe a sandwich, a bagel, or even macaroni.
Well, these jugglers are also resourceful. In a class I taught last spring, one week a student arrived, not only with food for herself, but she brought a huge fruit salad, enough for everyone. The idea caught on and a few weeks later we were treated to homemade lasagna.
The students at Granite State are jugglers, but they are also caring. It is amazing to see how quickly students become friends, and reach out to support and help one another as they juggle all the many demands in their lives.
With a colleague from our Portsmouth NH College, we visited with one of our Faculty members that gave birth to twins this past fall. Dr. Angele Fauchier teaches behavioral science classes for Granite State College in Portsmouth and at our Rochester NH College. As Angele commented to me, being the parent of twins is her Human Development course come to life! Angele is also keeping a fantastic blog that is incredibly educational. I was thrilled to hear Angele discuss incorporating her experiences as a parent of twins into her future teaching.
Aside from marveling at what it takes to care for twins, and of couse sleep patterns, we also discussed online classes for adults, and part time classes, and being a lifelong learning college. Yet what struck me about this visit, apart from holding Angele's wonderful children, and comparing parenting stories, was the very direct connection to adult college education. Dr. Fauchier is an excellent example of what our New Hampshire State College provides: it is quite valuable to learn in small classes, with accomplished faculty teaching from experience.
I just have to say it again - twins!
I thought - well isn't that something for New Hampshire Colleges and Universities to consider. Granite State College does indeed have unique people in our classrooms bringing current, "fresh" and unique perspectives with them. I believe it was this student's view that our Faculty truly want to be in our classrooms, and offer a great deal.
This student asked me in return - so, what do I look for when I hire Faculty? Clearly I'll now be thinking about a "fresh" perspective. . .but rather than list particular qualities, I thought I would be specific. Whether you are interested in classes for early childhood education, or behavioral science or management, chances are, you might consider a Sociology class as part of your adult college degree. If that class is with Granite State College in either Rochester or Portsmouth, you could have the pleasure of hearing a "fresh" perspective from Dr. Nena Stracuzzi. Take a listen here to Nena talking about her research involving students from Northern New Hampshire. This is how we keep teaching at Granite State College fresh, and why I feel so fortunate to have individuals like Nena Stracuzzi as our Faculty.
As a part of my Adult College Education Program, I am presently taking the most wonderful class! It is called Environmental Heritage which covers a wide range of topics pertaining to our New England area.
Due to the nature of our study in this particular class, two field trips are included as part of the accredited experience. Sunday, January 31, 2010 we went on our first field trip. Did I tell you that the Instructor for this class is brilliant? Well, he is! And, the reason why I tell you this is because his brilliance, his ability to answer questions and to provide his students with good and interesting information is what set this educational experience aside for me.
I enjoyed this field trip more than any other because of the Instructor's passion for the subject matter. His amazing enthusiasm was contagious.
We first visited an actual working farm in South Hampton, New Hampshire. We had the opporutunity to pick the brain of a Farmer who is actually making his living by farming the land. In his hothouse, where we actually saw radishes growing in the ground on the last, (freezing) day of January. And, for the first time in my life I heard the word "vole" and just had to ask, "What is a vole?"
Well, let me tell you, a vole is a rodent with chopped off ears and a chopped off tail and looks like a sausage.
Farming is a tough life, but Andre is passionate and dedicated to the cause of growing his own food, knowing what and where his calories come from, and he will continue to farm as his life's work.
Adult Education Programs become relative to the individual. That is for certain.
I have never known a farmer from my generation and if I had not taken this course as a part of my Adult Education Program I might never have met Andre, at his farm in South Hampton, New Hampshire.
After our visit at the farm, we journeyed further south to Plum Island in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Have I told you how blue the sky was or how crisp the air was on that day? It was a perfect day for our brisk yet cheerful walk along the board walk to the bird screens where we looked out toward the Parker River and saw huge mounds of Marsh Grasses that we think were built by muskrats. Because the Instructor of this particular Adult Education course is so knowledgeable, combined with the fact that I was not in a good position to take notes, I have actually forgotten the name of the grasses (sorry to say). But, I did take photos for the notebook I am creating for this course.
We observed SCAT. Now, scat is not for everyone. But... this course does give you a better understanding of what scat teaches us about the habitual underpinnings of wildlife. In nature, scat marks territories and... if you look very, very closely at it.. and I mean get right down there on the boardwalk and take a look at it.. you can actually discover what the animals are eating which tells you what the food sources are for wild life in the area. So, if we recognize fox scat it is because we know what they eat and we know they are there with us ... somewhere.
I loved it best of all, when I learned aabout the squirrels and how they actually discovered maple syrup! We watched as Dan bit into a very old Red Maple tree with lots of "bruises" on it. He then told us how squirrels bite into the tree to eat the sap. It was by watching squirrels do this and asking why, that sap was discovered, reducing it was discovered and Maple Syrup was born.
My Adult Education Program is a gift from my husband but it is so much more than that to me because I just love the learning process. So far, I have taken Portsmouth NH classes and Rochester NH classes through Granite State College and I am very happy with them. I make every effort to get the most out this experience as I can.
Learning is vital to my experience of Adult College Education. It is one of the joys in my life.
I have a great appreciation for all New Hampshire colleges and universities, but when you combine small seminar-style classes, the ability to meet and talk with former NH Poet Laureates, all through evening college classes, it adds up to a unique teaching and learning environment. We of course have adult online degrees, and yes, affordable Bachelors degrees, but there is something particular about this NH State College. I observed a particular dynamic between this noted children's book author and the students in Children's Literature. The questions, the intent look on each face, and the transformation of something abstract to something alive is why Granite State College is the college for lifelong learning, and the center of adult education.
G is for Granite (State College):
L - R:
John B. Cook, GSC Faculty Coordinator; Poet and Author Marie Harris; GSC Faculty Member Heidi Zollman
Students currently in the CCSNH come out and see Outreach Coordinators at your respective campuses the first week in February. The University of New Hampshire System is holding Transfer Fairs at each campus. On Friday, February 5th I will be at Great Bay Community College for Rochester NH college and Portsmouth NH college students. Check out www.nhtransfer.net to look at transfer options.
Students currently at York County Community College, I will be visiting your campus on February 10th. Stop by and learn more about taking classes online, night college classes or
teacher training education.
Hope to see you on the road!