NH Career Academy: Bridge for students to ‘free’ college and beyond

Implementation team moving forward with New Hampshire Career Academy

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Community College System of NH 7 colleges and their associated academic centers. CCSNH

CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Education and the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) announced the formation of a multi-disciplinary implementation team to move forward with the innovative New Hampshire Career Academy.

NHCA is focused on bringing free post-secondary learning and career pathway opportunities to many Granite State students. The academy consists of a public charter high school created within the state’s community college system that will work to ensure seniors receive a high school diploma, an industry recognized credential, an associate degree in a related field and, when successfully through the program, a job interview with a New Hampshire company.

The implementation team will consist of representatives from the NH DOE and CCSNH, as well as educators involved in career and technical centers, administrators from local high schools, and business leaders looking to fill employment positions in high-quality careers.

Coordinating with educators, officials, and business leaders, the implementation team will work to bring to fruition the idea based on success of a pilot program created by Dean Graziano, extended learning opportunity coordinator at Spaulding High School in Rochester.

“We are super excited about the response the student-centered New Hampshire Career Academy concept has received since Gov. Sununu spoke about the idea during his inauguration address on Thursday,” said Frank Edelblut, the commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education. “This implementation team will be equipped with stakeholders with all of the necessary experience to get the academy up and running so that Granite State students can build bright futures for themselves.”

Career Academy could become a reality in other New Hampshire communities including Manchester — it would require the school district to partner with CCSNH and local business entities. The implementation team will be working toward helping other communities replicate the success of the Rochester pilot.

Dr. Ross Gittell, the chancellor of the Community College System of NH, said the system looks forward to working with the NH DOE, Gov. Chris Sununu, and the Legislature on the academy concept.

“Every NH student should have available paths to educational attainment and a rewarding career with mobility and personal meaning,” Gittell said. “There is no one size that fits all, and we are actively partnering on initiatives with high schools and industry that support student success. Our plan is to proceed on a pilot program basis, to appropriately address specific challenges and questions that may arise with program implementation with the goal to make sure that we’re providing meaningful student experiences and successful student academic and career outcomes.”

“It is incumbent upon all of us to do our utmost to create the brightest futures possible for New Hampshire’s children,” Sununu added. “New Hampshire Career Academy is an innovative initiative that is a going to be a win not only for students but for parents and taxpayers. Over the past 24 hours, we have received overwhelming support for the initiative, and I am excited that we are assembling a diverse team of supportive stakeholders and experts who I am confident will implement this program to get it up and running for New Hampshire’s children.”

Below is a draft overview of the New Hampshire Career Academy: