CONCORD, N.H. – The New Hampshire Department of Education today welcomed the inaugural and pilot class of New Hampshire Career Academy. The innovative partnership between high schools, community colleges, and local businesses offers students entering their senior year of high school a chance to earn their high school diploma and as Associates Degree at no cost. In September, 12 students will start classes at five community colleges across New Hampshire in the following programs:
* Great Bay Community College
* Criminal Justice
* Finance and Accounting
* Lakes Region Community College
* Culinary Arts
* Manchester Community College
* Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing
* Advanced Manufacturing
* New Hampshire Technical Institute
* Mechanical Engineering
* Engineering Technology
* River Valley Community College
* Medical Lab Technician
“Last year we announced the creation of the New Hampshire Career Academy, an innovative program that allows for students in New Hampshire schools to receive a high school diploma, associate’s degree, and a guaranteed job interview – all at no extra cost to the student or taxpayer,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “I applaud the inaugural class for embarking on this new, innovative educational path. It’s a win for students, families, and the businesses that power our economy.”
“I’m a hands-on learner and I really like the manufacturing class I took at MST,” says Andrew Coutu from Bedford, who will be enrolling in Mechanical Engineering at NHTI this fall. “My MST teacher told me about this opportunity and it really intrigued me.”
Isabella Edwards from Madbury will be studying Criminal Justice at Great Bay Community College.
“I was drawn to the Career Academy as it was the best opportunity for me pursue my passion for Criminal Justice,” Edwards says. “From a young age, I have been confident in my future in this field, which is not something that is expected of a younger individuals. But this program has given me the option to pursue my education in a personalized, timely, and affordable manner.”
“I applaud these students for taking control of their own educations,” said Gov. Chris Sununu. “New Hampshire Career Academy is a new, innovate path to education and careers. It shows what’s possible when we are willing to step outside the status quo.”
Twin brothers Nicholas and Nathan Spires of Salem have both been accepted into New Hampshire Career Academy. Nicholas will be enrolled in Engineering Technology at NHTI, and Nathan will be enrolled in Finance and Accounting at Great Bay Community College.
“We’ve been saving for college since they were infants,” says their mother, Margaret Spires. “If they can do this program and transfer to a four-year college, and come out of it with no debt, that would be fantastic.”
Spires says she learned about the program on Facebook, and asked the Salem High School guidance department for help with the application process.
“The first class of New Hampshire Career Academy students are choosing their own paths to bright futures, and demonstrating the potential of the program for students to follow,” said Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut. “Uncertainty about going back to school in the fall makes this a challenging time to start a pilot program, so I salute these ambitious students for helping us launch New Hampshire Career Academy.”
New Hampshire Career Academy students enter the program at the start of their senior year of high school, and complete both their high school graduation requirements and associate degree or certificate program requirements two years later, equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in their chosen career. Tuition costs are paid to the Community College System of New Hampshire through the state’s charter school formula. Other costs are picked up by local business partners, who also provide internships, work experience, and job interviews as part of the New Hampshire Career Academy program. North Country Charter Academy in Littleton will serve at the custodial high school for these students, who will attend classes on the community college campuses. New Hampshire Career Academy courses are offered at no cost to students, and no additional cost to New Hampshire taxpayers.