As Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Deanna Friedman enjoys helping students achieve their goals. She worked in a variety of public and private colleges before joining Great Bay in 2012.
Q: What motivates you? Why do you do what you do?
A: I love helping people reach their goals, which sounds incredibly corny, but it’s really true. I also love helping people figure out what those goals are. That’s the first step. They don’t know what they need to do, but they know they need to do something different.
Q: From your perspective, why is Great Bay a good option for transfer students on either side of the process, transferring in or transferring out?
A: It is interesting that we serve that dual role. We are equally adept at handling a student who comes in after having spent some period of time at another college, usually a four-year, as we are at handling a student who decides a four-year isn’t the right experience to start with, but they want a bachelor’s degree. They know we are the right place to start, and they will transfer out at some point. What both populations find, we can help them get anywhere.
Q: Who are the students who transfer in to Great Bay?
A: They are often students who may be from this area, who didn’t think a community college was the right choice for them when they were looking at colleges. They thought they had to do the four-year thing, but many of them find that it just doesn’t work. Sometimes its academics. Sometimes they party too much. Sometimes it’s money. Parents often do not look at the four-year cost of education. It’s not uncommon to make one year work. But four years is entirely different to finance than one. That happens a lot. People realize “I can’t do this for four years” or “It’s not worth the sacrifice to our family.” They pause, and they say, “Maybe we should consider the community college option.” When they come here, they are shocked at what we offer and the quality of what we offer.
Q: It sounds like you’re talking about the stigma of community colleges.
A: The stigma is changing, but people still think they are not going to get that same quality at a community college. We have faculty members who have terminal degrees, have written books, and are experts in their subject. Our adjunct faculty are connected to their field and very current with the best practices. That is the education people don’t realize they will get here at Great Bay.
Q: Are there other kinds of transfer students at Great Bay?
A: There is a third population of students who already have a bachelor’s degree and who decide they want to do something in a field they do not have the course work for with their undergraduate degree. So they come here to do that coursework, then transfer out.
Q: Where do students transfer when they leave Great Bay?
A: We have great partnerships with the New Hampshire schools, of course, but we have also advised students who have gone to all types of schools: Cornell, UPenn, Northeastern, Bentley and many others. Students go on to all types of schools.
Q: What do students who transfer in or out of Great Bay tell you about the process?
A: They say the experience coming out of Great Bay was easy – “Easy application, no fee, the transcript was sent and I was in.” We are experts in what the schools in New Hampshire require. We average over a 90% acceptance rate from here to UNH. If you go out-of-state there is a little more to it. However, we know what those schools are looking for and we are advising our transfer students with that in mind from day one.