April 25, 2017

by Lisa Proulx

Semester offers opportunity to make progress on credits, focus on coursework or improve professional skills

PORTSMOUTH – Great Bay Community College’s summer semester begins May 30, offering students the chance to catch up or get ahead on their studies. It’s also a great opportunity for students at four-year schools to bankroll inexpensive, transferrable college credits in a low-stress environment.

“A lot of New Hampshire kids go off to school, return home at the end of the year  and for a number of different reasons) want to take a class for the summer,” said Deanna Friedman, Great Bay’s Director of Advising. “We want them to think about us first.”

At $200 per credit for New Hampshire students ($300 for students from other New England states), Great Bay is less expensive than other New Hampshire schools. In most instances, credits earned at Great Bay in the summer transfer to students’ four-year schools.

With the spring semester wrapping up in early- and mid-May, students can settle in back home for a few weeks before starting a compressed summer class schedule at Great Bay, Friedman said. “A lot of kids come home for the summer and think they should pick up a class at UNH. That’s where they think they need to take a class, because they don’t think community college classes will transfer back. But that’s not true. We are now on a whole different level than community colleges used to be.  We offer flexible day, evening and online courses at both campuses.  Some of the most popular include College Composition, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Calculus 1, Probability and Statistics, Microbiology and Sociology as well as Nutrition, Management, Personal Finance.  Non-credit professional development courses are also offered through the College’s Business and Training Center.

Sharon Cronin, Director of Great Bay’s Center for Academic Planning and Support, said summer courses are also a smart option for current high school students who want to earn credits toward college at a reduced cost, and possibly earn dual credits toward high school graduation.

Great Bay offers more than 300 summer classes during the day, evening and online at campuses in Portsmouth and Rochester.

The relaxed atmosphere of summer school also favors recent high school graduates or those returning to school after being out for an extended period, who want to acclimate to the college environment and gain confidence.

Other reasons for taking summer classes, according to Cronin:

  • Part time students can make significant progress toward their degree or certificate;
  • Students who don’t want to take 15 to 18 credits per semester can take credits in the summer and still work toward completion in two years;
  • Students who failed or withdrew from a class at Great Bay in the fall or spring can retake it and repair their GPA and progress toward completion;
  • Incoming students can take a developmental course and start college-ready for the fall.

For many, the summer semester offers an opportunity to build career skills or take a class to make themselves more marketable.  The Business & Training Center at Great Bay offers fast-paced interactive professional development workshops…..that run as little as four weeks.  “Microsoft Excel and Supervision are the most popular,” says Kathleen Totten, Director of Community Education.  “We also offer a wide variety of online short-term courses and certificates in areas like digital marketing, management and sales.” BTC Classes start the first Monday of every month. 

Jim Sinclair, a part-time Great Bay student from Dover, took classes the two previous summers and will take three more this summer. He’ll earn an Associate’s degree in Technical Studies this fall, while working full time at Safran Aerospace Composites.

He likes the option of taking courses in the summer because the atmosphere is more relaxed. In a resin transfer molding class, the number of students were smaller in the summer.  He found it easier to gain the professor’s full-time attention and ask any question.

He loved his summer experience at Great Bay. “They really helped me catch up,” he said. “It was a good time to have the school to yourself.”

For a glimpse of what’s available at GBCC this summer, visit http://greatbay.edu/sites/default/files/media/GBCC_Summer17_Schedule.pdf

Great Bay Community College is a comprehensive postsecondary institution offering quality academic and professional and technical education in support of workforce development and lifelong learning. Great Bay Community College is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire, a public system of higher education consisting of seven colleges in Berlin, Claremont, Laconia, Concord, Manchester, Nashua, and Portsmouth.  The colleges offer Associate degrees and career training in technical, professional and general fields, including transfer pathways to baccalaureate degrees. The college’s second campus, the Advanced Technology & Academic Center is open in Rochester offering academic courses and a degree program in Advanced Composites Manufacturing.   For more information on Great Bay Community College, visit www.greatbay.edu.