July 29, 2020

“Great Bay is warm and inviting and bright. Everyone is super approachable.”

“I knew right away, ‘Aha, this is my group. These are my people.’”

Class of 2020

Haley McCandlish thought she wanted to be a nurse, but realized her true calling was more hands-on. A longtime nursing assistant, McCandlish graduated from Great Bay Community College in August with a certificate in Massage Therapy, passed the state exam, and went to work at Body Mechanix Massage in Dover.

“I have always been a natural care-giver, and I was always lovingly pushed toward nursing. And that sounded right for me,” said McCandlish, 26 of South Berwick, Maine. Over time as a nursing assistant, she noticed that her patients responded better to their treatment when it involved human touch.

“People responded so much to that kind of empathy, but sadly, there just isn’t enough time in the day to be present and give people what they need. I wanted to slow down and be more intentional and allow people the time to cry if they needed to cry or just to rub somebody’s feet if they really needed it.”

She enrolled in Great Bay’s one-year Massage Therapy program in August 2019 and knew immediately she found her spiritual home. “We all clicked, the students as well as our teachers. I knew right away, ‘Aha, this is my group. These are my people.’ The teachers had so much to offer, and we all got along so well.”

McCandlish’s success with the Massage Therapy program at Great Bay is commonplace. Great Bay graduates have a 98-percent pass rate with the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam, required by the State of New Hampshire and many other states.

McCandlish recommends Great Bay without reservation.

“Great Bay is warm and inviting and bright. It was familiar and easy to navigate, and everyone is super approachable.”