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Your Path to Success: Great Bay Community College

By Elisha Neubauer

In today's world, there are so many choices for where to go after you finish high school. Private universities, community colleges, technical schools- but which one works best for you? Every student has different needs and requirements to reach their goals, and finding the right establishment to help you meet those needs is one of the biggest steps you can take on the road to achieving your life plan. With campuses in Portsmouth and Rochester, NH, Great Bay Community College is a public, two-year community college that works to help students forge that road.

With an annual enrollment of 2,500 students, Great Bay Community College is relatively small, allowing for a more individualized learning experience and one-on-one attention. "Cutting-edge degrees and certificates; excellent faculty; affordable tuition; small class sizes; extensive support systems; transfer agreements; non-credit options; and high school, business, and community partners are just a few of the qualities that characterize Great Bay," says Dr. Sarah Bedingfield, Vice President of Student Affairs. "There is something for everyone, and everyone is welcome."

GBCC is one of seven within the community college system of New Hampshire. In 2012, the college expanded, opening a satellite campus north of Portsmouth in Rochester with the help of a nearly $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration. This campus, the Advanced Technology & Academic Center (ATAC), aims to produce new opportunities for workforce development in composites manufacturing, as well as opportunities to take courses leading towards another degree or certificate.

Meanwhile, on the Portsmouth campus, the Business and Training Center partners with area businesses to offer programs designed to upgrade employee skills and advance leadership capabilities.

"Great Bay is never idle, and it is this spirit and mentality that keeps enrollments growing," says Bedingfield. "We endeavor to promote economic development through community engagement and workforce development for the region." This mission implores GBCC to keep the focus on students and remain innovative, while staying collaborative. Great Bay believes in success for its students, excellence in teaching, community engagement, and continuous improvement.

And changes are on the horizon for Great Bay. In the 2015-16 academic year, the new Student Success Center will open its doors (progress shown above). The center will "promote student success by engaging students in the life of the college and by integrating curricular and co-curricular programs," says Michael Fischer, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs. "Personal growth and development is promoted through a comprehensive collection of recreational, educational, personal, career, social, cultural and athletic programs."

The college will also be offering over fifty degree and certificate programs, expanding its catalog to include an Associate degree program in Aviation Technology, a Liberal Arts/Fine Arts Associate in Arts degree, a certificate program in Practical Data Science, a certificate program in Software Development, and an expanded certificate program in Massage Therapy. With so many options available, the college hopes to inspire students to find a path they are passionate about- and to follow it.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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