by Kimberly Haas, Union Leader
Officials from Great Bay Community College and the University of New Hampshire at Manchester unveiled new learning opportunities in the field of analytics this week in Portsmouth while celebrating their transfer pathway programs.
The new analytics program at Great Bay is designed to meet first- and second-year baccalaureate requirements and promises to teach students the computer programming, mathematics and database skills essential to complete a four-year degree at UNH Manchester. At the same time, graduates will be able to find a job as a junior data scientist so they can work their way through college.
Creator Mary Rudis said there is a growing need for professionals trained in understanding data.
“The business community is realizing more and more that they need to have data scientists on board or a data analytics team to work with data to help them make better business decisions. It can impact a bunch of different industries from insurance to banking to biotechnology and health care,” Rudis said. “There aren’t enough people to fill these roles, so in order to jump ahead and try to meet the needs of industry right now, we decided to create the nation’s first associate’s degree in data science, which we’re calling analytics as a pathway to UNH Manchester’s bachelor’s program in analytics.”
Mike Decelle, who serves as the dean of UNH Manchester, said the partnership between the two schools has helped to grow enrollment on both campuses.
“Unlike the main campus in Durham, we’re 65 percent transfer students so we actually specialize in so-called nontraditional students. Some are freshmen, but most of our students come right from our community college system here in New Hampshire,” Decelle said.
There are currently approximately 750 undergraduate and 250 graduate students at UNH Manchester. The largest percentage of students study biology, business and engineering, but degrees in English and the humanities are also offered. Mary Young, a project manager in academic affairs at UNH Manchester, said they have 32 pathway programs with the state’s community college system.
GBCC President Will Arvelo says it is their goal to make sure two-thirds of adults in New Hampshire have some sort of higher education by 2025. He said it will be crucial in order to compete in a modern economy.
UNH Manchester offers pathways to bachelor's degree programs from Great Bay Community College, Manchester Community College, Nashua Community College, NHTI and White Mountains Community College. Learn more
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