Higher Education

Flickr Creative Commons / Brave Sir Robin

Dartmouth College is beginning its transition to a new residential model designed to provide students with more continuity when living on campus and greater interaction with faculty beyond the classroom. The move to a residential college system was among the changes President Philip Hanlon announced in January to address problems such as high-risk drinking, sexual assault and a lack of inclusion.

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Students who graduate from Great Bay Community College with an Associates’ Degree can now transfer up to 63 credits toward their bachelor’s degree at the University of New England, in Biddeford, Maine.

The partnership was initiated by Great Bay, after administrators noticed an increasing number of students transferring to UNE’s Physicians’ Assistant track, which ultimately graduates students with a masters’ degree.

Now, the new transfer agreement includes more than 20 programs at UNE, including in oceanography and elementary education.

Alexander Sun / Flickr/CC

College Scorecard (9:00):

Two years ago, President Obama announced plans for rating colleges and universities, so students would know whether they were getting a good value.  Now, the administration has released its College Scorecard, and students and families are deciding how best to use it.

Paul Townsend via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/vyKPHC

Harvard, like other prestigious Ivy League schools, is a non-profit. Still, its 36-billion dollar endowment is bigger than the GDP of Jamaica. So why does it remain tax free? Then - meditation, sitting, mindfulness: whatever you call it, it’s springing up everywhere, from Google’s corporate offices to high school classrooms in the Bronx. But can techniques developed to help hospital patients really improve the lives of low-income students? We find out why mindfulness has a place in the classroom. Plus, music industry insiders clamor to predict and announce the summer’s most popular hit – but what about the song of the fall?  We’ll discuss the qualities that make up a classic autumnal anthem. 

Light Brigading via flickr CC / flic.kr/p/kPKiL6

Harvard, like other prestigious Ivy League schools, is a non-profit. Still, its 36-billion dollar endowment is bigger than the GDP of Jamaica. Plus, a poll finds that forty-four percent of families in low-income, low-education households with a high school athlete think their kid has a chance at the majors – we’ll hear about the myth of pro sports as viable career option.  And look into the secretive underworld of illegally modified softball bats.

Thomas Hawk via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/dSuxV1

Demanding trigger warnings? Canceling speakers? Shutting down comedians? College students today make the political correctness of the past seem tame. Today, is oversensitivity ruining education? We’ll also look at the roots of extreme protectiveness in a nation where police officers are stationed at more and more high schools…a story about what happens when school discipline meets law enforcement. And while the trans-gender movement gains ground, we’ll explore the shockingly common occurrence of doctors assigning gender to intersex babies. 

rick kloeppel via Flickr CC

NEW LONDON, N.H. (AP) — Colby-Sawyer President Thomas Galligan Jr. says he will step down after 10 years in office when his second term ends in 2016.

He made the announcement at a Sept. 1 meeting for faculty and staff.

Galligan, who says he has no plans yet, was dean and a professor of law at the University of Tennessee College of Law when the Colby-Sawyer Board of Trustees picked him to be the private college's eighth president in 2006.

Assessing Greek Life On College Campuses

Aug 24, 2015
Tbass Effendi / Flickr/cc

Fraternities have been getting more bad press lately after embarrassing incidents from racist chants in Oklahoma to the branding of pledges here in New Hampshire. We’ll look at the headlines, but also behind them, including what the data says about the impact of fraternity and sorority life for students from grades to personal health.

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

From now on, any community college student in the nation will automatically be accepted to New England College in Henniker. The private, 4-year college revealed their new enrollment policy this week.

Brad Poznanski, NEC’s director of admissions, says so long as the student is in good academic standing, no application is necessary.

In 2014, 18 out of 44 transfer students came to NEC’s on-campus program from community colleges.

Alan Levine via Flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/yeux

Nationally, only 17% of students who enter community college seeking a bachelor’s degree reach that goal within six years. Today, we learn about a new program in Orlando, Florida that aims to solve the problem of community college attrition. Then, you’re locked in a dark cell with a group of strangers – there’s a zombie on the loose and you’re running out of time…oxygen…and solutions. It’s not a video game, this is real life…and you paid to be there. Welcome to the new trend in adventure recreation: the escape room.  

Higher Ed In Crisis? What You Need To Know

Jul 6, 2015
saintvincentcollege / Flickr/CC

We’re talking with author Goldie Blumenstyk about her new book on the so-called “crisis” in American Higher Education. Blumenstyk  says given rising costs, student debt, and doubts about the value of a degree, crisis is a fair description -- but she also sees some exciting examples of campus innovations that may get us out of our College conundrum.

NHPR Staff

Funding for public higher education is a core issue in the budget battle now being waged between the Governor and the Legislature. Meanwhile, budget woes are brewing on the state's community college campuses, too, where students, faculty, and senior administrators don’t agree on how to balance the books.

Plymouth State University


Donald Birx, the chancellor of Pennsylvania State University's Behrend College, has been chosen to be the next president at Plymouth State University.

Birx will become the university's 15th president on July 31. The University System Board of Trustees voted unanimously to support him after a nationwide search.

At Penn State Behrend, Birx was responsible for the quality of the college's academic programs in teaching, research and service, and its overall operations.

The Dollars And Cents of College Degrees

May 12, 2015
John Walker / Flickr/cc

In the shadow of the Great Recession, many prospective students and their parents are looking at college with an eye toward the economic value of certain majors, with some hoping to avoid the so called 'useless' degree. We take a look at some surprising new research on this topic and hear from voices both in and out of the college system.

Connor Tarter / Flickr/cc

New Hampshire’s Health Protection Program faces sunset in twenty sixteen unless the legislature votes to extend it. We’ll find out more. Then later – a new, national report ranks colleges based on the economic value of their degrees and a New Hampshire Community college tops the list.

Brookings Institution

The Brookings Institution has ranked NHTI – Concord’s Community College -- as the nation’s most value-added two-year college.

The report compares how well two and four-year colleges boost student’s economic outcomes. That’s in contrast to many college rankings, which assess schools’ ability to attract top students.

Brookings Fellow Jonathan Rothwell says the study focused on alumni’s midcareer salaries, their occupations, and their ability to repay student loans.  

Huddleston joined The Exchange to talk about trends in higher education including rising costs, student debt, and greater use of adjuncts.  He also discussed cuts in state support, salaries of administrative staff, and the role expensive programs like athletics play in promoting the University's mission.

Scroll below the full show audio to hear Huddleston respond to a variety of questions about the challenges facing the University System.

Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

Lawyers who reviewed how New Hampshire's public universities and colleges handle sexual harassment and other misconduct say the schools must address specific gaps in policies and practices while also making broader efforts to create a safe campus culture.

University System of New Hampshire officials asked attorneys at a Manchester law firm to review their procedures in general and their handling of four incidents in particular — three involving misconduct by coaches at Keene State College and one involving a University of New Hampshire basketball coach.

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

New Hampshire's colleges and universities say their latest report shows that they are major contributors to the state's vibrant economy.

The New Hampshire College and University Council estimates that its 22 public and private nonprofit institutions directly supported 17,800 jobs in fiscal year 2012-13 and generated an estimated economic impact of $5.8 billion.

Courtesy of SNHU

  Southern New Hampshire University President Paul LeBlanc will spend three months at the U.S. Department of Education to help grow non-traditional higher ed programs. 

In an effort to increase access and affordability for students, the U.S. Department of Education will begin selecting universities as so-called experimental sites.

LeBlanc says experimental sites will act as centers of research and development for new models of higher ed. And he says he won’t be part of the selection process.

uniinnsbruck / Flickr/CC

As the number of teaching positions filled by non-tenure track, often part-time ‘adjunct professors’ has increased, this group gains attention for what it describes as low pay, few benefits, and lack of job security. But with tough financial times at higher ed institutions across the country, schools say there’s just not enough money.

This show was guest-hosted by Brady Carlson.


Courtesy The University Of New Hampshire

University of New Hampshire President Mark Huddleston used his annual state of the university speech largely as a pitch for additional state funding.

In his address, Huddleston reiterated his pledge to again freeze tuition if the state boosts its funding, saying “in fact all it will take is for our lawmakers to return funding to 2009 levels. How heavy of a lift can that be?”

That would be an increase of almost $40 million dollars over two years.  In her budget, Governor Maggie Hassan proposed a more modest, $13 million dollar increase.

Sara Plourde/ NHPR

The American Vacation

“Vacations were an important part of the social life of the upper class in the United States throughout the 19th century.   They even had a circuit of vacations that followed the sun in some ways – they went south for the winter, came back north to Newport and other places like that. In fact, they became what  Thorstein Veblen critiqued as ‘the leisure class.’  It’s not until the turn of the 20th century that the middle class begins to see vacations as something that’s possible for them.” 

Allison Quantz for NHPR

Classes are back in session at Dartmouth College, which means winter recruitment for fraternities and sororities is getting underway. It’s been a controversial year for Greek life from Clemson University to Johns Hopkins, and Dartmouth has not escaped unscathed. Later this month, recommendations addressing social life are expected to be publicly released. 

Sara Plourde / NHPR

How to Win a Beauty Pageant: Race, Gender, Culture, and U.S. National Identity

Ken Lund via Flickr CC

Dartmouth College has charged 64 students accused of cheating in a sports ethics class with violating the Ivy League school's honor code.

College officials confirmed the number of students charged but declined to comment further until the appeals process ends later this month. Professor Randall Balmer told the Valley News that most of the students involved have been suspended for a term.

The State Of N.H.'s Community College System

Dec 11, 2014

We’re talking with Ross Gittell both in his capacity as chancellor of New Hampshire’s Community College System, and as forecast manager for the New England Economic Partnership.


  • Ross Gittell – chancellor of the Community College System and forecast manager at the New England Economic Partnership
Via NHIA.org

Discussions about a possible merger between the New Hampshire Institute of Art and Southern New Hampshire University are dead, an NHIA official said.

The chair of the institute’s Board of Trustees Joseph Reilly says there are no plans to pursue the merger, and the focus of the school is on finding a new president.

In a statement posted on the school’s website, Reilly said an announcement about a new president would be made in “the near future.”

New Hampshire's community colleges want $6.4 million in new money in the next budget to lower tuition by $10 per credit hour.

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

A new report finds New Hampshire college graduates are – once again – burdened with the most student debt.

According to the annual report from the nonprofit Project on Student Debt, students who graduated from Granite State colleges and universities in 2013 had an average debt of nearly $33,000, the highest in the nation.

This marks the third time in four years New Hampshire has had the highest average debt, after ranking second highest last year.