A Matter Of Degrees

An Examination Of Higher Education In The Granite State

This special series presented by NHPR takes a look at the uncertain future of New Hampshire's colleges, and how they are working to stay relevant, competitive, and worth the cost.

Series stories and topics will air on Morning Edition, All Things ConsideredThe Exchange and Word of Mouth, and you can find all of the content and special web-only features right here.

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Series made possible with support from EDvestinU & The Derryfield School.

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Education
3:46 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

How SNHU Is Edging Out Its Competition Online

  The week started with the news of Southern New Hampshire University’s new $10,000 bachelor’s degree program. Recent undergraduate enrollment numbers show the small, Manchester school is now equal in size to UNH in Durham, with a vast majority of its students online. 

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A Matter of Degrees
12:55 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

A Matter Of Degrees: Story Map

For our week-long series A Matter of Degrees, NHPR reporters and programs produced stories about the issues facing colleges and universities throughout New Hampshire.

This first map links to most of the content. Play arrow icons represent radio and video stories, stars are web-only and print features.

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NH News
10:28 am
Fri May 9, 2014

White Mountains Community College Faces Declining Enrollment

21 year old WMCC student Mariah Middleton.
Sean Hurley

Enrollment in the network of seven community colleges in New Hampshire nearly doubled between 2000 and 2010. But while overall growth is up, the North Country’s White Mountains Community College is seeing a decline. 

Go to a restaurant, school or office in the North Country and chances are you'll find a White Mountains graduate.

You see em at the hospitals, you see em at the doctor's office you see em in the schools. 

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Education
5:30 am
Fri May 9, 2014

UNH Manchester Rebranding To Boost Enrollment

A giant banner with the new UNH logo now hangs in the front stairway of 400 Commercial st, UNH Manchester's university center.
Credit Ryan Lessard / NHPR

At a recent cookout behind the red-brick mill building that houses UNH Manchester, senior Derek Burkhardt describes what’s been an eight-year run to get his bachelor’s.

“I actually attended UNH Manchester right out of high school,” says Burkhardt. “But I took some time off in between school to save up some money to be able to afford school, but also to join AmeriCorps. So once I was done with that I came back to continue my education.”

Like many students here Burkhardt says he chose UNH Manchester because that’s where he lives.

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Foodstuffs
2:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

At UNH Dairy Bar, Education In The Salad

The Dairy Bar at the University of New Hampshire
Credit Michael Samuels

 

An on-campus eatery makes sustainability a learning experience.

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Word of Mouth
1:56 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

David Foster Wallace's Commencement Speech: 'This Is Water'

Credit LividFiction via flickr Creative Commons

Back in 2005, writer David Foster Wallace delivered the commencement address, "This is Water" At Kenyon College. Three years later, the acclaimed novelist committed suicide, but his speech lives on – and has become sort-of The Places You’ll Go of the digital age: shared on social media, and re-published in print around graduation time.

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Word of Mouth
1:26 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

In Defense Of Millennials

Credit via davidburstein.com

David Burstein is an author and founder of Generation 18, a nonpartisan young voter engagement organization, as well as a documentary filmmaker. He wrote Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World and joined us to talk about why he is defending millennials against being labeled aimless, risk-averse, and narcissistic.

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Infographic
12:33 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Infographic: Sexual Assaults At N.H. Colleges

Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

Under the federal Clery Act, colleges and universities are required to report crime statistics. This chart measures total reported forcible sexual offenses involving students, on and off-campus, at each New Hampshire school.

The numbers are not adjusted to account for enrollment, which would allow for a better comparison. For example, with a 2012 undergraduate enrollment of 12,565, UNH sees 1.67 incidences per capita - while, with an enrollment of 6,277, Dartmouth sees 3.82 per capita.

Research suggests as many 95 percent of campus rapes and sexual assaults go unreported.

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Word of Mouth
12:12 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

George Saunders: "Congratulations, By The Way"

Credit Jason Bache via flickr Creative Commons

In 2013, writer, journalist, and college professor George Saunders made a short speech at a graduation ceremony that quickly went viral. He was speaking to the class of 2013 at Syracuse University where he teaches.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Career-Readiness: What N.H. Colleges Are Doing & Whether It's Working

Credit FreemanSchool / Flickr/CC

We’re continuing our series “A Matter of Degrees” with a look at what it means to be “career ready.”  There’s a lot of angst about whether college graduates have the skills they need for today’s workforce, especially science, math, and writing. Some are saying it’s time to rethink which courses students really need, which they don’t, and whether employer expectations are reasonable.

GUESTS: 

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Education
6:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Dartmouth Investigation Once Again Puts Spotlight on Campus Life

Baker Library at Dartmouth
Credit Daily Joe via Flickr CC

Susy Struble was a 16-year-old high school student when, during a weekend visit to Dartmouth College, she was raped at an off-campus party.

Like many rape victims, Struble chose not to tell anyone about the assault, and two years later, she was back at Dartmouth as a student.

One night during her freshman year, she opened her door to a tall, sandy-haired man. Obviously drunk, he forced his way in, pushed Struble against the wall and tried to kiss her. Struble was able to fend off her attacker, who she realized was the same man who had raped her two years earlier.

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Morning Edition
5:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Why A UNH Sexual Assault Program Is Being Lauded By The White House

Jane Stapleton, M.A., Co-Director of Prevention Innovations at UNH
Credit via UNH website

Earlier this year, the Obama administration formed a White House Task Force to Protect Students from sexual assault.

Recently that task force announced a series of actions to identify the scope of the problem and help schools with prevention. One of the programs the administration highlighted is the Prevention Innovations initiative at the University of New Hampshire.  I talked with Jane Stapleton, a co-director, and asked her to explain the program:

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NH News
5:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

State Puts Its Weight Behind STEM: Now It Needs Students

Kristen Porter-Utley teaches biology to first year students at Keene State College.
Credit Emily Corwin

  By the mid-April at Keene State College, 13 students remained in professor Kristen Porter-Utley’s freshman biology lecture. Two had dropped out.  Keene State's Dean of Sciences and Social Sciences, Gordon Leversee,  says this is not unusual in science classes around the country.  Here, science students are 2 to 3 times more likely to get a D, an F, to withdraw, or receive an incomplete than students in other classes. 

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A Matter of Degrees
4:55 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Campus Life: Therapy Dog Eases Finals Stress At UNH

Hamilton, a Great Dane mix, stands about five feet tall when he stands up to give students "hugs."
Credit Melissa Proulx for The New Hampshire

With a name like Hamilton, there’s little doubt that the big white Great Dane mix wandering around UNH's Durham campus belongs there. 

UNH Health Services’ new therapy dog has been visiting students in dorms and academic buildings, a welcomed stress reliever during the whirlwind that is finals.

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A Matter Of Degrees
1:56 am
Thu May 8, 2014

How STEM Became The 'Buzzword Of The Decade' [VIDEO]

Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

If it seems like, these days, everyone is talking about STEM - that now common acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math programs - it's because they are.

In this animated two-way, we take a look at what the push for STEM means for the state - from our public university system, to the State House, and through the business community - and for students.

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