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Public Promise Initiative Provides Students with Pathway to College Enrollment

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| Communications Director
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Keene State College and Plymouth State University have announced a new initiative, Public Promise, which is designed to provide students who are not admitted to either institution alternative pathways to future enrollment at the institutions through the University System and Community College partnership programs. Keene State and Plymouth State are reaching out proactively to all students who applied and were not admitted to this year’s incoming class to offer pathways that include associate degree programs, Dual Admission options, and targeted coursework. Once completed, these options allow students to transfer into the institution of their choice. Dual Admission, announced in 2014, allows a student to complete two years of study at a New Hampshire Community College and seamlessly transfer to a University System of New Hampshire school to complete a four-year degree.

This proactive outreach is being supported by the University System centralized shared-service enrollment center. About 1,000 New Hampshire students who apply to the two institutions every year are not offered admission.

Kemal Atkins, vice president of enrollment and student affairs at Keene State College, agrees that Public Promise is a good idea for both colleges. “At my previous institution, a similar effort was a remarkable success. Students were given a pathway to attend a two- or four-year school; we kept more students in our state, increased the college going rate, and developed an educated workforce for local employers.”

“The hope is that students who may not be offered admission to Plymouth State the first time can attend classes at a community college and prepare for admission at a later term,” says Jason Moran, dean of enrollment management for Plymouth. “The University System will work with the student to advise them on the right courses to take, ensuring the courses will transfer to our campus when they are ready.”

New Hampshire exports the highest percentage of four-year going college students in the country, at a time when businesses are raising significant concerns over the lack of an educated workforce. Public Promise is one of many USNH institution-based initiatives aimed at addressing state needs through innovation and institutional partnerships. The initiative focuses on developing strategies that increase the number of students going to college, as well as keeping more of those that plan to enroll in New Hampshire.

Public Promise will start this May with outreach to applicants wanting to attend college in the fall of 2017.

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435