Granite State College is committed to empowering and educating students in New Hampshire and beyond by delivering high-quality education in an accessible, affordable, flexible, and innovative setting. As one of the four institutions of the University System of New Hampshire, Granite State College proudly delivers practical and relevant education online and in classrooms, offering Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees, workforce-aligned certificates and professional development programs, post-baccalaureate programs for teacher education, and a variety of transfer opportunities.
Granite State College was first established as The School of Continuing Studies of the University of New Hampshire System by a vote of the Board of Trustees on August 5, 1972. The purpose of “SOCS” was to expand the educational services provided by the University System—thereby increasing the variety and availability of educational options throughout the State.
In 1979 the institution was renamed the College for Lifelong Learning, and in 1999 the College began offering coursework fully online, becoming one of the first institutions in the state to do so. The College has been accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) — formerly the New England Association of Schools and Colleges — continuously since 1981. That year also featured the College’s first formal Commencement ceremony.
In January 2005 Governor John Lynch signed House Bill 99, again changing the name to Granite State College, noting that the new name “really does reflect the mission of the college to educate nontraditional students of all ages.”
Beginning in 2010 the College began expanding the number of undergraduate degrees offered, and in 2011 requested and received NEASC approval to offer master’s degrees, both in response to statewide, regional, and national trends in workforce demand. The School of Education was established in 2012, also in response to a demand for more effectively prepared and appropriately credentialed educators in public schools.
The Concord facility moved to its current Hall St. location in 2012. The College currently retains a statewide presence through partnerships with the Community College System of New Hampshire and online capabilities that create the potential for a global reach.
While the mission of the College is singular and concise, the vision that drives the College is shaped by two converging forces. First, the explicit reference to public higher education informs the vision for the College on several levels. As a public institution:
- We are inclusive rather than exclusive, making our programs available and accessible to everyone who has the potential to benefit from our work;
- We offer programs that serve the civic and economic interests of the State and anticipate the emerging needs of the communities of New Hampshire and beyond, thus ensuring the relevance of our work and its alignment with the purposes for which our students pursue their education; and
- We recognize that the College and those who conduct its work are accountable and that our decisions and our actions must always demonstrate integrity that honors the public trust.
Further, as an adult-serving institution, our vision is to evolve teaching and learning as respectful and collaborative processes that allow us to provide high quality educational programs and services by:
- Building on the foundation of documented knowledge that each student brings to the College in pursuit of their unique educational goals, thus facilitating efficient and affordable pathways without sacrificing quality;
- Incorporating innovative and data-informed instructional design, teaching, and technologies, congruent with the leading edge of adult learning, and supported by ongoing assessments of learning outcomes;
- Leveraging professionally-engaged faculty, workplace-based learning opportunities, and meaningful partnerships with employers and other organizations to continuously strengthen the connection between a Granite State College education and the knowledge and competencies that our students will need for effective economic and civic engagement; and
- Delivering educational programs in formats that are directly responsive to the needs of our students and other stakeholders, whether in the form of individual courses, certificates, degree programs or other modular components that align with the evolving marketplace for credentials.
Through pursuit of this vision in support of our mission, Granite State College, on behalf of the University System of New Hampshire, will be a valued resource for the State of New Hampshire and its citizens, and nationally recognized as a model for meeting the learning needs of adult students with programs and services of the highest quality to address the educational and workforce priorities of our state and regions. Our statewide presence, innovative programs, and responsive delivery models will enable us to scale as needed to serve larger (and smaller) as well as more diverse groups of students with meaningful, measurable, and impactful educational opportunities. Granite State College will continue to be the institution of choice for individuals who wish to be part of a teaching and learning environment that actively promotes academic success, personal development, professional growth, and community involvement.
The mission and vision of Granite State College reflect the following core values identified as key elements in successfully meeting the educational needs of our students:
- Our respect for students of all ages, for whom our innovative college programs are designed;
Our commitment to diversity and the educational value that inclusion brings to the learning experience;
Our commitment to ensure access to high quality education for all students who desire a college education, and the consequent commitment to make college affordable and available, but never at the expense of quality;
- Our belief that learning is a lifelong process;
- Our determination to provide an academic experience that extends critical thinking throughout the curriculum, integrates theory and practice, has a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences, and fosters self-directed learning;
- Our belief that effective teaching and learning results in assessable outcomes;
- Our determination to have a positive social and economic impact on the communities of which our students are members;
- Our recognition that staff and faculty are vital members of our community and the College respects and values their essential contribution to the education of our students. Hence, the College will support the lifelong learning goals of our staff and faculty.
As a degree granting institution our greatest concern is that our graduates develop a specific set of skills and abilities.
The College’s outcomes-based degree programs and curriculum:
- Provide standards to be met in demonstrating competence.
- Form a base from which to design and pursue learning activities.
- Foster the ability to demonstrate self-directed learning.
In addition to individual student assessment and grading, learning outcomes assessment is conducted in all programs to ensure the quality of our programs and to prompt ongoing improvements in teaching and learning.
Institutional Learning Outcomes
At Granite State College, at all levels and in all programs, we provide opportunities for students to learn to:
Communicate: To successfully receive and deliver messages through a variety of means (such as verbal, non-verbal, written, and visual) using the appropriate tools and practices for a given professional or community-based situation.
Think Critically and Comprehensively: To effectively collect, evaluate, and analyze information; define problems; make judgments; and draw conclusions that matter in real-world settings.
Apply Knowledge to Workplace and Community: To engage with diverse individuals, groups, or cultural frameworks; develop solutions to shared challenges; and reflect on professional practice and community engagement.
Gain Specialized Knowledge: To use essential frameworks, research methods, and professional practices of a field or discipline to further personal and professional growth.
Degrees and Courses Online
The College is the University System’s leader in delivering online education in New Hampshire and several other states, making it possible for people to earn a degree totally online. Students have access to an online community of faculty, course materials, library services and resources, and fellow students. For information about technical requirements and technical support, see the ”Online Resources” section.
Every state has the authority to regulate higher education delivered within its borders, including online education. The National Council for State Authorization and Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. It allows institutions to provide online courses outside their own state borders while maintaining compliance with state regulatory agencies. Granite State College has been approved by the State of New Hampshire to participate as a SARA institution. SARA has no effect on state professional licensing requirements. Any program designed to lead to professional licensure or certification must satisfy state requirements for licensure. If a student moves to another state while enrolled in a professional degree program, please check the availability of the program in the new location. To find out if a program is offered in a particular state, go to https://www.granite.edu/about/online-programs-state/. To learn more about SARA, please visit http://nc-sara.org/
Granite State College’s faculty is comprised of scholars and practitioners whose expertise and credentials in the subjects they teach comes to life in their interactions with students. The College employs faculty with credentials who are dedicated to its mission and who appreciate the profound influence of their effective teaching upon the diverse educational journeys of adults. Granite State College faculty members inspire students toward lifelong learning, promote excellence in their fields, and pursue the rewards of intellectual rigor through their teaching at the College.
To examine the College’s effectiveness in providing an environment that facilitates the acquisition of skills and knowledge and the enhancement of lifelong learning, the College has developed an institution-wide assessment program. The program includes the assessment of student achievement of broad educational outcomes as well as specific program and course outcomes. Additionally the program provides an examination of the effectiveness of teaching and learning environments as well as services that support learning.
The goal of the assessment process is to provide meaningful information that leads to continuous program improvement and enhanced educational services for adults.
Course Evaluation Information
End-of-term course evaluations are typically made available to students two weeks prior to the end of the course. Students will receive an email with a link to complete the evaluations online. Evaluations are a critical tool for continuous improvement of Granite State College courses, and students are encouraged to complete an evaluation for each course they are enrolled in. All responses are confidential and only made available to instructors after grades are submitted.