Priority 2.5

Provide exceptional value with effective and efficient management of University resources, thereby minimizing student indebtedness and financial barriers to completion.

Frost School Meets Needs of Working Students

Many students are working and have family responsibilities that make taking classes during the day impossible. The Frost School of Continuing and Professional Studies was created to meet the needs of working students by offering classes in the evening, online, and on weekends.

The Frost School has begun offering courses during the last eight weeks of each semester. These courses allow students who have fallen behind or withdrew from a course to stay on track.

The Frost School offers Continuing Education classes during Winterim and summer for students to catch up or get ahead. Most courses are offered online allowing students to study from home and to complete coursework at a time that works with their work schedules. The Continuing Education programs and the online classes, in particular, help students stay on track for a timely graduation.

Leave of Absence Policy Adopted

PSU students may request a leave of absence from studies for one or two consecutive semesters. A leave of absence is appropriate if the student intends to return to PSU following a temporary absence for compelling reasons, which may include but are not limited to: military service, family emergencies, or medical reasons. This policy allows students to retain their status as an active student and their PSU e-mail account, access to myPlymouth, and the ability to register online. No readmission application or fees are required if the student re-enrolls for a fall or spring semester immediately following the leave.

College of University Studies and Undergraduate Advising Center offer intense developmental advising and outreach to at-risk students to ensure time to graduation. © Joseph St. Pierre.

College of University Studies and Undergraduate Advising Center offer intense developmental advising and outreach to at-risk students to ensure time to graduation. © Joseph St. Pierre.

College of University Studies Housed and Expanded

The College of University Studies creates a home for “undeclared” students. We prefer to call them “deciding” students. The College of University Studies is located on the garden level of Mary Lyon Hall and provides a living learning environment to help students choose a major and stay on track for four-year graduation. The first cohort through the College of University Studies just completed its fourth year and graduated at nearly double the rate as students not enrolled in the program.

PSU Participates in Direct Lending

PSU is now participating in the Federal Direct Loan Program (DL) because we are committed to having access to a stable source of educational loans. With the DL Program, PSU is able to access funds directly from the U.S. government, so our students will not have delays in receiving their federal loan funds.

Transferability Improved

PSU is actively working with the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) to develop 2+2 programs and other articulation agreements. These agreements allow students to begin their studies at one of the CCSNH institutions and complete transfer seamlessly to complete their third and fourth years at PSU earning a bachelor’s degree.

PSU has worked with NHTransfer.org to upload all PSU courses with information regarding transferability to assist potential transfer students in making appropriate decisions.

Common Application Adopted

PSU is now an exclusive user of the Common Application. The Common Application is a not-for-profit organization that serves prospective undergraduate students and member institutions by providing an admission application, online and in print, that students may submit to any of the participating institutions. It is designed to simplify the admissions process for prospective students.

North Country Teacher Certification Graduates First Cohort and Receives Funding

Partnerships and articulation agreements with New Hampshire community colleges improve access to higher education.

Partnerships and articulation agreements with New Hampshire community colleges improve access to higher education.

The North Country Teacher Certification Program is a partnership among PSU, White Mountains Community College (WMCC) in Berlin, and Granite State College (GSC). The program prepares North Country residents who aspire to teach through convenient late-afternoon and evening classes. Students take their first two years of courses at WMCC. In their second two years, PSU delivers the teacher certification program on the WMCC campus. At the end of the program, participants are awarded bachelor’s degrees in childhood studies and K–8 teacher certification. With funding from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, students in the cohort receive financial support to leave their jobs in order to complete their student teaching. A story in Plymouth Magazine’s Winter 2010 issue checked in with some of the first graduates of the program.

Curricular Revision

Many departments are in the process of curricular revisions that decrease their undergraduate degree requirements to 120 credits, reduce the size of their major, remove unnecessary barriers (prerequisites), and provide additional electives for programs that need enhancing. Additionally, some departments have made decisions to remove highly specialized but low enrollment courses or have made plans to offer such courses on a rotating basis.

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