Doors to Opportunity! is a weekly 30-minute radio show on WGIR-AM 610 that explores higher education and jobs in New Hampshire. MCC President Susan Huard, her co-host Michael Carter of WGIR, and their guests discuss a different topic every week, ranging from higher education to careers, the job market and new opportunities in New Hampshire. Doors to Opportunity! airs on Sunday mornings at 10 on WGIR-AM.
"Why are we doing this program? Community colleges are about jobs. Everyone has to go to work at some point and make a living, but people don't always have enough opportunity to hear about what's out there, or what their true options are. That's the point of this show. Some of the best jobs are invisible to the public; I want to shed light on options. Our goal for this show is to provide information, ideas and inspiration to help you reach your dreams."
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, more healthcare employers are requiring nurses to have baccalaureate degrees (BSNs). In 2013, 44 percent of hospitals and other health care settings required new nurses to have BSNs, up almost 5 percent since 2012. And 79 percent of employers are expressing a strong preference for BSN-prepared graduates.
Fortunately, there is a response to this demand through a new partnership between the Community College System of New Hampshire and the University System of New Hampshire, which makes it easier and far less expensive to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.
Known as the "RN to BSN" program, New Hampshire residents who graduate from a NH community college can now pursue a BSN from Plymouth State University or Granite State College for the same cost per credit as New Hampshire Community College tuition.
Joining Susan to discuss this RN to BSN "public pathway" program is Jacquie Poirier, Admissions Counselor for MCC Allied Health Programs, and Lisa McCurley, Director of Nursing at Great Bay Community College.
Today, only 51% of New Hampshire adults have a college degree, and it is estimated that by 2025, more than 65% of the available jobs will require some post-secondary credential or degree. The need for highly skilled workers is there, but what do we do? Since our state’s high school population is declining, one of the best ways to try to meet this goal is to bring older, so-called "non-traditional" students into the classroom. Joining Susan to discuss ways that life experience can factor-in to obtaining college credit, is Major Wheelock, Director of the Academic Success Center at MCC.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that jobs in the biotechnology industry will continue to grow approximately 10% nationally by the year 2022. The New England Biotech Association estimates there are 5,000 biotech jobs in New Hampshire (which is small in comparison to the 78,000 biotech jobs in Massachusetts), but the Granite State is taking steps to become more of a player in this field. Dr. Kyle MacLea, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at UNH-Manchester, discusses the biotechnology industry and the educational pathways that lead to careers in this growing field.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 13% of public school students between the ages of 3 and 21 receive Special Education Services. And 35% of those students have specific learning disabilities. There is much focus on ensuring these students get through the public school years, but what then? What does post-secondary education look like for these "non-traditional" students? Melissa Olson, Special Populations Counselor at MCC discusses how students and colleges navigate the challenges and opportunities for students with disabilities.
Sharon Gibadlo, who is Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, and Donna Lukasiak, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at UNH in Manchester, provide an inside look at the admissions process for all transfer
students interested in attending four-year colleges.
Susan speaks with Michael Skelton, President of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce about what the Chamber does to to boost the area’s economy and job market, as well as educational and other opportunities available to individuals through the Chamber.
Cynthia Harrington, Business Development Manager for New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, and Dr. Kathy DesRoches, Director of Workforce Development at MCC discuss how employers are working with higher education to train workers for sought-after jobs, including jobs in the aerospace industry. An example they focus on is a current "Tube Fabrication and Forming" program designed by employers and taught at MCC.
Susan welcomes Trinnie Houghton, an Executive and Organizational Coach and Partner at Sojourn Partners, to discuss preparing for a job interview. Trinnie shares tips to enable job candidates to feel more relaxed and in control when facing one of life's most stressful situations.
We hear about issues like climate change, air pollution, water quality, forest protection and conservation nearly every day in the news. These are important discussions, which are also fields with a wide variety of career opportunities. Two employees from New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services – Chris Skoglund of the Air Resources Division and Amy Smagula from the DES Water Division – discuss environmental career options.