Recently, Keene State College has initiated a partnership with Keene High School and local career and technical education (CTE) centers to create more pathways and opportunities for high school students. The pathways would include a fifth year of high school to achieve an associate’s degree, a smoother transition to Keene State College for a bachelor’s degree and more career and technical education opportunities.
KSC President Melinda Treadwell has been working alongside this initiative.
“It’s exciting. It’s about credentialing and launching students from high schools and these career and technical education centers into Keene State,” Treadwell said.
Administrator for the Bureau of Career Development at the New Hampshire Department of Education Eric Frauwirth said that these pathways will allow for better planning for the future for students still in high school.
“Students will benefit through the creation of a seamless pathway through multiple certifications and educational opportunities,” Frauwirth said. “By providing this information to students prior to their enrollment in the programs, they will have a clearer picture of their progression, as well as all of the potential opportunities.”
Chair of Regional Advisory Council for the Cheshire Career Center Thomas Moses also believes that this partnership will aid in the advancement of students’ education and career planning.
“There’s a need for a closer working relationship with the young people at an earlier age, to instill in them what is out there in business and industry,” Moses said. “We can have them develop certain interests that they can pursue in high school in the career center. Young students who go to the career center now have the opportunity to advance.”
Superintendent of Schools for SAU 29 Robert Malay said that this opportunity may assist in the number of students who continue their education post-graduation.
“We are personally partnering with the articulation agreement; basically what that means is anyone who goes to a CTE program and completes their program gets up to eight elective credits when they enroll as a Keene State student,” Malay said. “That’s huge for a lot of our students. Over the same period of time what we’ve seen is the number of students who leave Keene High and go on to either a two or four-year college has decreased.”
According to Frauwirth, credentialing programs that connect high schools with four-year institutions are rare and could be trailblazing.
“Typically, the five-year high school pathway model involves a single high school and a single community college. Using KSC as the anchor institution allows us to broaden the scope of involvement to potentially add additional pathways, high schools and colleges in the future. Ultimately, our office would like to see every student have the opportunity to participate in this type of pathway program; we hope this can become a state-wide model,” Frauwirth said.
Some of the various programs that could be offered include construction, manufacturing and health science, with the possibility of more.
“In the health core we’d be looking at substance misuse, public health and nutrition and nursing, working with Cheshire medical and local non-profits to try to do that. The career and technical education centers have programs in all of these areas so we’re going to try to map the curriculum and then communicate to students in any CTE center so that they come into Keene, they have 12 credits and they can accelerate,” Treadwell said. “Or they go through the community college while at a high school level, complete a fifth year and get an associates and then come over to Keene.”
The overall objective of this partnership is to allow greater opportunities for students to continue their education in a more accessible manner after high school.
“It’s an interesting web of academic credentialing,” Treadwell said. “That’s the goal, creating faster ways to credential for people to get them more lifetime income.”
Rachel Vitello can be contacted at