UNH First Step begins as two-year pilot program at Pinkerton Academy

The University of New Hampshire has partnered with Pinkerton Academy to launch UNH First Step, a two-year pilot concurrent credit program. Beginning this fall, Pinkerton juniors and seniors can simultaneously earn high school and UNH credit in select high school courses.

“UNH First Step brings high school and college educators together with the shared goal to advance academic excellence and opportunity for New Hampshire students,” said Wayne Jones, UNH provost and vice president for academic affairs, adding that Pinkerton was a natural fit for the partnership given the quality of faculty and curricular offerings.

“Our ultimate goal is to make college more accessible to New Hampshire students. When students choose to stay here, they become part of the workforce engine that strengthens our state’s economy,” said Timothy Powers, headmaster of Pinkerton Academy.

Through UNH First Step, New Hampshire high school students can earn UNH credit in their high school computer science and communication arts courses. Pinkerton teachers have worked with faculty from UNH Manchester to develop courses that align high school learning activities with UNH academic rigor and expectations.

According to a 2018 report by the National Center for Education Statistics, 61 percent of New Hampshire’s high school graduates leave the state to pursue their four-year degrees.

“By enabling students to earn college credit in their own high school classrooms, programs like UNH First Step pave the way to academic opportunities at our in-state institutions,” New Hampshire Department of Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut said.

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