New A.S. Degree Supports STEM Studies
In the Fall of 2014, NHTI will launch a new Associate Degree program in Mathematics. Over a year in the planning, this practically-oriented program includes a foundation in computer programming and three semesters of calculus-based physics, along with a range of general education requirements. The idea is for this program to provide a solid background for just about any type of 4-year engineering degree a student might choose to pursue.
"We went to UNH and met with their Math and Physics department heads," says Kate Sawal, head of NHTI's math/physics department. "As a result we created five new courses, all of which will transfer as equivalent. It was important to show them not only that our curriculum met their criteria, but that we would be able to maintain the rigor they require." Articulation (transfer) agreements with Plymouth State and SNHU are also in the works.
Over the past year, the department has added staff and now has nine full-time math faculty and about 30 adjuncts. It has also purchased lab equipment to support the new program, especially the calculus-based physics courses not previously offered at the college.
The development of this new program was driven in part by the Community College System of NH's current dedication to expanding its offerings in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. The degree will prepare students for employment upon graduation in STEM positions in industry, as well as for continued study at the baccalaureate level. Kate Sawal notes that students can take "approximately two courses for the price of one" at NHTI vs UNH, making the community college a very attractive alternative for students seeking to launch an academic or technical career.
But for Sawal, establishing a math major at NHTI has been a long-time goal, with ramifications far beyond the current drive to produce tech-savvy graduates to work in local industries.
"I believe in the power of math," she says. "When we teach people to think like this, to do this kind of work, we are creating problem-solvers. These are the people who are going to be able to go out and work on solving society's problems -- maybe not with calculus, but with that kind of rigorous thinking."
Stand back, NHTI ... let the thinking begin!
Student Senate Wants You!
Are you smart, driven, and looking to make a difference? Are you interested in representing your major in NHTI’s student government organization? Student Senate is still recruiting talented, ambitious students for the spring 2014 semester and beyond! Contact Advisor Marty Hunt to learn more, or come to room SC225 any Tuesday at 12:00 noon to join one of the most involved, engaging organizations on campus!
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