River Valley Community College and Granite State partner in higher educationBy MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent
June 04. 2014 12:31AM
CLAREMONT — River Valley Community College and Granite State College signed and celebrated a memorandum of understanding Tuesday that ushers in an expanded collaboration between the colleges.
“We’re really excited,” River Valley Community College President Alicia Harvey-Smith said Tuesday.
Harvey-Smith signed the agreement with Granite State College President Roxanne Gonzales at the celebration in Concord.
Claremont Mayor James Neilsen and City Manager Guy Santagate also attended to express their enthusiasm for the partnership, which expands higher education opportunities for city residents.
The new partnership is an opportunity for students to enter River Valley Community College and Granite State College through dual enrollment.
Students would take classes through River Valley for the first two years.
“We’ll give them the foundations,” Harvey-Smith said.
These students, though, would also be on track to continue another two years at Granite State College at its regional location in downtown Claremont for a bachelor’s degree. The program also extends to the master’s degree programs if students want to continue their education, she said.
The new partnership also includes River Valley classes to be held at the Granite State College Claremont location, which is centrally located on Pleasant Street, she said.
“It’s really an opportunity to attract, I hope, more individuals to higher education in our region,” Harvey-Smith said.Harvey-Smith said the collaboration is a win-win for the colleges as well as for the city. The collaboration is bringing more students and activities downtown, she said.
River Valley is also exploring the creation of student housing in the downtown area, specifically the recently renovated Brown Block building.
“We’ve heard a lot from our community, our students,” Harvey-Smith said, about having downtown dorms as an option.
The community college is exploring the possibility of creating a living-learning center downtown, Harvey-Smith said.
“No decisions have been made yet. We are in the exploratory stage,” she said.
River Valley College campus is located outside of the downtown area on Route 120.