The University of New Hampshire has expanded its concurrent credit program, UNH First Step, to Bow High School. Beginning this spring, BHS juniors and seniors will have the opportunity to simultaneously earn high school and UNH credit in select high school courses.
BHS joins Pinkerton Academy in the ranks of UNH First Step, which launched at Pinkerton in fall 2019 as a two-year pilot program. Mike Decelle, dean of UNH Manchester, says expanding UNH First Step to other New Hampshire high schools could encourage students to go to college, particularly in New Hampshire.
“The goal of UNH First Step is to make college more accessible to New Hampshire students,” Decelle said. “When students choose to stay here, they become part of the workforce engine that strengthens our state’s economy.”
"The goal of UNH First Step is to make college more accessible to New Hampshire students."
UNH First Step enables New Hampshire high school students to earn UNH credit in their high school computer science and communication arts courses. For the spring semester, BHS teachers have worked with faculty from UNH Manchester to develop an applied computing course that aligns high school learning activities with UNH academic rigor and expectations.
Mihaela Sabin, professor of computer science at UNH Manchester, has been actively involved in expanding computer science education in the state’s K-12 system. She says UNH First Step furthers that commitment by increasing opportunities to broader participation in college-level curriculum.
“Computing careers are in high-demand in New Hampshire and nationally, so building computer science into the curriculum early on is crucial,” Sabin said, adding that computer science is now a core component of K-12 education in the state thanks to a bill passed into law in 2018. “This collaboration not only improves the implementation of the new curricular standards, but also supports and empowers students to learn computing skills that they can carry into their college and professional careers.”
The university anticipates offering UNH First Step at several additional high schools near its Durham and Manchester campuses during the two-year pilot. Once the pilot is successfully completed, the goal is to continue to expand to high schools throughout the state.
For more information, visit the UNH First Step webpage.