by GSA Sue Greenbaum, Currier Museum of Art Class of 2010
Forty years ago I attended NHTI, (New Hampshire Technical Institute). The name was changed to NHTI Concord's Community College in 2008. Imagine how excited I was to attend the presentation and tour the campus of my alma mater!
We met at Sweeney Hall and first had a one hour presentation and extensive question and answer period with:
Dawn Higgins, Director of Cross-cultural Education and ESOL firstname.lastname@example.org
Cory Schofield, Office of Admissions / Advising Center email@example.com
along with NHTI students Eric Miller and Lily Richos, and our own intern Sindy Chown, who made the arrangements for this tour.
NHTI opened its doors in 1965 with 3 engineering technology programs. There are now over 80 academic programs, with Liberal Arts/General Studies being the largest major on campus. NHTI now enrolls 4500-5000 students annually, and 350 students live in their 3 co-ed residence halls. 97% of the student population are New Hampshire students, and the average student age is 24.8. There are over 30 student organizations, and a dozen men's and women's intercollegiate athletic teams. Tuition varies by major and the number of credits required. Most classes are 3 credits for $698.00. NHTI provides a jumping off point to Bachelor degree programs with other schools that have Articulation agreements with NHTI. It provides students with NHTI Associates degrees a seamless transfer into both public and private institutions as juniors.
On campus there are 600 ESL students, and 80 languages are spoken on campus. Can you guess which language is spoken the most? Is it French, or perhaps Spanish or.......? Nope, it's Nepali!
With such a large base of ESL speakers, we learned that NHTI utilizes a program called Conversation Partners with their ESL Students. This program facilitates cultural exchanges between native English-speaking students with non-native English-speaking students outside of the classroom environment. This promotes cross-cultural communication, and maintains a friendly environment at NHTI. As an example, they could pair someone from a culture that fears authority and police with someone from the police academy, which just so happens to be on campus! The result of this is beneficial for both sides. For more information on this click on https://www.nhti.edu/academics/office-cross-cultural-education-english-speakers-other-languages-esol
After this presentation we were off for a tour of the campus. The campus itself has undergone a lot of changes since I was a student here. It has quadrupled in size, with so many new buildings, I no longer knew my way around. What were once grassy spaces are now much needed parking lots, and the campus entry is completely flipped around, now accessed via I-393, not I-93 North.
We went into the new library, complete with state of the art Computer Labs and Media Services. We were quite amused to see another addition, a treadmill desk. One could get a workout in, relieve stress, and get a reading assignment completed all at the same time!
Naturally my favorite part was seeing the nursing classrooms and labs. When I was there, all 65 of us nursing students attended the same 2 hour lectures at the same time. The instructors had so much information to impart to us during class time that there was no time for any questions, no time to fully comprehend the content during class, and just trying to keep up with note taking was brutal. Many hands would cramp, but again, there was no time for a break. Many students brought tape recorders so they could review the content each night. Talk about stressful! Having 4 years of college behind me at this point in my life, I was frankly shocked at how tough the curriculum was at NHTI.
In contrast, the classrooms we peeked in during our tour had far fewer students. The students appeared relaxed, and they all wore the mandatory wine colored scrubs.
Back in my day, we learned our nursing skills in the simulation lab by practicing on each other, live guinea pigs, you could say. When it came time for your partner to give his/her first injection, you prayed it would go well. Getting a bed bath from another student was frankly embarrassing. Many skills we never learned until after we started our first nursing job, like starting IVs, and performing urinary catheterizations.
We were able to look into the modern sim lab, a huge room with 9 computerized mannequins in hospital beds with all the usual bedside medical equipment. The mannequins have a pulse and heartbeat, and even pass urine. The students get to work on the dummies and do almost everything they will have to do when working on actual patients. By the end of their courses, students have to be prepared to take an exam in which they tend to the mannequin as it goes through a series of realistic symptoms. It is said by the students that this can be as stressful as working on a real patient. They even run simulations where the mannequin don't make it, as from a cardiac arrest, as they will surely face in the real world.
We also peeked in a simulation pediatrics room with a crib and other bedside medical equipment. I have worked in a Neonatal ICU (NICU) and would have loved to have gotten closer to both of these labs, which unfortunately were empty and dark when we toured!
In addition to Nursing and the Dental Hygiene program that was available 40 years ago, there are now new Allied Health programs. For instance, there is an Orthopedic Technology Certificate, where students learn such things as Casting & Splinting, and Sterile Technique, and there is a Paramedic Emergency Medicine program as well.
Our tour ended with a $7.00 "all-you-can-eat" lunch in the dining hall. I really enjoyed this tour, and wish to thank Cory and Eric very much for all the time they gave to us, showing us NHTI and answering our (okay, mostly my) questions! So much has changed, and has been vastly improved since I started in 1978. I couldn't help but wonder how my experience as a NHTI student would be in 2018. Go Lynx!Sue Greenbaum, RN
Photo album of tour: https://photos.app.goo.gl/JUIth9NDuOQjNf8R2