Finding the Right Path: From MCC to UNH
Tracey Riehl was looking for a college where she could take day, night and online classes that fit her busy schedule and do it within her budget. That’s why the mother of four from New Boston decided to enroll at Manchester Community College two years ago.
But it was two additional experiences that Riehl, 45 at the time, had not expected that made her decision to attend MCC truly life-changing.
First, she signed up for the Dual Admission program. Then, she immersed herself in campus life. Those two actions put her on a college path she had not imagined.
“When I visited the school and heard about their Dual Admission program, that clinched my decision,” Riehl said.
New Hampshire Community College students in the Dual Admission program can earn credits that apply to their associate and bachelor’s degrees. By maintaining a 2.5 grade-point average or higher in community college, students are guaranteed entry into a liberal arts program at a University System of New Hampshire institution (University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State, Keene State or Granite State).
All credits transferred!
Riehl completed her associate degree this spring and is transferring to UNH-Manchester to study politics and society. “I was pleased to learn that all 73 of my credits from MCC will be accepted at UNH,” she said.
Dual Admission students pay only one application fee, have access to specialized academic advising, may be eligible for merit-based scholarships and are guaranteed university housing where available.
Guidance from counselors at both colleges
“The Dual Admission program was a big reason why I came to MCC,” she said. “It wouldn’t be a savings if I took a class at MCC and then had to repeat a similar class at UNH.”
Riehl’s MCC advisor made sure she was on track throughout the Dual Admission program, while the college’s website provided an outline of the courses required to successfully complete the program.
“I printed out the website’s outline and I would check off courses that fulfilled my requirements. The website is really user-friendly, and I could find courses that fit into my schedule. I used that as my guide,” she said. “I then confirmed with my advisor before every semester that I made the best choices.”
Riehl also worked with a transfer advisor from UNH-Manchester, who made sure all of her credits would transfer.
A campus life full of activity
While MCC was the right fit in terms of her academic goals, Riehl admits she didn’t expect the wealth of activities offered at MCC. She figured she would attend classes and then head straight home.
“Obviously, at my age, I wasn’t your traditional student,” she said. “I wasn’t looking for the typical college experience. I didn’t want to live in a dorm. But I was pleasantly surprised that MCC offered so many activities, groups and organizations. I had no idea.”
During her time at MCC she served as president of the Global Citizens Club, receiving a Newman Civic Award for her service. Her volunteer work included an 11-day trip with other club members to Ecuador to bring clean water to remote villages, along with medical supplies, clothing, toothbrushes, toothpaste and donated toys.
“It was a major undertaking and a fantastic experience, far beyond what anybody traveling to Ecuador would normally see,” she said. “We stayed in communities that normal tourists would never travel to. I never expected to have this kind of opportunity at a community college.”
Riehl, who also served as the club’s representative in the MCC Student Senate, found herself immersed in campus life at MCC, quite unexpectedly, while still being able to raise her family and knowing that she would be guaranteed acceptance into UNH.
The perfect transition
“MCC provided the perfect transition into the college experience,” she said. “Starting at a four-year college felt intimidating. MCC has smaller classes, and I had access to professors when I needed help."
“You might not think a community college has that many resources, but there are all kinds of resources available if you are struggling with school, finances or whatever. MCC was the perfect, welcoming environment.”
The Dual Admission program was a big reason why I came to MCC.
- Tracey Riehl, MCC, UNH-Manchester
Starting at a four-year college felt intimidating. MCC has smaller classes, and I had access to professors when I needed help.
- Tracey Riehl, MCC, UNH-Manchester