College Begins Inside the Walls of Pelham High

November 1, 2013

by Christopher Gamble, Pelham High School Intern

The town of Pelham sometimes gets a bad rap for the physical condition of its high school; however, outsiders do not realize the amazing opportunities Pelham offers its students.  This semester, students were given the opportunity to register for 12 college courses, earning college credit and high school credits at the same time.

These early college credit opportunities are available through partnerships with the Community Colleges of New Hampshire and Southern New Hampshire University.  This fall, 156 Pelham High students took advantage of the program and began their college education while sitting in their high school classrooms here in Pelham.

Last year Pelham High offered 25 college courses with over 300 students enrolling for a chance to receive these credits.  Along with the accomplishment of possibly taking all their general education classes before college, students are given this opportunity at a cost much less than the price of a course in college.  The classes at Pelham cost either $100 or $150 and, pending their grades, students receive full credit for the classes they take and can transfer them to other colleges.

In the past there have been some very accomplished students from Pelham that have taken these “dual enrollment” classes through Pelham High, one of which is current freshman at Clemson University, Alex Newton.  During his education at Pelham, Newton took six college courses along with his regular high school classes.  Newton stated, “Enrollment in Pelham high’s dual credit program helped me get prepared for college courses while still in high school.  I was able to start my college career with credits I had already earned through this program.”  He went on to say that he highly recommends future students to take these classes, but before investing students should check with their intended college that they will accept the credits for their major.  Of Newton’s six courses from high school, Clemson University College of Engineering accepted three, and even though he would have liked to have had all six classes transferred, he said, “Having three of my courses already completed in high school is a major benefit of dual enrollment.”

Pelham High has been corresponding with NCC and SNHU for over a decade to help students save money and take college courses while still in high school.  With many other stories like Newton’s in the past, and more to come in the future, it’s no wonder that Pelham High graduates have notoriously done well for themselves upon graduating.