campus encounters

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Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University (visited 10/18/16)


One of the new buildings on campus

Most people recognize SNHU (students pronounce this “snew”) as an online provider, but this is also a full-on traditional school with 3,000 undergraduates on campus (with graduate and/or online students, their population totals over 100,000 students). They just absorbed most of the students and faculty from Daniel Webster College when that closed suddenly in the summer of 2016. Over the next few years, they might continue to grow by a few hundred students.


Some of the upperclass dorms

Located in Hooksett, this is a suburban and safe campus. They’re 10 minutes from downtown Manchester and an hour to Boston. It’s fairly residential with 2/3 of the undergrads living on campus. Housing in guaranteed, and there are 2 new res halls going up over the next couple years to replace older buildings. Freshman can have cars on campus.


The Pub

“This is not a ghost town on the weekends. There’s something every night whether it’s a musician in the pub or pizza and video games in the dorm.” Last Chapter Pub does serve local micro-brew beers (anyone can come into the pub; students with ID get a wristband to drink). Greek life is more community-service based; each member must complete least 10 hours a semester. A favorite campus activity is Battleship: students get into a canoe in the pool; given a paddle and a bucket, they try to sink others.

Faculty from a few stand-out departments talked to us:

  • Justice Studies
    • This is the umbrella including Criminal Justice:
      • Policing and Law Enforcement (about 40%)
      • Crime & Criminology (sociology, psych, political science, philosophy)
      • Law & Legal Process (good for students thinking of going to Law School)
      • Terrorism & Homeland Security
    • snhu-loungeFaculty come with professional backgrounds; most still work in the field (some are retired). Guest speakers are built into the program: the intro class always has a minimum of 3 guest speakers so students see an array of opportunities.
    • Internships are not “one-and-done” here; students are allowed to do up to 4 (including at home over the summer if they want). Students have interned at all kinds of police departments, parole offices, court appointed special advocates for children, US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, YMCA, Women’s Crisis Centers, national parks (rangers), security, and investigative services. Some do Marine patrol: they get sent to a Police Academy and work May to September.
  • snhu-educationEducation:
    • Professors must be currently certified teachers.
    • NH certification has reciprocity with most states.
    • Mostly elementary or through middle school with Secondary Math (7-12), Social Studies (5-12) and General Special Ed (K-12). There wasn’t enough interest for the other secondary programs.
    • Culminates with a full year of student teaching (which students can complete in 1 or 2 settings).
  • Business:
    • Degree in Three: Most students who come here are able to handle it. It’s experiential which makes it different. It’s easier to opt out than opt in; if they think they want to try, come in. Retention in the program and completing is usually 80-90%. Sometimes they’ll take summer programs if they’re an athlete or just want to take it easier. Study abroad is built in if they want to do it, and often they’ll do some online work when they’re away.
    • Business students are exposed to a variety of experiences, discussed from a business perspective. They might see a play and talk about marketing, fundraising, and costs associated with putting it on. It’s practical experience and allows them see options for jobs.
    • Much of their work is project-based. They partner with major companies like Target (how they market food) or Kohl’s (market the management program).
    • Students can get their MBA in 1 year + summer
  • snhu-hospitality-centerCulinary Management:
    • Incoming student don’t need previous experience (in fact, it’s split between those who had some experience and those who hadn’t).
    • A 400-hour internship is required between freshman and sophomore years so they know if they really want to continue. Our tour guide did hers at a bakery working 3am-11am.
  • Engineering will be starting shortly now that they’ve taken over Daniel Webster College.

Admissions is test optional, even for Engineering right now. Decisions are rolling with an answer in 30 days.

snhu-4Some of the students’ favorite classes include:

  • Sport Practicum: “I worked with a major league soccer team. The professor ran class like a business: we dressed up, had to be on time. We developed and ran a pre-game event put on before a live game. It was so successful that they kept running it.”
  • Game Design class: “we made a new game every 2 weeks. The professor changed up the teams, mechanics, etc. It was the most informative class because we could test out designs and ideas. I didn’t even know I cold do it.”
  • snhu-3Intro to Geography: “I thought it was going to be easy – but it was successfully challenging. I learned more in that class than anywhere else.”
  • A 2-week Culinary trip to Italy: “they taught about Italian cuisines, we went to a parmesan cheese factory, learned about wine regions, did cheese tastings. My favorite was when we went truffle mushroom hunting!”
  • Abnormal Psych: “It was interesting to look at all the case-studies. The professor talked about real-life cases.”
  • Food and Beverage Management: “This was a hybrid class. We designed menus, learned how to price, do marketing, stuff like that.”

© 2016

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