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Senator Hassan’s Bill to Help High School Students Earn College Credits Receives Support from NH Educators

Senator Hassan Continues to Urge House to Pass Broader Package to Boost America’s Leadership & Outcompete China

WASHINGTON – Following U.S. Senate passage this month of the bipartisan United States Innovation and Competition Act, New Hampshire education leaders shared their support for a key bipartisan provision based on a bill authored by Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Todd Young (R-IN) which would help high school students earn college credits. ­


“As we have seen at community colleges throughout New Hampshire, early college programs benefit high school students by helping prepare them for higher education, and in turn, for in-demand jobs at New Hampshire businesses,” said Beth Doiron, Director of College Access and Department of Education Programs and Initiatives at the Community College System of NH. “I appreciate Senator Hassan’s continued advocacy on behalf of early college programs, and support her bipartisan efforts to strengthen and expand dual enrollment programs in New Hampshire and across the country.”


“By earning college credits in high school, students have the opportunity to explore potential careers sooner rather than later and develop plans for college and their career,” said Steven Rothenberg, CTE Director of Concord Regional Technical Center. “Senator Hassan’s efforts to strengthen early college programs will help serve the long-term needs of Granite State students and help position our state for further economic success by connecting students to workplace opportunities here at home.”


“College debt is flooding New Hampshire families. Dual enrollment and articulation opportunities such as Running Start and SNHU in the school are lifelines that can save New Hampshire's younger generation,” said Courtney Ritchings, Director of Career & Technical Education at Portsmouth School Department. “Despite all of the external forces that challenged us this year, the Portsmouth High School Career and Technical Education Team, teachers and students alike, have come together to produce some amazing results in 2021. Our students achievements include: the completion of 279 college courses embedded within their CTE programs. Through Running Start and SNHU in the Schools, our students earned 729 college credits while completing their high school course work that is closely aligned with the Community College System of NH and Southern New Hampshire University content. These opportunities saved families in the greater Portsmouth community just over $300,000 tuition dollars.


“To outcompete China, we need to make sure that our students have the skills and education to succeed in the 21st economy,” Senator Hassan said. “This bipartisan measure will help more high school students receive a college-level STEM education and gain the skills that are essential in our modern economy. I am pleased to have helped secure this important measure in the bipartisan United States Innovation and Competition Act, and I will continue pushing my colleagues in the House to pass this larger bill to help the U.S. outcompete China without delay.”


The measure that passed as part of the bipartisan United States Innovation and Competition Act would create a competitive grant program to expand postsecondary STEM pathways, such as dual enrollment and early college high school programs. These pathways will increase the number of students exposed to high-quality STEM coursework, provide students the opportunity to earn postsecondary credentials, reduce college costs, and improve postsecondary credit transfers.


Senator Hassan is working across the aisle to help ensure that America’s workforce is prepared to compete in the 21st century innovation economy. In 2018, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act became law. Senator Hassan helped craft and advance the bill, which requires states and local programs to collaborate with the business community and workforce development organizations so that education programs will better meet the needs of innovative businesses.


Senator Hassan also recently introduced the bipartisan Mathematical and Statistical Modeling Education Act with Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to modernize math curriculum and improve K-12 STEM education in the United States. Senators Hassan and Young also led the effort in reintroducing the bipartisan Gateway to Careers Act to help expand economic opportunity for hard-working Americans and to support innovative businesses in need of a strong workforce.