College for America Blog

New advanced manufacturing program from Nashua Community College and College for America


Posted In: Academics, CFA News

May • 4 • 2014

Nashua Community College Joins with College for America at SNHU to Develop New Advanced Manufacturing Degrees Program with Funds from the U.S. Department of Labor

NASHUA, NH – Today Nashua Community College and College for America at Southern New Hampshire University announced a partnership to develop a new “Advanced Manufacturing by Innovation and Design” program, funded by a $2.5 M U.S. Department of Labor grant to Nashua Community College and informed by input from area businesses.

The “Advanced Manufacturing by Innovation and Design” (AMID) program will implement a STEM-based academic path for students from an Advanced Manufacturing Certificate to an Associate in Science degree in Precision Manufacturing and Mechanical Design Technology.  The program will also facilitate the transfer of credits to Bachelor’s degree programs.

Under the unique partnership, students will receive the benefits of both a competency-based general education curriculum by completing online projects, and learning hands-on skills in the classroom, interactive simulations, and experiential learning opportunities at Nashua Community College.   The CfA model will be customized to the Advanced Manufacturing programs of study at NCC.

“Industry partners are key to the program’s success and will play a pivotal role in the instructional design of AMID, in close collaboration with CfA’s innovative teaching and learning model and Nashua Community College’s rigorous Advanced Manufacturing curricula,” said Nashua Community College President Lucille Jordan. “Through this dynamic partnership, AMID will chart a course that meets the workforce needs of today’s highly competitive precision manufacturing market.”

The program is designed to help students achieve Advanced Manufacturing competencies that can stack into four-year STEM-based degrees and will target workers at risk of job loss, and transition workers as well as traditional students into Advanced Manufacturing careers.

“This new Advanced Manufacturing program is a unique partnership enabling us to make higher education accessible to more students while also making it more applicable in the workplace,” said Kristine Clerkin, Executive Director of College for America at Southern New Hampshire University. “We’re excited to work with Nashua Community College to blend traditional, experiential, competency-based, and online project-based learning to create new higher education pathways that will help more workers advance their lives and careers.”

AMID will focus on five core elements with a particular emphasis on:

· the development of stackable credentials that build Advanced Manufacturing competencies;

· articulation agreements that allow dual enrollment at NCC and CfA and facilitate transition to four-year STEM-based programs of study;

· technology-enabled learning strategies using virtual instruction to standardize programs of study across the state;

· interactive simulations that provide state-of-the-art experiential learning opportunities for new, dislocated and incumbent workers; and

· Online learning through innovative instructional design.

Founded in 1970, Nashua Community College is committed to providing comprehensive, market-driven, accessible, quality programs of higher education that respond to the needs of students, businesses and communities.  NCC offers both transfer-focused and career-oriented associate degrees and certificates. In 2013, the College’s 5,000 square foot Advanced Manufacturing laboratory was renovated and is equipped with machinery found in today’s cutting-edge manufacturing environment including a 3-D printer, and Prototrack CNC/Manual Lathes. Nashua Community College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.

College for America is a division of Southern New Hampshire University which administers competency-based college degrees designed to be more applicable in the workplace and more accessible and affordable for working adults. The nonprofit’s students demonstrate mastery of workplace-relevant competencies by completing real-world projects­—instead of traditional courses, lectures, and credit hours—that are directly informed by industry, academic and subject-matter experts. Student work is submitted online in a flexibly scheduled, self-paced program designed for working adults with busy lives.  Earlier this week, College for America announced launch of the first nationally available, fully accredited $10,000 bachelor’s degree program in the country.

The development of the AMID program is funded through a grant from the US Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program, which “provides community colleges and other eligible institutions of higher education with funds to expand and improve their ability to deliver education and career training programs that can be completed in two years or less, are suited for workers who are eligible for training under the TAA for Workers program, and prepare program participants for employment in high-wage, high-skill occupations. Through these multi-year grants, the Department of Labor is helping to ensure that our nation’s institutions of higher education are helping adults succeed in acquiring the skills, degrees, and credentials needed for high-wage, high-skill employment while also meeting the needs of employers for skilled workers.”

For further information, contact:

Dawn Kilcrease, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Nashua Community College, 603-578-8911 or

Colin Van Ostern, College for America at SNHU, 603-314-7637,