Franklin Pierce to open new campus in Manchester

Franklin Pierce College has announced plans to open a new campus in the Jefferson Mill in Manchester’s Millyard for the fall 2004 term and begin shutting down its campus in Salem.

The college will open a campus in an 11,000-square-foot space in the mill in early August, and classes will be held beginning in September.

Franklin Pierce College currently has six satellite campuses in Concord, Keene, Lebanon, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem. Its main campus is in Rindge.

According to Raymond Van der Riet, dean of the college’s Graduate and Professional Studies Division, the college decided to open a new campus in Manchester because the city “is one of the key financial and commercial growth centers for northern New England. The city remains at the core of the largest population increase in the state.”

According to Van der Riet, with the opening of the new campus in Manchester, Franklin Pierce plans to begin moving its operation in Salem to the new Manchester campus. “Over the course of the next 18 months we will begin phasing out our Salem campus and relocating those services to the Manchester campus,” said Van der Riet. “We envision the Manchester location as being a regional educational center that has the ability to deliver innovative educational programming to the city, state, and Northern New England.”

He said that moving the Salem operation “allows us to focus our resources in the areas where they are most needed.”

Van der Riet indicated that assistance will be available for the 300 students currently enrolled at the Salem campus. Students will either complete their programs in Salem during the 18-month transition period or continue at one of the college’s additional satellite campuses.

The new campus in Manchester will offer both undergraduate and graduate programs, Van der Riet said. “What’s unique about our vision for this campus is that no course and no program will be offered entirely in the traditional delivery model,” he said. “All of our programming will feature an on-line component. This combination of classroom contact hours and technology-based teaching solutions is the future of education both for traditional age students and adult learners. Our move to Manchester allows us to take advantage of the available technology to develop a delivery model that meets the needs and the learning styles of our students.”

Van der Riet cited Manchester’s access to high-speed technology, the city’s airport and its new civic center as attributes the college considered when it studied the feasibility of expanding its educational programming there. “The essential services required by a growing population are well established in Manchester and provide consistent and high quality performance to the area.”

Van der Riet said that the revitalization of the city’s Millyard held great appeal for the college when determining the location for the new campus. “Manchester’s Millyard represents not only the city’s history but its future as well,” said Van der Riet. “We are delighted to be playing a part in the re-purposing of this historic district to better serve the emerging needs of the region.”

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