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New England College opens new space for classes in Concord

Local students attending New England College will now have the opportunity to take classes in Concord, as the college officially opens its branch on North Main Street today.

“We’re really thrilled with our location, we’ve already gotten a bunch of people poking their heads in and saying ‘hi’ and introducing themselves,” said Morgan Smith, vice president of advancement and communications.

The Henniker-based college began looking for a space in Concord earlier this year and closed on a building at 62 N. Main St. several months ago. The space is two stories and houses two classrooms on the top floor as well as a downstairs space that can be used for events. The extension will offer graduate and undergraduate classes and give students a chance to connect with Concord organizations that may be looking for interns.

Graduate students in the mental health counseling program have been using the space for several weeks, but an official opening event is being held tonight from 5 to 7. Because the location is opening mid-semester, no undergraduate professors are offering courses in Concord yet, Smith said.

New England College has about 1,000 undergraduate students across 33 bachelor’s degree programs and another 1,000 graduate students across 13 master’s degree programs. Smith said all of the programs could be offered in Concord based on demand. The new location will make attending the college more convenient for some students and offer new opportunities for outside learning. Right now, the college is working on developing community partnerships with businesses and nonprofits in Concord, and some students have already met with potential employers.

“We suspect that there will be a great amount of community connections coming from those introductions,” she said.

The Concord campus will be open five days a week and has the capacity to offer three classes at a time.

The two upstairs classrooms can fit up to 20 people and have modular seating that can be arranged in several ways, to accommodate classes or potential conferences or other events by local businesses that may want to use the space.

Other potential uses for the space include hosting community poetry readings, debates or workshops that might interest members of the public.

“We see a lot of value in helping small companies and organizations get ahead, whether that be in education or sharing the space,” Smith said.

Greg Rodriguez, a graduate admissions counselor, said the new building provides a chance to reach out to new audiences as well as to provide a more convenient location for students already enrolled in its programs.

The students taking classes on North Main Street
now through the mental health program appreciate the local access to classes, he said.

“They really love the new space, they love how up to date it is,” he said. “It’s really exciting . . . because the location is just great for them.”

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or or on Twitter at @kronayne.)

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