Southern New Hampshire University
|Motto||Summa Optimaque (Latin)|
Motto in English
|The Greatest and the Best|
|Type||Private, nonprofit, coeducational, nonsectarian|
|ACBSP, ACE, AAC&U, NAICU, NEASC, NHCUC|
|President||Paul J. LeBlanc|
4,092 (On campus)
|Campus||Suburban 300 acres (1.2 km2)|
|Colors||Blue and Gold|
|NCAA Division II – NE-10|
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private, nonprofit, coeducational, and nonsectarian university situated between Manchester and Hooksett, New Hampshire, in the United States. The university is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, along with national accreditations for some hospitality, health, education and business degrees. With the expansion of its online programs, SNHU is one of the fastest-growing universities in the United States.
The university was founded in 1932 by Harry A.B. Shapiro and his wife Gertrude Crockett Shapiro as a for-profit institution focused on teaching business. It was opened under the name the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science. In 1961, it was incorporated and renamed New Hampshire College of Accounting and Commerce. The state of New Hampshire granted the college its charter in 1963, which gave it degree-granting authority. The first associate degrees were awarded that year, and the first bachelor's degrees were conferred in 1966. The college became a nonprofit institution under a board of trustees in September 1968, and its name was shortened to New Hampshire College in 1969.
The 1970s were a time of growth and change. The college moved from its downtown Manchester site to the now 300-acre (120 ha) campus along the Merrimack River at the northern border of Manchester with the town of Hooksett in 1971. Academic offerings expanded with the introduction of the Master of Business Administration program in 1974, as well as the adoption of the human services programs from Franconia College, which closed in 1978.
In 1981, New Hampshire College received authorization from the New Hampshire legislature to offer Master of Science degrees in business-related subjects, as well as Master of Human Services degrees (all human services programs would eventually be transferred to Springfield College in Massachusetts by the end of the decade). That same year, the college opened its North Campus on the site of the former Mount Saint Mary College, which had shut down three years prior. The North Campus became the home of the culinary arts program, which was established in 1983.
Ultimately, the North Campus was sold, and all its academic programs were reconsolidated onto the main campus. This spurred major expansion of the main campus in the mid-1990s. Construction began on Washington Hall, a residence hall; Webster Hall, home to the School of Business; the Hospitality Center, home to the Quill (a student-run restaurant) and culinary arts programs; and Belknap Hall, now home to the Institute for Language Education, the School of Education, and several university offices. In 1995, New Hampshire College began offering distance learning programs through the Internet. In 1998, academic degrees were expanded to include the Ph.D. in community economic development and the Doctor of Business Administration.
New Hampshire College became Southern New Hampshire University on July 1, 2001. A new residence hall, New Castle Hall, was completed in 2001, while a new academic facility, Robert Frost Hall, containing the McIninch Art Gallery, was completed in 2002. When nearby Notre Dame College closed, three of Notre Dame's graduate education programs and two undergraduate education programs transferred to SNHU.
When president Paul LeBlanc took over in 2003, the early 2000s recession had impacted the school with rising tuition and shrinking enrollment. LeBlanc addressed this in 2009 with an increased focus on the College of Online & Continuing Education. Rapid revenue growth from the division helped save the struggling main campus, where enrollment had slumped. The school focused on increasing graduation rates and adjusting the online college to meet the needs of the working adults that make up most of its student body.
|Harry A.B. Shapiro||1932–1952|
|Gertrude C. Shapiro||1952–1972|
|Richard A. Gustafson||1987–2003|
|Paul J. LeBlanc||2003–present|
Expansion of student housing continued with the opening of Conway and Lincoln Halls in 2004, and Hampton and Windsor Halls in 2006. SNHU became New Hampshire's first carbon-neutral university in 2007, when president LeBlanc signed the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment The Academic Center and the Dining Center were completed by 2009.
A new 152-room residence hall, Tuckerman Hall, was opened in the fall of 2013. A 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) Learning Commons was opened in 2014, housing the library, the information technology help desk, a café, and media production services. The former Shapiro Library was reopened as the William S. and Joan Green Center for Student Success, a student center housing conference rooms and meeting space, along with student services for women, learning disabilities, veterans and other groups.
The university purchased naming rights to the downtown Manchester Civic Arena in September 2016, naming it SNHU Arena for at least 10 years in a deal that included internships for students and use of the facility for graduation and athletic events.
SNHU absorbed the faculty and staff at Daniel Webster College along with the engineering and aviation programs, operating the college's campus in Nashua for the remainder of the 2016-17 academic year after its parent company, ITT Technical Institute, filed for bankruptcy. SNHU purchased the college's aviation facilities (including a flight center, tower building, and hangar) at Nashua Airport, for $410,000 and enrolled up to 30 students in their Aviation Operations and Management bachelor’s degree program. An undisclosed Chinese university, which plans to open a satellite campus, outbid SNHU for the former campus. To accommodate the new students, SNHU converted an unused warehouse on campus into space for classrooms, laboratories, and a machine shop. SNHU plans to construct an additional engineering building by 2019.
Three major construction projects were completed in 2017: the Gustafson Center, a new welcome center named for the former university president Richard A. Gustafson; Penmen Stadium, a 1,500-seat outdoor stadium; and Monadnock Hall, an apartment-style residence hall. In November 2017, the university announced a $100 million project including a 1,700 space parking garage and an additional 500 jobs at its downtown Manchester offices supporting the online college. Another residence hall, Kingston Hall, opened in August 2018, replacing three of the campus's original dormitories (Chocorua, Kearsarge, and Winnisquam halls).
Colleges and schools
- College for America (CfA)
- College of Engineering, Technology & Aeronautics (CETA)
- College of Online & Continuing Education (COCE)
- School of Arts & Sciences
- School of Business
- School of Education
The three-year Honors Program is a custom-designed, integrated academic experience that is offered over the course of six semesters for business majors. As a result, students earn an undergraduate business degree in three years rather than four. It was started using a challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 1995. SNHU offers similar accelerated programs to undergraduate students majoring in creative writing and justice studies as well.
Southern New Hampshire University's COCE offers programs both online and at its three regional centers. The university's main campus serves as a regional center, in addition to satellite campuses in Salem, New Hampshire and Brunswick, Maine.
Enrollment in the College of Online & Continuing Education (COCE), based in downtown Manchester, has increased rapidly: from 8,000 students in 2001 to 34,000 in 2014, to over 80,000 according to the school. The COCE has increased its hiring of full-time professors as the online program has grown (as of 2014, most of the more than 2,700 faculty members were part-time instructors located throughout the United States and abroad). Alumni and educators outside of the school have criticized the university's aggressive recruiting techniques and nationwide advertising campaigns, comparing them to those used by for-profit institutions such as the University of Phoenix and the now defunct ITT Technical Institute. In response, president LeBlanc stated that SNHU has "borrowed the best of operational practices from the for-profits (customer service, data analytics, a sense of urgency and accountability) while eschewing the practices that cast them in such a poor light."
SNHU's College for America (CfA) offers degrees that rely on competency-based learning rather than traditional credit hours, based in part on programs at Western Governors University. In 2013, the CfA became the first of its kind to gain federal approval from the U.S. Department of Education. In 2017, it formed a partnership with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, making all federal employees eligible for CfA courses.
Accreditation and memberships
Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education Division of Higher Education—Higher Education Commission. The School of Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Some programs have specialized accreditation, such as the sport management programs, which are recognized by the North American Society for Sport Management, and the hospitality administration program, which is recognized by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration.
Nationally, it is a member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the American Council on Education, and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. At the state level, it is a member of the New Hampshire College & University Council (NHCUC), a consortium of higher learning institutions in New Hampshire.
Recognitions and awards
US News & World Report ranked Southern New Hampshire University at #112 in Regional Universities North, and #1 in Most Innovative Schools in the 2019 rankings. Fast Company has named SNHU the 12th most innovative organization in the world in its World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies edition. Additionally, the university has been repeatedly recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the best colleges for which to work.
The School of Business and the COCE have won multiple "Best of Business" Awards, for Best MBA Program and Best Online Degree Program, respectively. These awards are presented annually by the New Hampshire Business Review. The university's community economic development program received a 2007 New England Higher Education Excellence Award, the Robert J. McKenna award, named for the former Rhode Island state senator and New England Board of Higher Education chair. It is presented each year to an outstanding academic program.
Southern New Hampshire University has numerous student organizations on campus, including Radio SNHU (the campus radio station) and The Penmen Press (the student newspaper). SNHU also publishes The Penmen Review, an online creative writing journal for students and alumni.
Southern New Hampshire University participates in NCAA Division II athletics. The school is a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference and the Northeast-10 Conference. The teams' nickname, the Penmen, is an homage to the university's history as an accounting school. The university's mascot is named "Petey Penmen".
Lou D'Allesandro was appointed the first athletic director and head coach of the men's basketball team in 1963. Future NBA head coach P.J. Carlesimo coached the men's basketball team during the 1975–1976 season, compiling a 14–13 record and winning the Mayflower Conference championship.
The Stan Spirou Field House is named after longtime men's basketball coach Stan Spirou, whose career spanned from 1985 to 2018. He is considered one of the most successful NCAA Division II basketball coaches, compiling a career winning percentage of .652 (522–279), four New England Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year awards (1993, 1994, 1995, 1999), and was named the National Coach of the Year in 1994 by Division II Bulletin. His teams have averaged 22 wins per season and also have 14 NCAA tournament appearances, four NCAA regional titles, and six NECC tournament championships.
In 1989, when it was known as New Hampshire College, the Penmen won their first NCAA Men's Soccer Championship, against UNC Greensboro. In 2002, the men's soccer team returned to the NCAA Division II championship game, but lost to Sonoma State. On December 7, 2013, the Penmen won their second NCAA men's soccer national title, defeating Carson-Newman, 2-1.
SNHU is a recipient of the NCAA Foundation Academic Achievement Award, in recognition of high graduation rates among student athletes. SNHU took home the award for the highest graduation rate among all Division II schools. SNHU also earned the Northeast-10 Conference Academic Achievement Award following the 2001–02 school year.
List of teams
Men's sports (8)
Women's sports (11)
- Rebecca Adamson, Cherokee businessperson and advocate
- Felix G. Arroyo, former member of the Boston City Council and primary candidate for mayor of Boston in 2013
- Preston Burpo, former MLS player and current goalkeeping coach for the New York Red Bulls
- Chuck Collins, author, co-founder of United for a Fair Economy, and senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies
- Edward F. Davis, former commissioner of the Boston Police Department
- Elaine Duke, 7th United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security
- Jack Flanagan, former member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives for the 26th Hillsborough District
- Ron Fortier, comic book writer
- Marjoie Kilkelly, former member of the Maine House of Representatives and Maine Senate
- Stephen D. Lovejoy, former member of the Maine House of Representatives for the 115th District
- Paul Mark, member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives for the 2nd Berkshire District
- Garrett Mason, member of the Maine Senate for the 22nd District
- Peggy Morgan, professional mixed martial artist
- Marc R. Pacheco, member of the Massachusetts Senate for the 1st Plymouth and Bristol District
- Pam Patenaude, 10th United States Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
- Rob Paternostro, former professional basketball player and head coach of the Leicester Riders
- Benjamin Ramos, former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 180th District
- Annette Robinson, former member of the New York Assembly for the 56th District
- Abuhena Saifulislam, chaplain in the United States Marine Corps
- Mohd Sidek Hassan, chairman of Petronas, former president of the International Islamic University Malaysia, and 12th Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia
- Samia Suluhu, 10th Vice President of Tanzania, the first woman to hold this position
- Chris Tsonis, professional soccer player
- Tate Westbrook, United States Navy officer who commanded the USS Spruance (DDG-111) from 2010 to 2012
- Jay Willis, defenseman for the Western Mass Pioneers and head coach of the Worcester State Lancers men's soccer team
- Corey Wilson, United States Marine Corps veteran and former member of the Maine House of Representatives for the 56th District
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- "About Us". SNHU. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
- Kolowich, Steve (May 8, 2014). "Southern New Hampshire U. Designs a New Template for Faculty Jobs". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
- Kingkade, Tyler (January 9, 2014). "SNHU's Online Enrollment Is Soaring, Just Don't Compare It to a For-Profit College". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
- "Setting the record straight again (sigh)". SNHU President's Corner. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
- Fain, Paul (March 15, 2017). "Competency-Based Degrees for Federal Employees". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
- Scott, Amy (April 18, 2013). "No classes needed: Southern New Hampshire University emphasizes skills". Marketplace. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
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- Boucher, Steve (July 23, 2013). "SNHU Once Again Recognized by Chronicle of Higher Education". SNHU. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
- Boutselis, Pamme (March 6, 2014). "New Hampshire Business Review Names SNHU "Best of Business 2014"". SNHU. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
- Stratton, Charlotte (January 24, 2007). "New Hampshire School, Ed Leaders Win New England Higher Education Excellence Awards". New England Board of Higher Education. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
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- "Critical Issues Symposium Keynote Speaker: Chuck Collins". Hope College. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
- "Edward Davis – BS Justice Studies, Class of 1986". SNHU. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- "Elaine C. Duke". United States Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
- DiStaso, John (October 22, 2015). "Republican Flanagan exploring possible run for 2nd District U.S. House seat". WMUR. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
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