On April 5th, 2023 the Leadership Greater Nashua class dove into the various forms of education that are unique within Nashua.
The morning started with a tour of a MASSIVE new facility that the Academy of Science and Design will be moving to in the fall of 2023. This new space at 9 Townsend West in Nashua will allow the charter school to expand from its current enrollment of around 535 students to 650! Hands on learning and unique teaching styles make this school stand out from traditional public schools. Its success is evident by the large number of students who have applied for the limited number of slots for the 2023-2024 school year.
The day continued with non-traditional education choices and early childhood education in Nashua. The Adult Learning Center, YMCA of Greater Nashua, World Academy, Academy of Science and Design, Bishop Guertin High School, MACS and VLACS were all represented in these discussions. There were two commonalities between all of these organizations, which were also mimicked in our Highschool and Community College tours later in the day:
- Labor and workforce shortages are a huge threat and challenge to all education facilities.
- We are at the turning point in education. (This will be summarized in the last paragraph)
The Leadership Greater Nashua class went to Nashua South High School for the next session of the day. We were all impressed and surprised to see the variety of Career Technical Education (CTE) options that were offered to students. CTE provides students with the academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers. Examples of CTE programs offered at the Nashua High Schools are nursing labs, wood working shops, HVAC and electrician training facilities, a video production lab, CAD studio, accounting training program and much more.
Nashua Community College was the final stop of the day. Adaptations to the needs of students were highlighted during this portion of the day, as well as informal partnerships between Rivier University and NCC. It was great to hear the openness of NCC to add new programs and workshops to meet the workforce needs or major employers.
The primary takeaway from today’s view into Nashua’s education sector was that we are at a historic turning point in education. Significantly more real world experience and CTE style learning is being offered today. Changes had already begun a few years ago, but were quickly accelerated by COVID. Personalized education is the way of the future rather than a 1 size fits all approach. Nashua’s education providers at all age levels are doing their part to be a part of this change.