Claremont area High School Students Earn Free College Credit Through River Valley Community College’s Pathway2Success Program

Claremont area High School Students Earn Free College Credit Through River Valley Community College’s Pathway2Success Program

August 2017

Claremont area High School Students Earn Free College Credit Through River Valley Community College’s Pathway2Success Program

Claremont, New Hampshire – Ten students from Claremont Steven High School, Newport High School and New England Classical Academy will earn college credit through River Valley Community College’s (RVCC) Pathway2Success. This pilot program kicks off in the fall and offers students in their freshmen and sophomore year the opportunity to take college level courses in information technology for free. Through Pathway2Success, students have the potential to graduate from high school and be only a few courses shy from earning an Associate of Science degree in Information Technology.

“We know the spark of excitement in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) often happens early in a student’s academic career, so the sooner we expose students to STEM programs, the more successful we become in attracting them to the highly sought after field of information technology,” said Ali Rafieymehr, RVCC interim president, who developed the new program and will be a guest lecturer.

In the first course, Pathway2Success students will learn the fundamentals of Python programming and will apply procedural constructs to solve common programming problems using techniques for design and structured code while also incorporating error-handling routines in their programs. In addition, students will develop skills in debugging, error-handling and troubleshooting to enhance their program designs and learn about the syntax of programming language and modular design.

The Pathway2Success program is closely integrated into the high school curriculum - RVCC has worked with faculty and administrators to make sure the college courses fit well with the high school classes. Students will begin taking college courses in the fall and spring semesters of their freshman and sophomore years. In their junior and senior years, they will take two college courses each semester and complete the program with an internship or capstone project during the summer of their senior year. Students can earn 40+ college credits through the Pathway2Success program, which is roughly equivalent to 13 college level classes and those who perform exceptionally well may even complete their high school career with enough credits to earn an Associate of Science in Information Technology.

“This is an incredible opportunity for students to earn almost two years of college credit while enrolled in high school.” said Dr. Middleton McGoodwin, Superintendent of Schools in Claremont. “And Pathway2Success represents the first of many opportunities that RVCC and the Claremont School District will develop, as partners, to better prepare students for their future employment, and careers.”

RVCC has received over $55,000 in donations from the community and donors in support of the program. To learn more about Pathway2Success or to find out how you can support the program contact Rafieymehr at 603-542-7744 ext. 5344 or, or visit

About River Valley Community College

River Valley Community College is one of seven colleges in the Community College System of New Hampshire, offering thirty-nine associate degree and certificate programs in Claremont, Keene, Lebanon, and Online. Financial Aid and Scholarships are available. The seven community colleges in the system are committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors and embraces the "65 by 25 Initiative," which calls for 65% of NH citizens to have some form of post-secondary education by 2025 to meet future workforce demands.