The merger of the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) into New England College (NEC) took a major step forward recently with the boards of both institutions agreeing to enter into phase one of a two-part merger agreement. “We have successfully begun the merger process of these two fine institutions and New England College is very pleased to welcome the students, faculty, and staff of NHIA into the New England College community,” says NEC Board Chair Lex Scourby.
NHIA, located in Manchester, enrolls approximately 350 students, primarily in undergraduate art and design programs. NEC in Henniker, has an undergraduate and graduate enrollment of nearly 2,800 students in a variety of undergraduate liberal arts, graduate, and professional programs, including offerings in art and design. The combined institution will maintain the name New England College, with NHIA anticipated to be named the Institute of Art and Design at New England College.
NHIA will operate as a subsidiary to New England College in phase one. After a period of planning and program integration, both continuing classes and new students from the NHIA will be enrolled as New England College students (phase two). Plans are for the NHIA campus to continue to operate in Manchester as part of New England College, and students from both campuses will have the opportunity to study at either campus location.
The colleges announced last May that the two institutions would be merging to enhance the delivery of academic programs and streamline administrative services. “We are excited to see this merger moving forward,” says NHIA Board Chair Tom Stevens. “This will allow the important educational work of NHIA to be both sustained and expanded in alliance with New England College. As the merger benefits are fully realized students can expect enhanced programs and expanded opportunities.”
The merger allows all current NHIA students, in good standing, to automatically enroll at New England College as soon as the Fall of 2019. Other than usual modest annual tuition increases, NHIA students can expect their costs of attendance to remain the same. NEC President Michele Perkins says, “Our goal from the beginning has been to improve the educational experiences of all our students and ensure the financial strength of the institutions. We will work hard to continue to live out the mission of both New England College and the New Hampshire Institute of Art as we bring our communities together into one entity.”