2018 Special Recognition: Duet in Partnership with Southern New Hampshire University

Personalized Coaching and Project-Based Learning Prepares Students for the Real World

Attending postsecondary education full-time is expensive and challenging for students who may have part- or full-time jobs, families, or other obligations. The rigid schedules of traditional four-year colleges are not conducive to working and the cost often inhibits low-income individuals from enrolling.

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) and Duet have created a program that caters to low-income individuals who have other commitments besides college. Duet combines online SNHU courses with in-person, one-on-one coaching for students. The coaches help students with their project-based assignments, job preparedness, and financial aid so they can earn their degree on their time with all of the assistance they may need.

Affordability is key for Duet; one six-month semester costs about $3,500. Students can take classes at their own pace, which means the total cost of tuition is often less than a traditional postsecondary institution where they bill by credit. Duet students often complete more work in one semester than students at traditional schools and earn degrees more quickly than students at other institutions. The average associate degree graduate completes their degree in 18 months.

Duet has served over 400 students who have earned associate or bachelor’s degrees. Eighty-five percent of Duet students identify as people of color and 65 percent qualify for a Pell grant, indicating low-income status. Duet is committed to helping students enter careers they are passionate about and have partnerships with Massachusetts-based companies like the Boys and Girls Club of Boston, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Wellington Management.

Individual-focused coaching and flexible online classes makes Duet an ideal option for students seeking postsecondary education while managing a job or caring for a family. The areas of study offered through Duet are all career-oriented, such as healthcare management, business, or insurance services. The classes utilize project-based learning to fully prepare graduates to enter the workforce with the skills and knowledge they need for success.

Pioneer Institute congratulates Liz Marino, Chief of Growth and Strategy of Duet, on her winning submission.

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