Education Part 1: How Higher Education Works in Maryland

Friday, October 7th, 2016 @ 5:06PM

This month I will focus on the education systems here in Maryland.  In doing so, I will review the latest news on funding, statistics and other points of interest. Also, I would like to highlight some of the unique qualities of the state’s Higher Education System and how they work to ensure that Maryland continues to lead the nation in efforts to educate our residents:

The University System of Maryland (UMD) has 12 schools under the UMD umbrella. They are:

  • Bowie State University
  • Coppin State University
  • Frostburg State University
  • Salisbury State University
  • Towson University
  • University of Baltimore
  • UMD – Baltimore
  • UMD – Baltimore County
  • UMD – Center for Environmental Science
  • UMD – College Park
  • UMD – Eastern Shore
  • UMD – University College

We have two Regional Higher Education Centers within the system as well:

  • Universities at Shady Grove
  • University System of Maryland at Hagerstown

In addition to the schools in the UMD System we have Morgan State University, Maryland’s only independent public higher education institution. The state is also home to a variety of private higher education institutions including Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University Maryland and Stevenson University to name just a few. Finally, we have 16 community colleges throughout the state.

How Maryland is Unique in Funding Higher Education

In Maryland, our state’s higher education system is funded by a set of formulas, one for public institutions, one for private institutions and one for the community college system. These formulas help to ensure that all schools receive a fair and appropriate share of the overall budget.

Transfer Opportunities Within University of MD System

Few states make education funding the priority which we do in Maryland. Nevertheless, despite our commitment, not all students initially get accepted at their first choice of higher education institutions. However, within Maryland we offer our students who first attend a community college, earn at least 60 credits and maintain at least a 2.0 average guaranteed admission to schools within the University of Maryland system.

This path allows students to adjust to college with more individualized attention, smaller classes and more flexibility in choosing a major, and then makes it possible for them to stay within the state system to obtain a 4-year degree. When speaking with students and families of students within my district, I often urge them to consider this option when looking at and making Higher Education decisions.

The University of Maryland Strategic Partnership Act of 2016

Thanks to a bill recently passed by my colleagues and me, students in Maryland are now able to attend the University of Maryland College Park for their initial 2 years of college and then transfer and complete the final two years at the Universities at Shady Grove or University of Maryland Baltimore.

This collaboration of curriculums and majors between campuses within the University of Maryland System did not exist prior to this legislation – and the benefits of it are enormous. It means that with programs like nursing, the ability to transfer between undergraduate and graduate campuses to continue the same curriculum and degree will allow a student to complete in four years a program which previously would have taken six. This serves to drastically reduce the cost of college for students within these programs without taking away the opportunity for quality higher education. This type of collaboration between campuses and the sharing of resources is another example of how the State of Maryland approaches Higher Education in unique and innovated ways.

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Categories: Education