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Higher Education in Maryland


Solutions for Maryland’s Future

Solutions for Maryland’s Future is a state-wide campaign to develop and communicate compelling messages in support of higher education.  As a part of this effort, there have already been two major undertakings: a statewide survey; and a Listening Tour. The Listening Tour Report is available at www.mhec.state.md.us.higherEd/ListTourRepFinallReport-3-30-07.pdf.  For the survey, a polling firm was engaged to conduct statewide market research to assess perceptions of higher education.  The results of this study will be used by all segments of higher education to better understand challenges facing institutions of higher education and to strategically address them.  To view the complete presentation please click on one of the following links:

Maryland Statewide Study to Assess Perceptions of Higher Education

Powerpoint Presentation

PDF Presentation Version  PDF

Background and Purpose 
  • The American Council on Education, working with several other national higher education associations, is coordinating the "Solutions for Our Future" campaign, a nationwide effort to develop and communicate a compelling message in support of higher education.
  • Maryland established a "Solutions for Maryland's Future" Steering Committee and Implementation Committee to support this national effort and coordinate a State-focused campaign.
  • The Maryland campaign will embrace the national message, but will include a Maryland-specific focus within the context of the national campaign.
  • In an effort to understand the challenges faced by Maryland institutions and to refine campaign messages, the Solutions for Maryland's Future Committee commissioned WB&A to conduct market research among registered voters in Maryland. Specifically, this research was designed to understand public perceptions about higher education in Maryland.
  • The Solutions for Maryland Steering Committee is comprised of Maryland's higher education segment heads:

    Ms. Tina M. Bjarekull, President of the Maryland Independent College and University Association;
    Dr. James E. Lyons, Sr., Secretary of Higher Education;
    Dr. William E. Kirwan, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland;
    Dr. Jane Margaret O'Brien, President of St. Mary's College of Maryland;
    Dr. Earl S. Richardson, President of Morgan State University; and                                      Dr. H. Clay Whitlow, Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges.
  • The seventeen-member Implementation Committee includes representatives of Maryland's Higher Education Commission, public universities, community colleges, and independent institutions.


  • A telephone survey was conducted among registered voters in Maryland.
  • A total of 1,106 telephone interviews were conducted between July 24th and August 20th, 2006.
  • The average survey length was 18 minutes.
  • These interviews were stratified as follows:

    Central Maryland 506
             Baltimore City 101
             Baltimore Area 205
             DC Area 200
    Southern Maryland 200
    Eastern Shore 200
    Western Maryland 200
    TOTAL 1,106

  • The data were weighted to be proportionate to the actual household population by region.
  • A sample size of 1,106 will yield data that has a maximum fluctuation of 2.9 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

Key Findings  

  • Maryland voters cite education (specifically primary and secondary education), economic issues and crime/safety as the most important problems or issues facing the State's leaders. Higher education, along with health care/prescription drugs and the environment, are among the second tier of problems or issues facing the State's leaders from the perspective of voters.
  • Maryland voters rate the overall quality of higher education in the State fairly high and have quite favorable impressions of the colleges and universities in the State.
  • Maryland voters believe that higher education in the State is generally better now than it was 10 years ago.
  • Maryland voters rate the State's institutions fairly high for academic quality and reputations, but are more neutral in their ratings of affordability.
  • Maryland voters see the most important roles of higher education to be teaching students how to think and preparing students for employment.
  • The students who get degrees, along with society as a whole, are seen as the beneficiaries of higher education by Maryland voters.
  • Maryland voters perceive that students are bearing a disproportionate responsibility for keeping higher education affordable, while the Federal government should be doing more.
  • Maryland voters consider government funding for education, be it primary and secondary education or higher education, to be very important.

To view the national Solutions for Our Future website click on the link below:



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