for Maryland’s Future
Background and Purpose
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
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
Maryland Statewide Study
to Assess Perceptions of Higher Education
- 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
- 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
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
- 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
- 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%
- 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.