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Higher Education in Maryland

April 2008 Press Release




Governor O’Malley signs MHEC departmental bills


ANNAPOLIS, MD (April 25, 2008)


Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley yesterday signed legislation that expands eligibility for the Graduate and Professional Scholarship program, and authorizes the Maryland Higher Education Commission to require an application fee from institutions of postsecondary education that are seeking certification to operate in Maryland. Senate Bill 141 (now Chapter 152, 2008) and Senate Bill 187 (now Chapter 157, 2008) were approved unanimously by the General Assembly.

Chapter 152 expands the eligibility for the Graduate and Professional Scholarship program to eligible students attending institutions of higher education in Maryland that offer first professional degrees in pharmacy.

Before this bill became law, only the University of Maryland, Baltimore currently received funds to provide scholarships to pharmacy students. With the recent addition of a first professional degree in pharmacy at the College of Notre Dame, and with other schools looking to add similar programs, MHEC’s aim was to expand the Graduate and Professional Scholarship Program to accommodate new post-graduate pharmacy schools.

“I am pleased to see that the General Assembly and Governor saw the importance of strengthening our higher education pharmacy programs and allowing us to provide scholarships to any pharmacy program in the State,” Higher Education Secretary James E. Lyons, Sr., said. “This is a workforce shortage problem in Maryland so this legislation addresses that. I know addressing workforce shortage issues is a major issue for Governor O’Malley”

Chapter 157 authorizes MHEC to charge an application fee from institutions of postsecondary education that are seeking certification to operate in Maryland. Prior to becoming law, institutions of postsecondary education were not allowed to operate in Maryland without a certificate of approval from MHEC. MHEC was not authorized to charge application fees to institutions of higher education seeking certification to operate in the State. Through regulations, MHEC is authorized to charge application fees to private career schools seeking certification.

“This bill is very important because it helps offset costs for evaluation time at no expense to the state,” said Assistant Secretary for Academic Affairs Dr. George Reid.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission is a 12-member coordinating board responsible for establishing statewide policies for Maryland public and independent colleges and universities and private career schools. It serves as an advocate for more than 325,000 college students in Maryland, for the State and its needs, and for business and industry in Maryland.

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