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Higher Education in Maryland


April 2009 Press Release

 

 

For immediate release: April 3, 2009                                                           Media Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen

                                                                                                                             Communications: (410) 260-4511

 

 

March 2009 MHEC Governor's Report


March 1-2009: Communications director and administrative aide sent out more than 100 congratulations and thank you letters from Governor O’Malley to constituents throughout the State.


March 3, 2009: Communications director, working with MHEC and DNR IT staff, officially posted link on Smart Green and Growing website. Communications director had been working on developing projects with his colleagues from two- and four-year public and independent colleges and universities and private career schools collecting their green initiatives to add to MHEC link along with a message from Secretary Lyons praising the Governor’s green initiatives.


March 4, 2009: Secretary Lyons participated in Governor’s P-20 Leadership Council meeting.


March 4, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy met with Senator Ed Kasemeyer to discuss the Nurse Support II (NSP II) program and the Department of Legislative Services’ budget recommendation to transfer the program from MHEC to the State Board of Nursing and the reasons MHEC is opposed.


March 4, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on HB 948 – Part Time Grant Program – Eligibility. This legislation, if enacted would allow students taking between three and six credits to be eligible for the program.


March 4, 2009: Communications director participated in Governor’s Delivery Unit meeting with colleagues from various State agencies in StateStat room.


March 5, 2009: Secretary Lyons attended Governor’s Workforce Investment Board legislative breakfast.


March 5, 2009: Secretary Lyons, communications director and director of MHEC’s Office of Student Financial Assistance attended Governor’s Town Hall meeting at Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore City. Materials such as how to obtain scholarships through MHEC and other questions about colleges, universities in Maryland were handed out and questions were answered as needed.


March 5, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy testified before the Education and Economic Development Subcommittee of Appropriations on MHEC’s scholarship program budget.


March 5, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy met with DLS Director Warren Deschenaux and DLS staffer to discuss the NSP II Program and DLS’ budget recommendation to transfer the program from MHEC to the State Board of Nursing. The recommendation by DLS was revoked.


March 5, 2009: Communications director participated in meeting with John Ratliff, David Costello, Patrice Cromwell and two representatives from the Maryland State Department of Education in Governor’s Delivery Unit office to discuss how MHEC and MSDE should coordinate inter-agency deliverables.


March 6, 2009: Secretary Lyons testified before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee on two key bills important to MHEC. Senate Bill 275 -- Higher Education - Higher Education Investment Fund - Funding – would require the Comptroller to continue to distribute specified income tax revenue from corporations to the Higher Education Investment Fund. Governor O’Malley created the HEIF during the 2007 Special Session of the General Assembly. House Bill 789/SB 861 -- Higher Education Funding Model for Maryland Act of 2009 – would set funding, performance, and financial aid goals for specified Maryland higher education institutions; repealing specified State funding goals; requiring funding proposals for regional higher education centers to be calculated using a specified funding strategy; providing that a program should be developed that promises to cover a specified percent of financial need for specified students. This law was the result of the extensive work completed by the Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education of which Lt. Governor Brown and Secretary Lyons were members.


March 6, 2009: Secretary Lyons met at MHEC building with Executive Director and board members of The Commission on African American History and Culture.


March 9, 2009: Secretary Lyons participated in Governor’s Read Across Maryland initiative by reading to first-grade students at Rockledge Elementary School in Bowie. Communications director took pictures of the event and circulated them to staff and MHEC commission members and explained the Governor’s initiative in an e-mail.


March 9, 2009: Secretary Lyons and communications director attended a roundtable discussion and press conference at Bowie State University. Governor O’Malley, U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, USM Chancellor William E. “Brit” Kirwan, Bowie State President Mickey Burnim and Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson participated in the roundtable discussion with students from Bowie State. The students talked candidly about what concerns they face in college. A press conference followed and was covered by various media outlets such as WJLA Channel 7 which ran the story on their evening newscast.


March 10, 2009: Members of MHEC staff attended the NAACP’s centennial celebration and seminar entitled “New Definitions of Civil Rights: Bridging the Generations.” NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous was the keynote luncheon speaker. Secretary Lyons delivered remarks on behalf of MHEC and Governor O’Malley during the breakfast session. Dr. Jealous praised Secretary Lyons as a national leader in education during his remarks. MHEC was a sponsor of the event along with the Maryland Attorney General’s office, the University System of Maryland (USM) and the Maryland State NAACP.


March 10, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on HB 937 – Higher Education – Student Financial Assistance – Retention of Unused Funds. This bill would allow MHEC to transfer carry forward funds to veteran scholarship programs.


March 11, 2009: MHEC’s Education Policy Committee met. Items discussed included Loyola College in Maryland’s request for a name change to Loyola University, Maryland; final action on requirements for authorization of out-of-state degree granting institutions to operate in Maryland regulations; status report on the minimum requirements for degree-granting institutions; appeal by TESST College of Technology of one of its programs submitted for approval that was denied; the integration of Baltimore Hebrew University with Towson University; report on programs reviewed from October 1, 2008-February 20, 2009 and report on private career schools; approval actions from January 1-February 28.


March 11, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy met with Delegate John L. Bohanan, Jr., to discuss the NSP II Program and DLS’ budget recommendation to transfer the program from MHEC to the State Board of Nursing.


March 11, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy testified before the Senate Finance Committee on SB 627 – Loan Assistance Repayment and Practice Assistance for Physicians which will expand the Loan Assistance Repayment Program to include physicians in State designated health shortage areas and for-profit settings.


March 12, 2009: Director of Finance Policy met with Delegate Susan Aumann to discuss HB 710 – Edward T. Conroy Tuition Waiver Program and worked out amendments with sponsor, legislative staff and higher education segments to keep the program as a scholarship and change the administration of the program to ensure students are no longer placed on a waiting list.


March 13, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy testified before the Health, Education and Human Resources Subcommittee of Budget and Taxation on MHEC’s scholarship program budget.


March 12-14, 2009: Secretary Lyons participated in the entire “Improving Retention at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities): Everybody’s Business: Assessment, Accountability, and Retention Summit” at the Clarion Hotel in Ocean City. The Summit drew HBCUs from Maryland, Washington, D.C., Delaware and Virginia.  Secretary Lyons was the luncheon keynote speaker on March 13, delivering a speech on the theme: “The Higher Education Commission and Student Retention.”


March 15, 2009: Secretary Lyons spoke to the First Generation College Bound Supporters Reception where he mentioned how Governor O’Malley is strongly committed to higher education in the State.


March 16, 2009: MHEC’s Segmental Advisory Committee met. Items discussed including Maryland’s Promise (in which Maryland colleges and universities will join in a covenant to agree to pay full tuition for low-income students who complete college in four years), the Nurse Support Program II, guiding principles for unnecessary duplication, the progress of the Associate of Science in Engineering (ASE) progress report and next steps, an update on legislation before the General Assembly, an update on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and status of the 2009 State Plan for Postsecondary Education.


March 16, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy testified before the Education and Economic Development Subcommittee of Appropriations on MHEC’s Community Colleges Construction Grant Program.


March 17, 2009: Secretary Lyons testified on behalf of Senate Bill 544 -- Historically Black Institutions - State Funding - Blount-Rawlings-Britt HBI Comparability Program. This bill would establish the Blount-Rawlings-Britt Historically Black Institutions (HBI) Comparability Program to provide supplemental funding assistance to the State's public four-year historically black institutions (HBIs); stating the purpose of the rogram; require MHEC to adopt specified standards and procedures; require the Governor to provide funds for the Commission to distribute to HBIs and provide for the calculation of the annual operating budget distribution to each of the HBIs.


March 17, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy testified on HB 710 – Edward T. Conroy Tuition Waiver Program – and worked out amendments with sponsor, legislative staff and higher education segments to keep the program as a scholarship and change the administration of the program to ensure students are no longer placed on a waiting list.


March 17, 2009: Communications director and associate director of workforce development participated in conference call with colleagues from various State agencies to discuss what they are doing in regards to home energy cost-cutting measures (weatherization).


March 17, 2009: A webmasters meeting for all the State agencies was held. MHEC was heralded at the meeting for being the first agency to get their website to meet the minimum web branding standards required by the Governor’s office.


March 18, 2009: Communications director and associate director of workforce development participated in a conference call with officials from the Community College of Baltimore County to discuss the procedures they are undertaking to coordinate the Governor’s weatherization effort with agencies such as DHCD and DHR. CCBC is taking the lead on working with community colleges throughout the State to provide weatherization training courses to students who want to enter the workforce as auditors who visit homes to define where weatherization work or repairs need to be done and to students who will do the actual hands-on work. This is one of the Governor’s top priorities as much of this effort receives American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and other federal funding as well as State funding.


March 19, 2009: Secretary Lyons participated in Governor’s Read Across Maryland initiative by reading to kindergarten and third-grade students at Tulip Grove Elementary School in Bowie.


March 19, 2009: Communications director revised and improved MHEC link to Smart, Green and Growing website including initiatives MHEC staff is doing to EmPower Maryland. MHEC has more than reached Governor O’Malley’s goal of a reduction of 15 percent in energy usage at State agencies with a 16.1 percent reduction.


March 23, 2009: MHEC’s 2009 State Plan for Postsecondary Education editorial board and facilitators met to discuss the latest draft of this very important publication which will serve as a blueprint for improving higher education in the State for the next five years.


March 23, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy participated in meeting with Delegate Addie Eckardt and later with House Health and Government Operations Committee chairman Peter Hammen regarding HB 1319 – Family Medicine Rural Health Commission and why it is not necessary because it duplicates legislation that was signed into law by Governor O’Malley two years ago.


March 24, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy testified on SB 973/HB 1518 – Student Financial Assistance – Eligible Institutions of Higher Education which would have allowed Kaplan College located in Hagerstown to maintain its in-state tuition status once it merges with Kaplan University, an out-of-state, for-profit, corporate entity setting a precedent for all future mergers with out-of-state, for profit institutions as well as opening the State’s financial aid program to these out-of-state institutions. MHEC successfully worked with the sponsor to continue State financial aid for all students who are receiving financial assistance prior to the effective date of the merger, July 1, 2009.


March 25, 2009: The second public meeting was held at MHEC building to hear feedback about the latest draft of the 2009 State Plan for Postsecondary Education. Feedback was excellent and some of the comments will be discussed by the State Plan editorial board for possible inclusion in the final document.


March 25, 2009: Full Commission met. Items discussed included TESST College of Technology’s appeal of a program denied by Secretary Lyons; Loyola College in Maryland’s request to be renamed Loyola University of Maryland; final action on requirements for authorization of out-of-state degree-granting institutions to operate in Maryland; status report on the minimum requirements for degree-granting institutions; integration of Baltimore Hebrew University with Towson University; 2008 Student Outcome and Achievement Report; Report on the 2008 Follow-Up Survey of 2007 Bachelor’s Degree Recipients at Maryland Four-Year Institutions; report on programs reviewed from October 1, 2008-February 20, 2009 and report on approval action for private career schools from January 1-February 28, 2009.


March 25, 2009: Communications director participated in kickoff campaign for Governor’s Census 2010 State Outreach Coordinating Team with colleagues at various State agencies and the University System of Maryland.


March 26, 2009: Secretary Lyons participated in Latino Success meeting.


March 27, 2009: Secretary Lyons attended inauguration of Dr. Barbara Viniar, new President of Chesapeake College.


March 30, 2009: Secretary Lyons continued his participation in Governor’s Read Across Maryland initiative by reading to students at Kenilworth Elementary School in Prince George’s County.


Maryland 30, 2009: Director of communications represented MHEC at the groundbreaking of the new library at the Catonsville campus of the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) where Governor O’Malley, Lt. Governor Brown, CCBC President Dr. Kurtinitis and County Executive Jim Smith delivered remarks.


March 31, 2009: Secretary Lyons and senior staff members met with the Swiss State Secretary for Education and Research. The presentation centered on Maryland’s funding and support of independent institutions.


March 31, 2009: Secretary Lyons was keynote speaker at Montgomery College Career Congress where among other items, he discussed Governor O’Malley’s strong, unwavering support for higher education in general and community colleges specifically as well as his Smart, Green and Growing initiative.


March 31, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Planning and Academic Affairs observed the Middle States Self Study visitation process at Goucher College.

Private Career Schools:
• Dean Kendall, Associate Director for Workforce Development and PCS Education Analyst, performed four school site visits (Chesapeake Real Estate Academy – 3/4, Medix School-South - 3/16, CSB School of Broadcasting – closing – 3/9 & 3/27).
• Counseled one school regarding an orderly close (Building Specs – 3/19).
• One new school approval (Chesapeake Real Estate Academy).
• One new program approval (Medix School-South, Pharmacy Technician).

Community College Continuing Education:
• Dean Kendall, Associate Director for Workforce Development, with data entry by Administrative Assistant Alice Legum, processed 240 continuing education course applications for FTE funding.
• ONGOING: Mr. Kendall, in conjunction with MHEC IT staff, continues to develop a process for continuing education course applications for FTE funding to be available online. On 3/10, a practice CC10 Word form was developed and provided to community colleges. On 3/25, a practice web form was developed for online use. Ultimately, this online process will allow the MHEC inventory of continuing education courses to be publicly viewable online. Target implementation date October 1, 2009.
• ONGOING: The continuing education manual is being updated as the above process evolves. It will be put online when the electronic online application process is complete. Target implementation date: October 1, 2009.

Workforce Development / WIA:
• Dean Kendall, Associate Director for Workforce Development and acting as 2009 State Plan for Higher Education Goal 5 Facilitator, attended three meetings on the draft State Plan (3/4, 3/23 & 3/25).
• Attended two CTE related meetings, one for the Governor’s CTE Task Force (3/16) and the other as a member of the CTE Perkins Monitoring team (3/26).
• Participated in one GWIB Interagency Workgroup Committee meeting 3/20).
• Attended the GWIB Board meeting (3/11).

Records from Closed Institutions of Postsecondary Education:
• Alice Legum, under Dean Kendall’s signature, responded to 25 requests for transcripts from closed schools and 3 education verification request

Academic Common Market:
Alice Legum responded to 58 calls concerning Academic Common Market.

Office of Grants Report:

March 5 Along with the Maryland State Department of Education, facilitated, the CPIP Technical Assistance/GEAR UP Statewide Joint Partnership Meeting. Developed and presented a new session on program assessment and evaluation.

March 4–12 Met with several Senators, Delegates, and/or their aides to discuss the Department of Legislative Services analyst recommendation that the administration of the Nurse Support Program II be transferred to the Maryland Board of Nursing.

March 6, 13 Attended the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Go Alliance Marketing and Outreach Course.
20 & 27

March 13 Attended the Governor’s Office American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) workshop for local government officials and staff to help them better understand and access the stimulus funds coming to the State

March 18 Maryland College Access Challenge Grant Program Applications deadline passed.

March 18 Participated in a Governor’s Policy Fellows seminar along with the Department of Housing and Community Development Neighborhood Revitalization Office

March 19 Participated in a conference call with Catherine Crowley of the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) and Oscar Ibarra of the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) regarding cooperation between Who Will Care? and Nurse Support Program II (NSP II).

March 24 Met with Department of Budget and Management chief of staff to discuss the future of the Governor’s Policy Fellows program

March 25 Proposals for FY 2010 NSP II deadline passed.

March 26 Provided the Governor’s Office of Grants with fiscal data for the 2008 Annual Report.

March 27 NSP II Grant reviewer training meeting and distribution of proposal packets.

Over the course of the month:

Wrote second draft of the MHEC Grant Reviewer Handbook and implemented use of a new reviewer conflict of interest agreement as part of ongoing efforts to improve the quality of the grant review process.

Monitored the progress of and provided project director assistance to Maryland College Access Challenge Grant Program grantees at site visits as follows:
• March 13 - Baltimore City Community College/Booker T. Washington Middle School, Liberty Heights, Baltimore
• March 19 - In Reach, Inc./Charles Carroll Middle School in New Carrollton
• March 30 - Age of Awareness/G. James Gholson Middle School, Landover

Monitored the progress of and provided project director assistance to NSP II grantees at site visits as follows:
• March 5 - Towson University
• March 23 - College of Notre Dame of Maryland
• March 24 - Wor-Wic Community College

Worked with Morgan State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of Maryland College Park and Coppin State University faculty grantees to close five expired Improving Teacher Quality grant projects and collect final reports and unspent grant monies.

Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) Report:

• Presentation by Ms. Linda Asplin to the Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board addressing funding opportunities for future Maryland teachers. Financial Aid promotional and outreach activities completed at Oxon Hill High School, Job Corps in Hyattsville, and Bowie State University.

• OSFA completed its annual Portfolio Review with the Department of Information Technology on the new financial aid processing system (MD CAPS). MD CAPS currently under development will replace a 20 year old legacy system. The Portfolio Review is one of four points used by the State in its oversight methodology to improve IT projects. The SDLC documents and project management approach from MD CAPS are being shared with other agencies and Peer Review Committees as good examples to follow according to the Department of Information Technology Project Management Office.

• OSFA has downloaded approximately 130,000 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) results that have met the March 1st deadline to apply for State financial aid. This is nearly 30,000 more FAFSAs than were submitted last year.

MHEC BRAC Coordinator’s Report:

March 2, 2009: BRAC Coordinator Dr. John Stephenson and communications director attended a Subcabinet meeting on BRAC Internships.


March 4, 2009: BRAC coordinator chaired a meeting of the University Park Committee at MITRE headquarters in Bel Air.


March 5, 2009: BRAC coordinator attended the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Harford Community College and Towson University at Harford Community College.


March 11, 2009: BRAC coordinator spoke to members of the Maryland Association of Private Colleges and Career Schools on BRAC grant funding.


Mar 12: BRAC coordinator attended a presentation on “Building the Pipeline of Workers for Anne Arundel County’s Defense Industry” at Anne Arundel Community College.


March 12, 2009: BRAC coordinator and members of the University Park Committee met with David Craig, County Executive, Harford County to discuss developing a research park in the county.


March 16, 2009: BRAC coordinator attended the Fort Meade Alliance meeting in Linthicum.


March 19, 2009: BRAC coordinator attended the meeting of the Army Alliance at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG).


March 19, 2009: BRAC coordinator attended a meeting of the APG Science and Technology Board at the HEAT Center.


March 23, 2009: BRAC coordinator represented MHEC at the DISA Groundbreaking.


March 26, 2009: BRAC coordinator served on a panel at the Baltimore County Executive’s Regional Advisory Board for Business and Education at Loyola College.


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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