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Higher Education in Maryland

August 2008 Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        CONTACT: Christopher Falkenhagen
                                                                                                                               MHEC Communications
                                                                                                                               (410) 260-4511


The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Maryland Higher Education Commission $615,592 to create partnerships to conduct outreach activities for students who are at risk of not enrolling in or completing college and to provide information to students and families on postsecondary education benefits, opportunities, planning and career preparation;

Maryland plans to focus the project services in areas of greatest poverty and lowest achievement in Maryland. Baltimore City and Prince George’s County are the two areas in Maryland with the greatest number of low-income, underachieving students. A Request for Applications (RFA) will be developed for distribution in early Fall 2008 to the eligible nonprofits, including colleges and universities, in the Baltimore City and Prince George’s County regions to provide services to eligible middle schools. Project activities will focus on:

  •  Increasing college awareness among underrepresented middle school students and families.

  • Increasing the number of underrepresented students taking STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) or Algebra courses in high school (Maryland Scholars).

  • Increasing the number of underrepresented middle school students with career plans.

    “I am pleased that MHEC has received this grant to expand the important job of reaching out to middle school students to help them understand that college is an option for them,” said Higher Education Secretary James E. Lyons, Sr. “Every prognosticator predicts that soon, jobs will require that people have some postsecondary education. Even the ‘blue collar’ jobs of the past which provided good wages to high school dropouts will increasingly require some education beyond high school. We must step up our efforts to set our at risk middle school students on a path to success.”

    “One of the priorities for the O’Malley-Brown Administration is to expand opportunities— particularly opportunities for learning -- to more people rather than fewer,” said Secretary Lyons. “This grant will help us extend those opportunities to some of those who need them most.”

    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 326,000 college students in Maryland, for the State and its needs, and for business and industry in Maryland.



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