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Higher Education in Maryland


December 2008 Press Release

 

 

For immediate release: December 1, 2008                   Media Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen
                                                                                                 Communications: (410) 260-4511

 

 

November MHEC Report to Governor O'Malley


November 1-30, 2008: Director of Communications, with assistance from administrative aide, sent out more than 4,000 congratulatory or thank you letters to constituents from Governor O’Malley.


November 1-30, 2008: The Maryland Higher Education Commission’s Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) staff participated in 19 outreach activities that included 14 college fairs, a financial aid high school guidance counselor workshop and four presentations to high school students and parents. The events were held at various locations including Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Harford and Prince George’s counties.


November 3-6, 2008: MHEC’s office of grants issued awards to four Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) grant projects for the Phase 7 funding cycle. Met with MSDE directors and staff related to the grant.


November 3-8, 2008: MHEC’s Assistant Secretary of Finance Policy attended and participated in the Economic Competitiveness/Workforce and Appropriate Funding Shares Workgroup meetings and the Meeting of the full Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education.


November 3-30, 2008: Office of grants, under the College Preparation Intervention Program (CPIP), to 10 institutions of higher education in support of eligible Maryland GEAR UP-Focus on Math sites.


November 3, 2008: MHEC staff made major presentation to Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education, commonly referred to as the Bohanan Commission, which is named after its chairman, Delegate John L. Bohanan, Jr.


November 3, 2008: Agency’s BRAC coordinator participated in BRAC Stat meeting.


November 5, 2008: Full MHEC Commission members participated in retreat at Eastern Shore Higher Education Center along with several MHEC staff members. Items discussed included the Funding Commission, Governor O’Malley’s FY 2009 and FY 2010 budget, how MHEC approves programs for in-State and out-of-State postsecondary institutions, an updated on the State Plan for Postsecondary Education and discussion of the effectiveness of Maryland’s Distinguished Scholars Program which administers four-year scholarships to Maryland’s best high school students and encourages them to attend a Maryland college or university.


November 5, 2008: Secretary Lyons and several Commission members attended the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA) retreat to discuss items of concern to them during the economic downturn in Maryland and the country.


November 5, 2008: Agency’s BRAC coordinator met with business leaders in the Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) area to discuss anticipated workforce needs.


November 6-30, 2008: Office of grants made conditional awards to five ITQ grant projects (Phase 7). Office worked with the project directors to revise their project proposals and budgets. Reviewed and approved six ITQ (Phase 5) Project interim reports and issued final payment. Reviewed 13 ITQ project final reports (Phase 4 and 3 for Phase 5). Worked with institutions to return unspent funds to the agency for redistribution in the next grant cycle (ongoing).


November 6, 2008: Secretary Lyons and Communications Director attended Capital for a Day in Gaithersburg. Secretary Lyons participated in Governor O’Malley’s cabinet meeting before meeting with the executive director, marketing director and director of development and community partnerships at The Universities at Shady Grove – one of two higher education centers administered through the University System of Maryland. Secretary Lyons also attended the governor’s press conference in Gaithersburg before meeting with the president, provost, chief of staff, deans and government relations director at Montgomery College’s (main) Rockville campus. At both higher education institutions, Secretary Lyons discussed issues and concerns among the campus community officials and praised the strong leadership Governor O’Malley has provided in regards to higher education and community colleges in general during his first two years in office.


November 6, 2008: Submission for BRAC Higher Education Investment Fund proposals deadline passed.


November 7, 2008: BRAC Coordinator chaired a meeting of the proposal review committee to develop a policy for reviewing the Higher Education Investment Fund applications.


November 8, 2008: : MHEC’s Assistant Secretary of Finance Policy met with officials at the Department of Budget and Management to discuss MHEC’s fiscal year 2010 budget.


November 10, 2008: OSFA Director made a presentation to a group of Maryland financial aid professionals at the 2008 Fall Conference of the DE-DC-MD Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators in Dover, DE. The event provided OSFA program updates and the opportunity for questions from the group.


November 10, 2008: Office of grants presented a Technical Assistance Workshop for the Nurse Support Program II grant program (NSP II). Thirty-five people attended.


November 12, 2008: Secretary Lyons and staff participated in the Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education meeting which was held at the University of Maryland College Park. All previous meetings had been held in the House Appropriations Committee where its chairman, Delegate Bohanan, is a member. Secretary Lyons is a member of the Funding Commission.


November 11, 2008: Office of grants met with 30 high school students at Stevenson University concerning scholarships for students who enter health care programs in college.


November 12 -24, 2008: Office of grants received and evaluated 11 applications for the Maryland College Access Challenge Grant Program (MCACGP). The office also conducted the reviewer consensus meeting.


November 12, 2008: Director of Government Affairs represented MHEC at the Workforce Creation and Adult Education Transition Council Meeting. The meeting was also attended by Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) Secretary Tom Perez and Maryland State Department of Education Superintendent (MSDE) Nancy Grasmick as well as Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services Gary Maynard. Senate Finance Chairman Thomas McLain “Mac” Middleton and other prominent legislators also attended.


November 13, 2008: OSFA staff represented Governor O’Malley at the Miss Gilded Gold Pageant at Coppin State University.


November 14, 2008: Agency’s BRAC coordinator again met with business leaders in the APG area to discuss anticipated workforce needs.


November 14-16, 2008: Office of grants evaluated 16 BRAC Higher Education Fund grant proposals and recommended funding.


November 15, 2008: Office of grants made a grant monitoring visit to Salisbury University for the ITQ project, The Eastern Shore Partnership for Real-world Information Technology in Science (ESPRIT Science).


November 17, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended The Story of Delivery under (former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony) Blair: A Discussion with Sir Michael Butler. Sir Michael was introduced by Governor O’Malley. Sir Michael then discussed the Blair model for addressing the UK’s needs in a timely manner. Governor O’Malley then introduced his Governor’s Delivery Unit (GDU) overview to various cabinet officials and staff.


November 17, 2008: MHEC’s Segmental Advisory Council met to receive an update on the 2009 State Plan for Postsecondary Education, the Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education, discuss an emergency bill the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA) is trying to get passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor O’Malley and the agency’s various BRAC initiatives.


November 17, 2008: OSFA conducted a workshop for financial aid staff from all Maryland postsecondary institutions. The five-hour workshop included 100 financial aid professionals and 10 OSFA staff. The purpose of the workshop was to provide training to institutional personnel on policy and procedures to award, monitor and report on State financial aid recipients. The attendees also received recent updates on financial aid changes and participated in a question and answer session.


November 17-21, 2008: Office of grants reviewed five ITQ Grant Project (Phase 6) interim reports and issued final payment. It also worked with three other Phase 6 project directors to revise their budget projections (payments pending).


November 19, 2008: A public hearing was held so that MHEC Commissioners and staff were able to hear testimony regarding the 2009 State Plan for Postsecondary Education.


November 19, 2008: MHEC’s full meeting was held. A series of action items were considered for passage including the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board Education Steering Committee Report, FY 2010 Consolidated Operating and Budget recommendations, 2008 Funding Guideline Enrollment Projections, 2008 Performance Accountability Report for Maryland’s Public Colleges and Universities and 2008 Opening Fall Enrollment figures at all of Maryland’s public and independent two- and four-year colleges and universities.


November 19, 2008: Agency’s BRAC coordinator participated in BRAC Stat meeting.


November 20, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended the American Council on Education (ACE) Conference on Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equality where raising awareness of the importance of increasing diversity at all levels on college and university campuses was discussed.


November 20, 2008: Communications Director participated in a conference call with Lt. Governor’s communications director and press secretary to discuss preliminary plans for a media event featuring the Lt. Governor and Secretary Lyons announcing winners of BRAC Higher Education Investment Fund winners.


November 20, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended the 2008 Chesapeake Bay Executive Council Meeting which featured Governor O’Malley, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty. Along with Governor Kaine and Mayor Fenty, Governor O’Malley reviewed and announced the accomplishments and actions taken by the Chesapeake Bay Program in 2008.


November 21, 2008: Members of the office of grants attended the Nursing Deans and Directors meeting at CCBC. Discussed the Request for Applications (RFA), progress made by NSP II programs, the results of the summer survey, and NSP II grant dollars disbursed and obligated over the past three years.


November 21, 2008: Office of grants attended a workshop sponsored by the Governor’s Grants Office workshop titled Subrecipient Grant Management and Monitoring.


November 24, 2008: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy and Director of Finance Policy participated in the Textbook Affordability Summit sponsored by the University System of Maryland (USM), Maryland Independent College and University Association, Morgan State University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and the Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC). Issues discussed included the rising cost of textbooks and how to explore ways to reduce those costs to student while ensuring the highest quality and most relevant educational informational available. This is one of the most important topics in higher education both in Maryland and nationwide.


November 24, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended a meeting of the Governor’s P-20 Leadership Council held at MHEC building.


November 25, 2008: Secretary Lyons joined Governor O’Malley at Government House for breakfast with the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents. Issues discussed included the Governor’s tuition freeze at USM institutions over the past three years, the FY 2009 and FY 2010 budget, the Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education among other issue of importance to Governor O’Malley and the Regents.


November 25, 2008: MHEC’s Assistant Secretary of Finance Policy participated in the Workforce Sub-cabinet Interagency “Upskilling” Initiative meeting.

Private Career Schools
• Completed conversion of the student records for closed private career schools from microfiche/microfilm to CDs
• Administered the precipitous closure of one private career school and successfully arranged for teach-outs for all students
• Performed one applicant school site visit
• Performed one VA applicant record review and site visit
• Processed three solicitor’s permits
• Met with/counseled one private career school
• Identified 18 private career schools with underperforming programs and contacted for improvement plans
• Approval—change of location
• Approval—new program

Records from Closed Institutions of Postsecondary Education
Responded to 20 requests for transcripts from closed schools and eight education verification requests

• Met with/counseled one private career school
• Processed 3 Solicitor's Permits

Community College Continuing Education
• Processed 471 continuing education course applications for FTE funding.
• Dean Kendall, Associate Director for Workforce Development, in conjunction with MHEC IT staff, met with deans and vice-presidents of the Maryland Community College Association of Continuing Education Training (MCCACET) to review pertinent issues (11/21).
• ONGOING: Mr. Kendall, in conjunction with MHEC IT staff, continues to develop a test version for a process for continuing education course applications for FTE funding to be available online. This will also allow the MHEC inventory of continuing education courses to be publicly viewable online. Target implementation date July 1, 2009.
• ONGOING: The continuing education manual will also be updated and put online when the electronic online application process is complete. Target implementation date: July 1, 2009

Workforce Development / WIA
• Dean Kendall, Associate Director for Workforce Development and acting as 2009 State Plan Goal 5 Facilitator, attended the Public Comment meeting on the draft State Plan (11/12).
• Mr. Kendall reviewed 14 BRAC RFPs.
• Mr. Kendall, acting as MHEC Workforce Development staff support, attended one Economic and Workforce workgroup meeting for the Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education (11/3).
• Mr. Kendall attended one GWIB Interagency Workgroup committee meeting (11/20), and edit reviewed the GWIB Construction Steering Committee final report.
• Mr. Kendall participated in an all-day cooperative session with MSDE to interview candidates for MSDE employment as CTE specialists.

Records from Closed Institutions of Postsecondary Education
• Responded to 20 requests for transcripts from closed schools and 8 education verification requests

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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