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Higher Education in Maryland

February 2009 Press Release



For immediate release: February 1, 2009                                          Media Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen
                                                                                                                    Communications: (410) 260-4511



January 2009 MHEC Report to the Governor

January 6, 2009: Secretary Lyons and MHEC Chairman Kevin O’Keefe participated in an extensive meeting of the 2009 Plan for Postsecondary Education. Each leader of the five writing groups gave an update of their progress as did the State Plan editorial group. Delegate John L. Bohanan, Jr., unveiled the official final report of the Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education to Secretary Lyons, Chairman O’Keefe and MHEC staff members. Delegate Bohanan chaired the Maryland Model Commission.

January 6, 2009: MHEC’s Office of Grants conducted two workshops for faculty members of independent colleges and universities. The workshops, “Dos and Don’ts of Grants Writing” and “MHEC Grant Programs,” were held at Stevenson College.

January 12, 2009: MHEC’s Segmental Advisory Council, made up of representatives of the University System of Maryland (USM), the Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association (MICUA), Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC), St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Morgan State University and the Maryland Association of Private Colleges and Career Schools (MAPCCS), met to discuss a lengthy agenda. It included a presentation by the College Savings Plans of Maryland by Executive Director Joan Marshall, a presentation of the Maryland Task Force for the Preservation of Heritage Languages by Executive Director Catherine Ingold, Maryland Hospital Association Nursing Initiative’ “Who Will Care?” program, the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board Survey on Energy-related programs, an update on the 2009 State Plan for Postsecondary Education, a report on the Segments’ Textbook Summit, and update of the Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education and a presentation of MAPCCS’ annual report.

January 12-19, 2009: Office of grants reviewed and approved several Phase 6 and 7 Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) project revisions and issued awards.

January 13, 2009: MHEC’s Maryland Fire-Rescue Education and Training Commission met at MHEC. Secretary Lyons addressed the group of more than 30 and in his remarks credited Governor O’Malley’s strong commitment to the State’s fire and rescue personnel and extended thanks for their service. The Fire-Rescue Commission discussed conducting safe live fire training using acquired structures, a motion was made to accept minimum standards committee recommendations, and the State Heavy Vehicle Driver Training Facility was discussed.

January 13, 2008: To cut down on costs, management associate to communications director and legislative director printed her own business cards on her home computer that looked exactly like the business cards MHEC orders from an outside vendor. The cards included all relevant information and included a tagline (not produced at taxpayer expense). Management Associate said she would not mind producing similar cards for other MHEC employees.

January 13, 2009: Office of grants issued the Maryland College Access Challenge Grant Program (MCACGP) Request for Applications (RFAs).

January 14, 2009: MHEC’s Education Policy Committee met. Items of discussion included minimum requirements for In-State Degree-Granting Institutions, recommendation for proposed action; policy changes requested by the Maryland Association of Private Colleges and Career Schools (action item), status report on the Associate of Science in Engineering (ASE) initiative and report on private career school: approval actions from October 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008. All action items that were approved by the Ed Policy Committee will be considered by the full Commission for final approval.

January 14, 2009: Secretary Lyons and Communications Director attended opening ceremonies of the Maryland General Assembly on the floor of Senate where Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown gave opening day remarks. Secretary Lyons was also able to have informal discussions with numerous Senators before the formal session began.

January 14, 2009: Secretary Lyons, Assistant Secretary of Finance Policy, Assistant Secretary of Planning and Academic Affairs and Communications Director met with Patrice Cromwell and Andy Moser, Assistant Secretary at DLLR, to discuss MHEC’s growing role in regards to Governor’s Delivery Unit.

January 14, 2009: BRAC coordinator, Assistant Secretary Finance Policy, chief of staff, grants director, BRAC researcher and Director of Academic and Planning Affairs met to discuss the possibility of searching for federal grants that could potentially expand MHEC’s major initiatives.

January 15, 2009: Communications director participated in Governor’s Smart, Green and Growing initiative meeting consisting of colleagues at other State agencies.
January 15, 2009: Office of grants conducted a workshop at Towson University on the various grant programs offered by MHEC.

January 16, 2009: Legislative director held first bill review hearing to discuss upcoming bills that would directly or indirectly affect MHEC. MHEC’s internal advisory committee, consisting of staff directors in all departments participated.

January 16, 2009: MHEC staff presented a report to Lt. Governor Brown listing its accomplishments over the past two years and challenges and trends it faces for the next two years.

January 21, 2009: Secretary Lyons and Communications Director attended the unveiling of Governor’s FY 2010 budget.

January 22, 2009: Secretary Lyons met with Morgan State University President Dr. Earl Richardson.

January 22, 2009: Secretary Lyons, Assistant Secretary of Finance Policy and Assistant Secretary of Planning and Academic Affairs met with Lt. Governor Brown to discuss MHEC’s major achievements during 2008.

January 22, 2009: Office of grants hosted a meeting for the Governor’s Grants Office to provide a discussion forum for the U.S. General Accountability Office to examine with grant professionals at all levels (State, Local, Municipal, Nonprofit) how the flow of Federal funds get to the nonprofit end user and how “overhead” is treated.

January 26, 2009: Secretary Lyons was keynote luncheon speaker at the Maryland Association of Community College’s legislative luncheon. He spoke highly of the O’Malley-Brown administration’s strong commitment to the State’s community colleges. Later in the day, Secretary Lyons, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Academic Affairs, Legislative Director and Finance Policy Analyst, all attended MACC’s successful legislative evening reception.

January 26-30, 2009: Office of grants compiled census and teacher staffing data to determine eligible high need Local Education Agency (LEA) in preparation for Phase 8 Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) grant funding.

January 27, 2009: Secretary Lyons participated in a conference call with the U.S. Dream Academy’s Steering Committee. The U.S. Dream Academy is a nationally recognized after-school program dedicated to breaking the cycle of incarceration through skill, character, and dream building.

January 27, 2009: Office of grants met with the Maryland Hospital Association representative to plan the Maryland presentation on NSP II for the All-County Nursing Education Capacity Summit sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.

January 28, 2009: Secretary Lyons met with the College Board’s Carmen Sanchez-Buster.

January 28, 2009: MHEC’s full commission met. Items discussed included minimum requirements from In-State Degree Granting Institutions, a status report on the Associate of Science In Engineering (ASE) initiative, summary of activities of the planning analysis and workforce development office, overview of the 2010 operating budget, summary of activities from the office of grants and the FY 2008 annual report from the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA).

January 29, 2009: Secretary Lyons attended the Governor’s State of the State address and a private reception after the speech held at Government House.

January 29, 2009: Secretary Lyons attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s annual alumni legislative reception.

January 29, 2009: Office of grants conducted technical assistance session for the Maryland College Access Challenge Grant Program (MCACGP).

Private Career Schools:
• Dean Kendall, Associate Director for Workforce Development and PCS Education Analyst, met with/counseled one private career school (1/22: Omega)
• One new program approved (1/16: Medix School-West, Computer Support Technician)
• One new School approved (1/26: First American School of Real Estate)
• Performed one media interview for the Baltimore Business Journal

Community College Continuing Education:
• Dean Kendall, Associate Director for Workforce Development, with data entry by Administrative Assistant Alice Legum, processed 464 continuing education course applications for FTE funding.
• Mr. Kendall attended and presented to a Maryland Community College Association of Continuing Education and Training meeting (1/9)
• 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. Fields have been identifies and form use is being discussed with community colleges. 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 for Higher Education Goal 5 Facilitator, attended two meetings on the draft State Plan (1/6 and 1/26).
• Attended one GWIB Interagency Workgroup Committee meeting (1/15).
• Attended, as a workforce member, the second CTE Task Force meeting created by the P-20 Council (1/6).
• Attended CTE/Northrop Grumman/TEAM Center meeting to discuss NG hiring needs (1/20).
• Attended P-20 Employment Benchmarks workgroup meeting (1/8).

Records from Closed Institutions of Postsecondary Education:
• Responded to 13 requests for transcripts from closed schools and 1 education verification request

Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA):
• OSFA staff participated in four outreach activities at venues that included a high school, a church, a State University and one civic organization. Financial aid information was presented and agency printed materials was given to the participants. The purposed of these activities is to educate and encourage participants to continue their education and apply for the various financial aid programs available from federal, state and institutional sources.
• The FY 2008 OSFA Annual Report was completed and printed copies are being disbursed to selected State government offices, legislatures, institutional financial aid personnel, Commission members and Presidents of Maryland colleges and universities. The report provides summary data of all State financial aid programs and participants, outreach activities, significant activities, and describe the twenty-two financial aid programs. Data from FY 2007 is included for comparison.
• OSFA completed awarding $315,000 to 114 additional Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant recipients that were on the applicant waitlist. Also, 12 waitlist applicants for the Charles W. Riley Fire and Emergency Medical Services Tuition Reimbursement Program were awarded $39,000 through transfer of funds from legislative scholarships.
• OSFA is currently updating its financial aid processing system to begin testing for the 2009-2010 award year. The current system requires modification each year by an outside vendor so that applications for the upcoming award year can be downloaded after March 1, 2009 and processed and State financial aid awards can be made. The process, with testing, takes several weeks.

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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