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Higher Education in Maryland


March 2009 Press Release

 

 

For immediate release: March 2, 2009                                                      Media Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen

                                                                                                                           Communications: (410) 260-4511

 

 

MHEC's February 2009 Report for Governor O'Malley


 February 1-28, 2009: MHEC staff responded to 33 letters forwarded to agency from Governor’s office in which constituents expressed concern regarding various issues related to higher education, or inquired about financial aid information and/or opportunities through MHEC.


February 2, 2009: Secretary Lyons and Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy met with Maryland Business Roundtable for Education Executive Director June Streckfus at MHEC building to discuss current issues related to business and higher education in Maryland.


February 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24 and 26: Communications director participated in conference call with Governor’s press office and his colleagues in other branches of State government to give a briefing about important agency bills that may be controversial so the Governor will be properly briefed.


February 4, 2009: Secretary Lyons, director of financial aid and communications director attended Governor O’Malley’s town hall meeting in Frostburg. Secretary Lyons answered several audience questions related to higher education while financial aid director and communications director answered questions from town hall participants on how MHEC can best help them.


February 4, 2009: Communications Director participated in meeting of Governor’s Delivery Unit.


February 4, 2009: MHEC staff testified in Senate hearings on two bills attempting to cut down on the spiraling cost of college textbooks. This is an important issue for many legislators and students who struggle to finance their education due to the high cost of textbooks.


February 4-5, 2009: Director of office of grants attended Nursing Shortage Summit in Baltimore City.


February 5, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy attended briefing on Education Longitudinal Data System. This is a growing major issue in higher education nationwide.


February 5, 2009: Secretary Lyons, Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy and director of finance policy presented MHEC’s Education Overview to House Education, and Economic Development Subcommittee. This is one of the most important presentations MHEC makes to the House during the General Assembly Session.


February 6, 2009: Secretary Lyons, Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy and Director of Finance Policy presented MHEC’s Education Overview to the Senate Subcommittee on Health, Education and Human Resources. This is one of the most important presentations MHEC makes to the Senate during the General Assembly Session.


February 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2009: MHEC bill review committee met to discuss proposed legislation that Governor O’Malley supports including MHEC departmental bills and all other bills that could affect higher education in Maryland. The committee is comprised of the Director of Legislative Affairs, MHEC’s two assistant secretaries, chief of staff, communications director, financial aid director, assistant attorney general assigned to the agency, finance policy director and management associate who assists legislative and communications director.


February 8, 2009: Secretary Lyons participated in State Higher Education Executive Officer’s (SHEEO) meeting during ACE Conference in Washington D.C.


February 9, 2009: Secretary Lyons welcomed Dr. Elizabeth Russell, President of Tubman University in Liberia to MHEC building. Dr. Russell asked Secretary Lyons for help from Maryland’s colleges and universities to provide equipment, computers or other resources that the colleges and universities may not need that could help Tubman University.


February 9, 2009: Secretary Lyons and MHEC staff attended the University System of Maryland’s budget overview held before the House Education, and Economic Development Subcommittee.


February 10, 2009: Secretary Lyons met with Morgan State University President Dr. Earl Richardson to discuss budget matters and the Governor’s tuition freeze being considered before the General Assembly.


February 10, 2009, Secretary Lyons and assistant secretary for finance policy met with Sallie Mae representative Barbara Hoblitzell to discuss the status of the student loan industry.


February 10, 2009: Secretary Lyons attended a briefing on academic and student support services available at Maryland’s Historically Black Institutions (HBIs).


February 11, 2009: Secretary Lyons, communications director and Office of Student Financial Assistance director participated in Governor O’Malley’s town hall meeting in Upper Marlboro. Traffic at MHEC’s table was extensive before, during and after the town hall meeting.


February 12, 2009: Secretary Lyons, Assistant Secretary of Finance Policy and director of finance policy attended the University System of Maryland’s budget overview.


February 13, 2009: Communications director and finance policy director provided extensive information regarding colleges and universities located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to Governor’s press office to compile for Governor O’Malley to prepare for town hall in Easton.


February 13, 2009: Secretary Lyons attended ceremonial check presentation at Coppin State University.


February 16, 2009: Assistant Secretary of Planning and Academic Affairs represented Secretary Lyons at the American Methodist Episcopal (AME) Legislative Day in the Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. Senate Office Building. Dr. Reid discussed Governor O’Malley’s strong commitment to higher education in Maryland as well as the importance of Historically Black Institutions (HBIs) in the State.


February 17, 2009: Secretary Lyons and MHEC staff attended the Governor’s P-20 Leadership Council at Germantown Elementary in Annapolis.


February 20, 2009: Secretary Lyons and assistant secretary for Finance Policy attended Aid to Community Colleges hearing before the Senate Budget and Taxation Health, Education and Human Resources subcommittee. MHEC staff assisted Department of Legislative staff compile this important report for legislators.


February 23, 2009: The monthly Segmental Advisory Council meeting was held. Guest Dr. Pamela Clay told the segment heads that the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), where Dr. Clay is employed, could provide some of their top-flight engineers and employees to serve as guest lecturers at Maryland’s postsecondary institutions on a voluntary basis; Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy discussed MHEC’s Nurse Support II (NSP II) program in-depth, alignment, also known as college readiness was also discussed and Secretary Lyons briefed the Segments on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.


February 23, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy and director of finance policy attended briefing on Aid to Community Colleges before the House Education and Economic Development Subcommittee. MHEC staff assisted Department of Legislative staff compile this important report for legislators.


February 25, 2009: MHEC’s full commission met. Items discussed included an analysis of the FY 2010 Budget and the American Recovery Investment Act, FY 2010 awarding priorities in the Howard P. Rawlings Program of Educational Excellence Awards and guideline changes as well as a legislative update.


February 25, 2009: Secretary Lyons testified before the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee on Senate Bill 402. This controversial legislation would allow judicial review of any decision MHEC makes regarding program approval if a college or individual disagreed with MHEC’s final decision.


February 25, 2009: MHEC’s director of communications and BRAC coordinator attended BRAC marketing meeting with other state DOCs and BRAC coordinators to receive an update about the Lt. Governor’s upcoming plans for promoting BRAC and to get feedback from the group. The meeting was coordinated by Asuntha Chiang-Smith, Executive Director of the Governor’s BRAC Subcabinet.


February 25, 2009: MHEC’s director of communications attended Smart, Green and Growing marketing meeting with his fellow colleagues in various state agencies involved with the program to discuss promotional strategies, the Smart, Green and Growing website and logo and future events involving the Governor, Lt. Governor and cabinet secretaries.


February 26, 2009: Secretary Lyons testified on House Bill 789. Beforehand, he also met with the legislative black caucus to receive their feedback on the legislation. This bill is a comprehensive blueprint for funding higher education and other suggestions that came out of the Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education for the next 10 years.


February 26, 2009: Secretary Lyons, communications director and Office of Student Financial Assistance director participated in Governor O’Malley’s town hall meeting in Easton, MD. Secretary Lyons joined his colleagues on the stage to discuss higher education issues in Maryland including resources on how to receive financial aid and the governor’s strong commitment to his agency.


February 26, 2009: Assistant Secretary of Finance Policy and grants director represented Secretary Lyons at the well-attended 13th Annual Southern Maryland reception.


February 27, 2009: Secretary Lyons joined several other members of the Governor’s cabinet at a press conference in which the Governor unveiled a new website (www.recovery.maryland.gov) to allow all Maryland constituents to monitor and track Recovery and Reinvestment fund spending in the State. Maryland is one of the first states to have implemented such an accountability website.


February 27, 2009: February 13, 2009: Communications director and finance policy director provided extensive information regarding colleges and universities in Baltimore City to Governor’s press office to compile for Governor O’Malley to prepare for town hall meeting in Baltimore on March 4.

Office of Grants:

February 1-28, 2009: Worked closely with five project directors to collect unspent funds and reports. Worked with a University of Maryland and Prince George’s County math professional development Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) project director to revise the program and budget to accommodate participant recommendations.


February 1-28, 2009: Sent 2009-2010 GEAR UP scholarship applications to all previous applicants.


February 3, 2009: Met with June Streckfus, Executive Director of the Maryland Business Roundtable (MBRT), to discuss its 2009 strategic plan and MHEC’s partnership with MBRT.


February 4, 2009: Staff member served as a panelist for a breakout session, Funding Resources and Grant Writing, at the All-Country Nursing Education Capacity Summit sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, AARP, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the U.S. Dept. of Labor.


February 4-5, 2009: Attended the 2009 All-Country Nursing Education Capacity Summit in Baltimore City.


February 5, 2009: Held the Maryland College Access Challenge Grant Program Technical Assistance Meeting


February 8-11, 2009: Attended the GEAR UP Capacity Building Conference in New Orleans


February 17, 2009: Met with representatives from University of Maryland, Baltimore to provide assistance on their Maryland College Access Challenge Grant proposal.


February 19, 2009: Collected and distributed sample reviewer manuals for various types of grant programs in preparation for development of an MHEC Office of Grants Reviewer handbook


February 20, 2009: Attended an ITQ monitoring presentation at Coppin State University for their project entitled “Coppin State University /Professional Development School Collaborative.”


February 24, 2009: Attended Banneker-Douglass Museum’s 25th anniversary program and celebration.


February, 25, 2009: Attended the Congressional Community Stakeholders Open House in Washington, D.C. With the support of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the open house was a special collaborative activity to unit with EduSerc, The National Association of Youth-Owned businesses (NAYOB) and other members of the community in an effort to form strategic partnerships in education for 2009.


Feb. 26, 2009: Participated in the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) hosted webinar, “Building Block of Social Media Marketing.” In this presentation, Christopher S. Penn, Chief Media Officer of the Student Loan Network, shared the four key pre-requisites agencies must have in place before starting any kind of social media marketing campaign, from passion, to design science to fundamentals of good web design.


February 27, 2009: Provided federal government with ITQ and College Access and Success fund balances and expenditure balances.

Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA):

February 1-28, 2009: Outreach activities for the month by OSFA staff included seven presentations/workshops at Maryland Colleges and Universities and Houses of Worship.


February 9, 2009: OSFA conducted a Legislative Workshop in the Joint Hearing Room in the Legislative Services Building from 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. The workshop was open to Delegates, Senators and their staff and was focused on the administration of the Legislative Scholarship program. OSFA staff made available handouts that provided updates and guidelines for the programs. The presentation also included information about all Maryland State financial aid programs. Thirty legislators and staff members present.


February 26, 2009: Hosted a “Bill2Law Day” presentation/workshop for members of the Tri-State Financial Aid Professional Association. The purpose of the workshop was to explain the process of how a bill is introduced in the Maryland General Assembly and its path to becoming law or other possible outcomes. Presenters were Karen Price, a Tri-State Financial Aid Professional Association member, and employee of Ed America, and the Director of OSFA. There were 14 participants who received an excellent lesson in the legislative process. Pending legislation that affected student financial aid was shared which generated some excellent discussion. The participants visited Annapolis to attend some of the bill hearings during the afternoon session.

Private Career Schools:


• Dean Kendall, Associate Director for Workforce Development and PCS Education Analyst, met with/counseled three private career schools (2/9: BEAT, 2/11: Frederick Academy, 2/18: Columbia School of Mortgage)
• Reviewed and approved for Assistant Secretary of Planning and Academic Affair’s signature, 11 solicitor’s permits.

Community College Continuing Education:


• Dean Kendall, Associate Director for Workforce Development, with data entry by Administrative Assistant Alice Legum, processed 360 continuing education course applications for FTE funding.
• 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. On 1/6/09, information fields were solidified as form use continues to be discussed with community colleges. 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 will also be updated and 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 four meetings on the draft State Plan (2/11, 2/10, 2/18 and 2/20).
• Attended two CTE related meetings, one for CTE local directors (2/4/09) and the other for the Governor’s CTE Task Force (2/11/09 – as a panelist and a member), and presented private career school information to them regarding the possibilities of articulation agreements.
• Participated in one GWIB Interagency Workgroup Committee conference call (2/12) and one meeting (2/27).
• At GWIB’s request, provided updated data regarding Healthcare and IT occupation enrollment and graduation data.

Records from Closed Institutions of Postsecondary Education:


• Alice Legum responded to 40 requests for transcripts from closed schools and 11 education verification request

BRAC Coordinator:

February 4, 2009: BRAC coordinator chaired a meeting of the APG-University Park committee.


February 4, 2009: BRAC coordinator met with Asuntha Chiang-Smith, Executive Director of the BRAC Subcabinet, to discuss MHEC’s BRAC plans.


Feb 11, 2009: Alexandra Moscovitz of MARC in D.C. interviewed BRAC coordinator concerning MARC’s present and future activities.


February 12, 2009: BRAC coordinator attended a DBED sponsored meeting on the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) funding proposal process.


February 19, 2009: BRAC coordinator met with Mike Blair to discuss the Naval Postgraduate School’s educational programs.

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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