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Higher Education in Maryland

May 2009 Press Release



For immediate release: May 1, 2009                                                           Media Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen

                                                                                                                            Communications: (410) 260-4511



MHEC's April 2009 Report for Governor O'Malley

April 1, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Planning and Academic Affairs observed the Middles States self study visitation process as it unfolded at Goucher College.

April 1-13, 2009: Secretary Lyons, Assistant Secretary of Finance Policy, Director of Legislative Affairs, Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy, Director of Communications and Management Associate worked in the closing days of the 2009 General Assembly Session through Sine Die to make sure MHEC’s departmental bills and administration bills important to the agency (such as renewal of the Higher Education Investment Fund) got out of committees and onto the Senate and/or House floor for final passage to be signed by Governor O’Malley.

April 1-April 30, 2009: Management Associate processed 27 responses to letters of concern sent to Governor O’Malley that were assigned to MHEC.

April 2, 2009: Secretary Lyons held a meeting with senior staff to discuss how to implement Congressman Ruppersberger’s STEM initiative.

April 6, 2009: Secretary Lyons and Grants director met with Maryland State Department of Education Superintendent Nancy Grasmick to discuss their role serving as co-chairs of a committee to better align high school students’ performance with that of students in college. Secretary Lyons and Superintendent Grasmick were appointed to the alignment committee by Governor O’Malley. This issue has drawn significant attention nationwide as the State specifically and the United States achieves to remain competitive in the global workforce.

April 6, 2009: The editorial committee for the 2009 Maryland State Plan for Postsecondary Education met for several hours at MHEC. The State Plan will serve as a blueprint for higher education in Maryland for the next four years and is legislatively mandated to be completed by MHEC.

April 7, 2009: MHEC’s Outreach Committee met to discuss how its 2009 Strategic Plan for producing outreach materials including financial aid brochures and booklets, how to choose colleges in Maryland, and the importance of a college education to middle through high school-aged children. The Outreach Committee works together to provide input on MHEC’s publications such as its annual student calendar (which will go strictly online this year to cut down on costs), the College 411: Student Guide to Higher Education and Financial Aid in Maryland, brochures and pamphlets that are given out at college fairs and BRAC presentations. The development of a micro-site that is intended to cater to younger audiences than MHEC’s main website usually caters to, thus broadening the agency’s outreach efforts to middle and high school students, was also discussed.

April 8, 2009: Secretary Lyons participated in the American Council on Education (ACE) Commission on International Initiatives. The Commission on International Initiatives advises ACE on its initiatives in international and global education and on its contacts with other countries.
April 8, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy testified on House Bill 948 – Higher Education – Part Time Grant Program – Eligibility.

April 8, 2009: Communications Director attended Green Economy Working Group to hear presentations from DLLR’s Andy Moser, Assistant Secretary for Workforce Development, Sean McGuire, DNR’s Director of Sustainability Policies and Michael Steven, Project Director, Mid-Atlantic Regional Collaborative about how to best implement bringing green jobs to Maryland.

April 9, 2009: Assistant Secretary of Finance Policy met with representatives from the Maryland Association of Resources for Families and Youth (MARFY) to offer assistance on how MHEC can help low-income students prepare for college.

April 14, 2009: Secretary Lyons met with Frank L. Mathews, publisher of Diverse Issues in Higher Education, a prestigious news organization that covers higher education.

April 18, 2009: Secretary Lyons delivered keynote address at the American Association of University Professors’ conference. He talked about current higher educational trends and how Governor O’Malley is the best governor he has worked with in his career when it comes to issues of higher education.

April 18, 2009: Director of Academic Affairs and Student Advisory Council Advisor, Dr. Sue Blanshan, met with the MHEC Student Advisory Council at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. The students discussed their nominations for next year’s Student Commissioner and their work on the new State Plan.

April 20, 2009: MHEC’s Segmental Advisory Council met. Items discussed included a report on the 2009 General Assembly Session with an emphasis on bills that passed that affect higher education. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Anti-Trust Division briefed the segments on efforts they have taken to cut down on the skyrocketing cost of college textbooks.

April 20, 2009: Revised regulations for Out-of-State postsecondary institutions operating in Maryland (COMAR 13B.02.01) went into effect.

April 21, 2009: Secretary Lyons attended the Governor’s Subcabinet on BRAC. He is a member of this sub-cabinet.

April 21, 2009: Director of Communications represented Governor O’Malley and Secretary Lyons at an exhibition game between the College of Southern Maryland and the minor league baseball team the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Before the game, communications director told the crowd how Governor O’Malley puts families first and that higher education is one of his strongest priorities.

April 22, 2009: Secretary Lyons, Assistant Secretary Reid and Director Blanshan attended the Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Symposium sponsored by the University System of Maryland. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was the keynote speaker. Improving STEM education in Maryland is one of Governor O’Malley’s and Secretary Lyons’ top goals.

April 22, 2009: Director of Communications participated in second Governor’s Census Outreach Meeting and was assigned various duties to work within MHEC to promote the Census. He immediately put together – as assigned – an inter-agency work group to oversee and direct the implementation of the State Employee and Constituent Awareness Program (SECAP).

April 23, 2009: Secretary Lyons, Director of Communications and Director of Finance Policy attended the University of Maryland’s Board of Regents meeting at Towson University and subsequent meeting with Governor O’Malley, Towson students, USM Chancellor William E. “Brit” Kirwan, Regents Chairman Clifford Kendall and Towson President Bob Caret. The USM Regents unanimously approved Governor O’Malley’s tuition freeze and Governor O’Malley took questions from Towson’s student leaders immediately after the Regents’ meeting.

April 24, 2009: Secretary Lyons and Director of Communications attended Governor’s Capital for a Day in Westminster, MD. Visits were made to Carroll Community College and McDaniel College and a luncheon meeting was held with the assistant director of the Dental Assistance Training Schools (DATS) – a private career school in Maryland and Virginia. At Carroll Community College, Secretary Lyons met with President Dr. Faye Pappalardo, vice presidents, board of trustees members and student leaders. At McDaniel, he met with the schools Provost/Dean of the Faculty, Vice President of Finance and Administration and Board of Directors chair Martin K.P. Hill where they discussed various initiatives McDaniel has achieved over the years. John Ratliff, Governor O’Malley’s Director of Policy, joined the group at the meeting. Secretary Lyons also participated in Governor O’Malley’s cabinet meeting at McDaniel College.

April 24, 2009: Director of Academic Affairs met with the chief academic officers of two and four year institutions in the morning and with the chief academic officers of community colleges in the afternoon. The meetings were held at Harford Community College. Discussion topics included updates on the Associate of Science in Engineering and the State Plan. Additionally, information was presented on the Maryland Consortium for Adjunct Professional Development.

April 28, 2009: Secretary Lyons attended the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) headquarters construction orientation site tour. MHEC has developed a strong relationship with DISA because of the BRAC realignment set to come to Maryland in 2011.

April 28, 2009: Secretary Lyons attended the 2009 Career Technology Education Awards ceremony in Baltimore City.

April 29, 2009: Secretary Lyons attended the Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting at the invitation of June Streckfus, Executive Director of the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT) and incoming Maryland Chamber Chairman A. Joseph Slater, Jr. Mr. Slater is a College of Southern Maryland Board of Trustees member.

April 30, 2009: Secretary Lyons attended Stevenson University’s Celebrating Business and Leadership ceremony. The guest speaker was Forbes magazine publisher Steve Forbes and Lt. Governor Brown also gave remarks.

April 30, 2009: Director of Communications joined many of his colleagues in various State agencies at a Smart, Green and Growing meeting with Rick Abbruzzese in the Governor’s Reception Room.

Private Career Schools:
• Dean Kendall, Associate Director for Workforce Development and PCS Education Analyst, performed three school site visits (DATS Germantown, 4/7; Medix School-West, 4/7; and Aesthetics Institute-Lakeforest Mall, 4/8).
• Two new school approvals (DATS-Germantown, Aesthetics Institute-Lakeforest Mall).
• Two new program approvals (Omega Studios: Audio Engineering for Film and Television – 622 Clock Hours, 4/3; and Medix School-West: Aesthetics Skincare - 600 clock hours, 4/13).
• Attended one training session for VA Certifying Officials/State Approving Agents (4/28).

Community College Continuing Education:
• Dean Kendall, Associate Director for Workforce Development, with data entry by Administrative Assistant Alice Legum, processed 394 continuing education course applications for FTE funding.
• Mr. Kendall, along with IT staff Robyn Brayton, attended the 4/30 meeting of the MCCACET to provide updates on the electronic CC10 process and CC manual, and to field general questions from the community college Deans and Vice-Presidents.
• 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. The practice CC10 Word form continues to be tested. 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 one meeting on the draft State Plan (4/6).
• Attended three CTE related meetings, one for the Governor’s CTE Task Force (4/20), and two Perkins IV Monitoring visits (Anne Arundel Community College and Anne Arundel Public Schools, 4/15; Harford Community College and Harford County Public Schools, 4/27).
• Acted as emcee for the MSDE CTE Awards of Excellence Banquet (4/28)
• Participated in one GWIB Interagency Workgroup Committee meeting (4/24).
• Attended one DHCD (4/3) meeting regarding weatherization.

Records from Closed Institutions of Postsecondary Education:
• Alice Legum, under Dean Kendall’s signature, responded to 15 requests for transcripts from closed schools and 4 education verification request

Academic Common Market:
Alice Legum responded to 59 calls concerning Academic Common Market.

Office of Grants:

April 2: Governor’s Summer Internship Program Meeting

April 6: Met with Dr. Lyons and Dr. Grasmick to discuss membership of the P-20 College Success committee.

April 7: Maryland College Access Challenge Grant Program (MCACGP)
Reviewer Meeting

April 8: Conducted MCACGP State Steering Committee meeting

April 9: Nurse Support Program II (NSP II) site visit at Hagerstown Community College

April 17: Convened selection panel to interview 10 applicants for the Governor's
Policy Fellows

April 20-22: Two staff members attended the National Grants Management Association
Conference in Rockville, MD

April 23: 1) Conducted NSP II Competitive Institutional Grant reviewer
Meeting; and 2) released the Early Intervention Website Task Order Request for Proposals (TORFP)

April 25: Attended the University of Maryland Baltimore County Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) Share Our Success Conference for the Teacher Quality Biology and Teacher Quality Chemistry ITQ projects

April 27: NSP II site visits with Anne Arundel Community College and the College of Southern Maryland

April 27: Attended a CPIP funded play, The Arithmetic Insurrection at Towson University – a play about math and science geared toward a high school audience.

April 28: MCACGP site visit to Charles Carroll Middle School for a program by the University of Maryland College Park, Maryland Institute for Minority Achievement and Urban Education

April 29: 1) FY 2010 College Preparation and Intervention (CPIP) applications received; and 2) Participated in Carrollton Middle School Annual Career Day

April 30: 1) NSP II site visit at University of Maryland School of Nursing; 2) Attended the Statewide GEAR UP Meeting; and 3) Conference call with Dr. Ray Lorian and Mike Hickey, Towson University regarding the upcoming Improving Teacher Quality RFA.

Over the course of the month:
• Reviewed of 28 new NSP II grant proposals

• Drafted the MHEC Early Intervention Website Request for Proposal
Conference calls with and reviews of five requests from grantees to revise ITQ Coppin State University, University of Maryland Baltimore and University of Maryland College Park

Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA):
Financial aid outreach activities included 21 College Fairs and financial aid presentations by OSFA staff. Activities were held at high schools, local office of the NAACP, Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation and a Howard County church.

OSFA completed initial awarding of the Howard P. Rawlings Educational Assistance (EA) Grant and Guaranteed Access (GA) Grant for FY 2009-2010. OSFA had received more than 129,000 Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), 20,000 more than was received in the prior award year.

Total amount awarded under the EA Grant was $99,124,200 to 43,851 students and $13,851,400 in GA Grants to 1,503 students. The number of EA awards increased 58% over the 2008-2009 award year. In awarding the EA Grants OSFA reached a cutoff Effective Family Contribution (EFC) of 5,000 which was below the targeted EFC of 10,000. The maximum award for EA remained constant at $3,000 but the GA maximum fell from $14,300 to $13,700 due to the increase in the maximum federal PELL grant award from $4,731 in FY 2008-2009 to $5,350 for FY 2009-2010.

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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