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Higher Education in Maryland

November 2008 Press Release



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



October 2008 MHEC Report to the Governor

October 1, 2008: Secretary Lyons met with numerous representatives of Private Career Schools at MHEC to discuss their mission and future goals. Private Career Schools fall under MHEC’s authority.

October 2, 2008: Secretary Lyons and several members of MHEC’s staff met with new Department of Legislative Service analyst who will be working with the agency on legislative matters.

October 3, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended the presidential inauguration of Dr. Charlene Mickens Dukes (Prince George’s Community College).

October 3, 2008: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy participated in the Organizational Meeting for the Writing of the New 2009 State Plan for Postsecondary Education and held an organizational meeting with the writing group for Goal Two on Access and Affordability.

October 4-7, 2008: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy attended the 2008 National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (NASSGAP) Fall Conference in New Orleans to learn from other states experiences with administering financial aid programs. This conference featured a number of sessions relevant to the administration of State financial aid programs and other policy issues being discussed in Maryland such as the Higher Education Reauthorization Act and the new College Access Challenge Grant. There were also discussions on the FAFSA redesign and simplification, both of which may impact our State need-based awarding process.

October 5, 2008: Secretary Lyons delivered remarks at the Baltimore County NAACP Freedom Fund Awards Banquet, portions of which featured Governor O’Malley’s One Maryland commitment to providing African-Americans outstanding college educations.

October 7, 2008: Secretary Lyons participated in the Workforce Creation and Adult Education Transition Council meeting.

October 7, 2008: Communications Director delivered remarks on behalf of Governor O’Malley at the dedication and naming ceremony of the Francis P. Chiaramonte, MD. Center for Science and Technology at the College of Southern Maryland’s La Plata campus. This $1 million endowment is the most ever in the history of CSM.

October 8, 2008: BRAC coordinator participated in a BRAC Stat Meeting with other cabinet secretaries. The meeting was chaired by Lt. Governor Brown.

October 8, 2008: Secretary Lyons, assistant secretaries of Finance Policy and Academic Affairs, and Communications Director attended a meeting with Secretary of State John McDonough to discuss the Governor’s approach to tracking speeches made by each cabinet secretary and how they are spreading Governor O’Malley’s One Maryland message of achievements.

October 9-10, 2008: Secretary Lyons and Communications Director participated in Cabinet for a Day activities including site visits with Frostburg and Allegany College of Maryland presidents, vice presidents, deans, board of trustees members and staff; a lunch with the President of Garrett College; participation in cabinet meeting and Governor O’Malley’s press conference announcing Cumberland as Capital for a Day.

October 14, 2008: Secretary Lyons participated in the Appropriate Shares Workgroup, a sub-committee of the Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education.

October 14, 2008: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy attended the Appropriation Shares Workgroup of the Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Higher Education and participated in the drafting of the workgroup’s report.

October 15, 2008: MHEC’s Education Policy Committee met to discuss the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board Education Steering Committee Report, an update on the 2009 State Plan for Postsecondary Education, an updated report on academic program approval process, report on higher education institutions programs reviewed throughout September and approval of private career school programs. Action items approved by the Finance Policy Commission will be forwarded to the full Commission for final approval.

October 15, 2008: MHEC’s grants office received 22 year-end reports from Health Personnel Shortage Incentive Grants (HPSIG) recipients detailing the number of graduates in awarded programs and how grant funds were used to enhance post-secondary schools’ nursing and allied health programs. These funds were used to purchase instructional materials and laboratory supplies and equipment. Grants office also received 13 applications for the College Preparation Intervention Program (CPIP).

October 15, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended a dinner honoring University of Maryland Baltimore County President Dr. Freeman Hrabowski. The popular president was co-author of Governor O’Malley’s higher education transition report.

October 16, 2008: MHEC’s Finance Policy Committee met to discuss 2008 Funding Guideline Peer Re-selection and adjustments, 2008 Funding Guideline Enrollment Projections, FY 2010 Consolidated Operating Budget Recommendations and FY 2010 Consolidated Capital Budget Recommendations. Action items approved by the Finance Policy Commission are forwarded to the full Commission for review.

October 16, 2008: Secretary Lyons made site visits to Towson and Morgan State University at the invitation of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.

October 17, 2008: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy facilitated the State Plan Goal 2 Writing Group on Access and Affordability. Began drafting the Goal Two draft document for review by the group.

October 20, 2008: MHEC’s Segmental Advisory Council made up of the University System of Maryland (USM), Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA), the Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC), Morgan State, St. Mary’s College of Maryland and the Private Schools of Maryland Association met to discuss the anticipated 2010 State Budget, FY 2009 budget cuts, the State Plan for Postsecondary Education, the Family Investment Program, dual enrollment and textbook costs among other items.

October 20, 2008: Assistant Secretary of Finance Policy attended the Economic Competitiveness/Workforce Workgroup of the Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education to finalize the workgroup report and recommendations.

October 20, 2008: MHEC’s grants office held two technical assistance meetings for the Maryland College Access Challenge Grant Program (MCACGP). Representatives from local non-profit organizations including institutions of higher education, and Baltimore City and Prince George’s county school systems attended.

October 21, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended the 10th anniversary of the Cisco Networking Academy program in Maryland, a public-private partnership between Cisco and the Maryland State Department of Education. This program gives students a chance to pursue certification in computer science which leads to good, well-paying workforce jobs. Lt. Governor Brown attended the event as well. The Baltimore Sun covered the story which appeared in its October 23 edition and made mention of Lt. Governor Brown and Secretary Lyons.

October 21, 2008: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy represented Secretary Lyons at the Task Force to Review Physician Shortages in Rural Areas. This task force is discussing recruitment and retention initiatives to provide incentives to physicians to work in rural areas of the State.

October 22, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended Smart Growth Sub-Cabinet meeting. He is a member of this sub-cabinet.

October 23, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended the Mid-Atlantic Regional Collaboration meeting.

October 23, 2008: MHEC grants office made a presentation on financial aid to parents of Baltimore County GEAR UP students.

October 24, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended the inauguration of Reginald S. Avery, president of Coppin State University.

October 24, 2008: Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy attended a meeting of the Governor’s Delivery Unit to discuss Up-Skilling Initiative. Governor O’Malley is interested in pursuing a new workforce training initiative to “up-skill” Maryland’s workforce. His goal is to help more Marylanders compete for the increasing number of middle skill jobs by expanding access to community colleges and other approved training programs that prepare workers for jobs in high-demand industries.

October 24, 2008: Director of Communications represented MHEC as keynote speaker at the Academic Excellence in Higher Education Awards ceremony sponsored by the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce and the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown. Outstanding educators from Frostburg State, Salisbury and Towson universities, Hagerstown Community College, Kaplan College and the University of Maryland University College received awards. Keynote address featured three favorable mentions of Governor O’Malley’s strong record of support for higher education in Maryland.

October 27, 2008: Secretary Lyons met with Prince George’s Community College President Dr. Dukes to discuss Maryland On-Line.

October 27, 2008: MHEC staffed the Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education. Items discussed were the Historically Black Institutions’ Study Panel’s final report, an update on the State Plan for Postsecondary Education and a presentation of Maryland’s Higher Education Challenge by Dennis Jones, President of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.

October 27, 2008: MHEC grants office released Request for Application (RFA) for Nurse Support Program II (NSP II) Phase 4 projects. NSP II will fund projects designed to increase the number of nurses in Maryland by aiding schools of nursing in expanding their capacity and by supplying scholarships to nursing students.

October 27, 2008: MHEC grants office award seven Title IIA Improving Teacher Quality Grant projects after receiving 11 proposals. These projects are designed to increase the number of highly qualified K-12 teachers in core academic content areas in high need school districts. All projects were developed collaboratively with a higher education institution and a high-need school district.

October 28, 2008: MHEC staff members attended the federal College Access Challenge Grant project directors meeting in Washington, DC. This program is an interstate cooperative that works to increase college access, awareness and attendance by sharing and co-developing resources.

October 28, 2008: Secretary Lyons testified before the Joint Legislative Committee on BRAC held at the National Security Agency. He was joined by MHEC’s BRAC coordinator. Secretary Lyons briefed the committee on what MHEC is doing to ensure a smooth transition for employees relocating to the State because of BRAC to transfer credits from New Jersey postsecondary institutions to Maryland’s institutions and to inform them that they may be eligible for in-state tuition at Maryland’s schools. His presentation drew plaudits from the Committee’s chairs and members.

October 29, 2008: Facilitated the State Plan Goal 2 Writing Group on Access and Affordability and discussed a working draft of Goal 2 that will be distributed for public comment.

October 29-30 – MHEC staff member attended the Southern Regional Educational Board (SREB) Annual Go Alliance Meeting in Atlanta, GA. Members of Go Alliance develop and share college marketing materials and ideas about programs that reach students directly.

October 30, 2008: Several MHEC staff members met to preparation for first public meeting to discuss State Plan for Postsecondary which will be held before the full MHEC Commission meeting on November 19.

October 31, 2008: Secretary Lyons and Assistant Secretary for Academic Affairs met with MHEC chairman Kevin O’Keefe to discuss plans for public meeting before full MHEC Commission meeting.

October 31, 2008: Communications Director worked with MHEC’s Veterans Affairs Analyst to provide updated press releases about the Veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts scholarship program administered by MHEC and the new Webb-Hagel G.I. Bill to disseminate at a military veterans job fair in Ocean City which will include representatives from virtually all State agencies. MHEC is the State’s approving agency for the G.I. Bill benefits.

Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA)
During the month of October the staff of OSFA represented MHEC at 18 financial aid presentations in the following localities: Largo, Baltimore, Aberdeen, Temple Hills, Fort Washington, Parkton, Bowie, Forte Meade and Annapolis. The presentations provided information on federal and state aid programs and how to apply. The audiences included parents, students, high-school personnel and representatives from area colleges. Attendance varied from less than 15 to 200 per event.

OSFA completed mailing of billing rosters to institutions for all centralized aid programs. This is the first step in obtaining verification from the institutions so that students can be paid the balance of their aid for the fall semester.

OSFA and MHEC Information Technology staff began to test prototypes for the new financial aid processing system MD CAPS. Testing will continue through out the development stage as more is delivered by the vendor, Gold Bridge Partners, Inc.

MHEC staff and representatives from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene met and selected candidates for participation in the Loan Assistance Repayment Program for Primary Care Physicians (LARP PCS).

MHEC staff and representatives from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Oral Health met and selected candidates for participation in the Loan Assistance Repayment Program, Maryland Dent Care (LARP MDC).

Private Career Schools
• Performed three applicant school site visits
• Met with/counseled two private career schools
• Meet with two training providers operating without required Commission approval
• Approval—change of location
• Approval—four new private career school approvals with four new programs.
• Approval—substantial program modification
• Notices of Deficiency(4)—failure to complete annual report or failure to maintain financial guarantee required by the Secretary
• Reviewed annual report submissions from 175 private career schools

Community College Continuing Education
• Processed 600 continuing education course applications for FTE funding.
• Dean Kendall, Associate Director for Workforce Development, 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.
• The continuing education manual will also be updated and put online when the electronic online application process is complete.

Workforce Development / WIA
• Dean Kendall, Associate Director for Workforce Development and acting as MHEC Workforce Development staff support, attended two Economic and Workforce workgroup meetings for the Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education (10/20 & 10/27).
• Mr. Kendall also represented Maryland higher education 10/23 in a conference call with USDOE concerning CTE and community colleges.
• Mr. Kendall attended one GWIB Energy Steering Committee (10/30), and presented the GWIB Education Industry Initiative report to the MHEC Education Policy Committee on 10/15.
• Mr. Kendall facilitated two State Plan Goal 5 writing workgroups (10/6 & 10/20) on Economic Growth and Vitality.
• This month, Mr. Kendall also accepted the Governor’s appointment to the Career and Technology Education Task Force.

Records from Closed Institutions of Postsecondary Education
Responded to 21 requests for transcripts from closed schools and 5 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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