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Higher Education in Maryland

November 2009 Press Release



For immediate release: November 2, 2009                                Media Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen
                                                                                                             Communications: (410) 260-4511



October 2009 MHEC Governor's Report

October 1-31, 2009: Management Associate sent out 26 responses to general inquiries sent to the governor’s office about higher education issues.

October 1-31, 2009: Management Associate mailed more than 1,000 congratulations letters from Governor O’Malley to Maryland students for receiving recognition as 2009 Maryland Distinguished Scholars, one of MHEC’s most prestigious honors.

October 1, 2009: Secretary Lyons and members of MHEC staff attended unveiling of its new MDgo4it.org website at Dundalk High School. The website is a student-friendly and fun new way for high school and middle school students to conduct a search for potential colleges and universities in Maryland that they might want to attend. Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith, MSDE Superintendent Dr. Nancy Grasmick, and Baltimore County Superintendent of Schools Joe Hairston delivered remarks along with Secretary Lyons. Secretary Lyons and County Executive Smith both had high praise for Governor O’Malley’s strong commitment to higher education in the State.

October 2, 2009: Director of Communications joined several of his colleagues from other State agencies at a meeting held at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) headquarters to get an update from DHMH on the H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic. There was also a presentation from MEMA officials about the establishment and operation of a Joint Information Center (JIC) in case of serious disasters in which directors of communications or public information officers from other agencies may be able to provide volunteer services to MEMA.

October 2, 2009: The Regional Educational Laboratory hosted a national one-day conference on Increasing Access to Higher Education in Washington, D.C. In attendance representing MHEC were Assistant Secretary of Planning and Academic Affairs and Director of Academic Affairs. The conference was designed for policy leaders and focused on research supported practices that increase access to higher education. Secretary Duncan was one of the keynote speakers. Approximately 100 people were in attendance.

October 6, 2009: MHEC held the final meeting of the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown workgroup to finalize report to be submitted to the budget committees on November 2, 2009.

October 6, 2009: Dr. Deborah Klinman from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education visited MHEC. She will serve as Maryland’s liaison from Middle States. Secretary Lyons, and Director of Academic Affairs were involved in this meeting. The discussion focused on current and future issues in higher education accreditation.

October 7, 2009: MHEC hosted three State charitable organizations to kickoff its annual Maryland Charities campaign. Virtually the entire MHEC staff attended the event in the main conference room and Secretary Lyons asked staff members to remember those in need especially in these difficult economic times.

October 7, 2009: Secretary Lyons, Chief of Staff and Director of Administrative Services met for an MHEC budget meeting.

October 7, 2009: The Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) Oversight Council held its first regular meeting of this academic year. In addition to the two and four-year institutional – University System of Maryland and the Maryland Association of Community Colleges -- representatives; Director of Academic Affairs represents MHEC on this Council.

October 9, 2009: Secretary Lyons attended the groundbreaking of Bowie State University’s New Fine and Performing Arts Building. This is a new $79 million building. The 123,000-square-foot building will include a 400-seat main theatre, 200-seat black box theater, 200-seat recital hall, art gallery, classrooms, laboratories and offices.

October 9, 2009: Secretary Lyons attended the 40th Anniversary of the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland, College Park. The Lt. Governor also attended this prestigious event.

October 9, 2009: The Chief Academic Officers of Maryland’s community colleges held their second regular meeting of this academic year at the Catonsville campus of the Community College of Baltimore County. Director of Academic Affairs represented MHEC at this meeting.

October 14, 2009: MHEC’s full commission meeting was held. The Commission heard the appeal of Secretary of Higher Education James E. Lyons, Sr.'s, denial of approval of the University of Maryland University College’s program proposal to offer an area of concentration, in Community College Policy and Administration, within its Doctor of Management program in Maryland. The hearing was conducted in accordance with the provisions of COMAR 13B.02.03.25D(2) – (5). After the hearing, the Commission adjourned to a closed session. 13B.02.03.25D(8)(a). The Commission then had five days to issue its decision. 13B.02.03.25D(8)(b). This decision by the Commission has major ramifications as it is believed that this is the first time an institution (UMUC) that offers a primarily on-line course was found to be duplicating a program that offers a weekend, in-class course (Morgan State).

October 14, 2009: MHEC’s Finance Policy Committee meeting was held. Items discussed included FY 2011 Consolidated Operating Budget Recommendations, FY 2011 Consolidated Capital Budget Recommendations and a report on the auditing of community college enrollments. It was understood by all members of the Finance Committee and MHEC staff that the operating capital budget recommendations could change in future meetings in light of the slow economy.

October 14, 2009: Director of Finance Policy Represented MHEC at meeting of MICUA and Institutional Presidents with the Governor and Lieutenant Governor and staff.

October 15, 2009: Director of Finance Policy attended General Assembly Spending Affordability Meeting in the Joint Hearing Room of the Department of Legislative Services.

October 16, 2009: Secretary Lyons was keynote speaker at the Bowie State University Scholarship Gala held at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt. Bowie State University alumni and supporters from all over Maryland gathered for fellowship and proceeds for the evening were to go to BSU’s scholarship fund. Secretary Lyons was the keynote speaker and he told the audience that the governor is a strong supporter of higher education; he is truly an education governor, has been on the Bowie State campus during his time in office and that he loves to say BSUuuuuuu!!!!

October 16, 2009: Director of Communications attended a meeting of his colleagues held by the governor’s press office at the State House to coordinate better messaging including writing livelier press releases, new social media, helping the governor’s speechwriting team with facts and updated figures from our agencies, advance team preparation for events with the governor, Lt. Governor and first lady and what each department is currently doing that is exciting and interesting in the upcoming days and months.

October 16, 2009: Director of Finance Policy visited the Universities at Shady Grove Regional Higher Education Center with staff from the Department of Legislative Services for a site visit to discuss budget and other higher education issues related to the center.

October 19, 2009: MHEC Segmental Advisory Council made up of the University System of Maryland (USM), the Maryland Independent College and Independent University Association (MICUA), the Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC), Morgan State University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland and the Maryland Association of Private Colleges and Career Schools met to discuss financial literacy developments on each campus and how each campus is trying to figure out whether they need to create a course for their students or do it during freshmen orientation. An update on Maryland’s Longitudinal Data System was presented by MHEC Director of IT and Director of Planning and Academic Affairs. The effects of the College Textbook Competition and Affordability Act of 2009 throughout the Segments were also discussed. The effect has been less revenue for the campus bookstores to pay for student services, but it has also been popular among students.

October 19, 2009: Director of Communications completed work on MHEC’s Smart, Greet and Growing Communications Plan for the next 12 months. The plan included a brief overview, accomplishments, partner agencies involved, key stakeholders and advocacy groups that will help support the program. Director of Communications has been working this year with all Maryland colleges and universities to submit all of their green initiatives to MHEC in order for them to be listed on MHEC’s website and Governor O’Malley’s Smart, Green and Growing site. He was also able to get several of them to join the Green Registry as well as the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO), Pepco and Dominion Energy.

October 20, 2009: Secretary Lyons joined with Lt. Governor Brown, Secretary of Planning Rich Hall and other higher education officials and community leaders for the Northeast Maryland Higher Education Summit held at the HEAT Center to discuss the need for expanded higher education and workforce opportunity issues in Northeast Maryland. Secretary Lyons moderated the summit.

October 21, 2009: MHEC Chairman Kevin O’Keefe released the commissioners’ decision to uphold Secretary Lyons’ denial of the University of Maryland University College’s appeal barring the institution from offering an online doctoral program in community college administration to state residents. Secretary Lyons denied the program approval saying it was duplicative to a similar program offered by Morgan State University. The decision by Secretary Lyons and the subsequent decision by the commissioners has drawn nationwide press including the San Francisco Examiner, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

October 21, 2009: MHEC found out that Maryland has successfully made it into the finalist stage for the Lumina Making Opportunity Affordable Implementation Grant. MHEC staff made a site visit with two senior Lumina consultants to process initial proposal review feedback and to address our final addendum and revised budget submission. In attendance at this meeting were representatives of the Maryland General Assembly, MHEC, the governor’s office, the University System of Maryland, the Maryland Association of Community Colleges and the Maryland Independent College and University Association.

October 21, 2009: Director of Finance Policy attended budget meeting for Baltimore City Community College.

October 22, 2009: Secretary Lyons addressed attendees of The College Board conference in New York City. The theme was Breaking Barriers: Stories from Educators and Students. Secretary Lyons addressed more than 200 people from all over the country where students, college administrators and faculty shared anecdotal biographical stories about their challenges and success in college. Secretary Lyons applauded Governor O’Malley for being a nation-wide leader in higher education even in difficult economic times. He also mentioned Governor O’Malley’s highly successful P-20 Council and the good work they are doing and will continue to do in the future. The College Board connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the association is composed of more than 5,400 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves seven million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning.

October 22, 2009: Director of Communications attended Smart, Green and Growing meeting with his colleagues in each State agency who are members of the group. He presented MHEC’s 12-month communications plan for Smart, Green and Growing and listened to others’ plans.

October 22, 2009: Director of Finance Policy attended the College Savings Plans of Maryland Board Meeting on behalf of Secretary Lyons.

October 23, 2009: MHEC Chief of Staff Dr. Kathleen Walton spoke to a graduate class studying higher education administration at the University of Maryland, College Park at the invitation of a professor at the institution. Dr. Walton praised Governor O’Malley’s strong support for higher education in Maryland and mentioned that Maryland’s USM institutions and Morgan State have benefited from Governor O’Malley’s tuition freeze over the past four years.

October 23, 2009: Director of Finance Policy attended Community College Facilities Planner Meeting at CCBC – Dundalk Campus.

October 26, 2009: Assistant Secretary for Planning and Academic Affairs and Director of Communications attended Governor O’Malley’s Capital for a Day in Laurel. They visited three institutions of higher education in Laurel – Tai Sophia Institute, The Laurel [Higher Education] Center and Capitol College where they met with presidents, deans, student leaders and faculty members. Tai Sophia offers master degree programs in Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine and Applied Healing Arts. The Laurel Center offers classes from primarily Howard and Prince George’s County, but also the University of Maryland, College Park and the College of Notre Dame. Capitol College is the only independent college in Maryland dedicated to engineering, computer science, information technology and business. It has collaborations with NASA, the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as well as many businesses.

October 26, 2009: Secretary Lyons, GEAR UP/CPIP Coordinator and Director of Communications attended the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) winter GO Alliance meeting in Annapolis. Communications and marketing strategies were discussed and numerous valuable reports detailing higher education accomplishments as well as obstacles that still need to be overcome were released. For instance, “Maryland on the Move, a 2008 Progress Report on Challenge to Lead Goals for Education” will serve as a very valuable guidepost for higher education in Maryland.

October 26, 2009: The University of Maryland, Baltimore’s School of Nursing held a seminar on nursing education for policy leaders. Director of Academic Affairs and Director of Legislative Affairs were in attendance. In addition there were about twenty representatives from a variety of city, county and state agencies whose work includes attention to nursing education.

October 28, 2009: Management Associate represented Director of Communications at Maryland’s Census 2010 Outreach Campaign in Randallstown. A letter under the signature of Secretary Lyons along with a Census 2010 pamphlet that was handed out at the event will go to each college and university president emphasizing the need for their campuses to be involved in Census 2010 outreach.

Private Career Schools
• Associate Director for Workforce Development and Private Career School Education Analyst, met with one school (10/23 – The Accounting & Bookkeeping Center) to discuss Commission concerns regarding the school’s annual report data.
• Associate Director for Workforce Development, in a joint venture with other MHEC staff members, met with Medix School-South to discuss its transition from private career school to college (10/29).
• Associate Director for Workforce Development, also responsible for the review and processing of State Solicitor’s Permits, processed 36 permits in October.
• One new school approved by Secretary Lyons.
• One new school approved for Veterans Affairs.
• Three programs approved for Veterans Affairs.
• One site visit for Veterans Affairs conducted.
• One State school compliance visit conducted for new school.
• One meeting with school applicants
• Three meetings with existing schools
• 36 Solicitors’ Permits issued to out-of-state private career schools.

Academic Common Market
• Alice Legum advised 24 callers about the application process for the Academic Common Market. The ACM operates on the premise that if public institutions (no independent institutions can participate) in a student’s home state do not offer a degree program (undergraduate or graduate) that a student intends on pursuing, then he/she may attend a participating out-of-state institution offering the degree of interest and be granted a waiver of out-of-state tuition charges. This serves as a cost-saving measure for both parents and students as in-state tuition rates are lower than out-of-state rates.

Community College Continuing Education
• Associate Director for Workforce Development, along with data entry by Administrative Assistant Alice Legum, processed 217 continuing education course applications for FTE funding.
• Associate Director for Workforce Development, with support by MHEC IT staff, has made the online CC-10 continuing education course application for State funding available for testing to all community colleges. When fully implemented, it will be a paperless process which will allow the MHEC inventory of continuing education courses to be publicly viewable online after approval. Testing will occur throughout FY2010, with the anticipated date for going paperless as March 1, 2010.
o Associated with this process, the 100+ page Community College Continuing Education Manual is 99% complete, pending results of online testing.

Workforce Development / WIA
• Associate Director for Workforce Development, continues to participate on the Raising The Bar marketing committee (RTB to be held 11/4-5).
• Associate Director for Workforce Development compiled and prepared Healthcare Workforce Shortage statistics that compared DLLR occupational demand projections with associated 2008 graduation statistics from Maryland higher education institutions.
• Associate Director for Workforce Development is in ongoing discussions with the GWIB to modify WIA Training Provider evaluation parameters to more accurately take into account the availability of employment data.
• Associate Director for Workforce Development participated in a 2 day National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium summit, by MSDE invitation, regarding the future of CTE in the U.S. (10/20-10/22). The objective was to develop a 10-year vision to guide secondary and postsecondary CTE.
• Associate Director for Workforce Development, in accordance with the 2009 State Plan for Higher Education, and in conjunction with MHEC IT staff member Bill Dowling, is developing standardized annual reports for each GWIB Industry Sector that will provide yearly data comparing DOL occupational demand projections with Maryland postsecondary graduation data in related programs.

Records from Closed Institutions of Postsecondary Education
• Administrative Assistant, under Associate Director for Workforce Development’s signature, responded to 26 requests for transcripts from closed schools and 12 education verification requests.

Office of Grants
October 6, 2009: Attended a conference series on building capacity for non-profit organizations and entities (e.g., State government) that work with them. This was offered by the governor’s office and took place at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
October 9, 2009: Request for Application for Phase 5 of the Nurse Support Program II was released and uploaded to MHEC and HSCRC websites. Press release was sent out.
October 14, 2009: New guidelines for NSP II were presented to the Health Services Cost Review Commission at their monthly meeting.
October 15, 2009: Deadline for receipt of HPSIG applications. Thirty-two institutions applied for funding.
October 19, 2009: Several staff attended the State Grants team meeting.
October 26-28, 2009: Staff attended Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Go Alliance meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, where the MDgo4it.org College Access Campaign was presented.
October 1-31, 2009: Staff facilitated the activities of the Improving Teacher Quality State Grant program review panel. The panel reviewed seventeen grant proposals and recommended funding for seven projects.

Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA)
OSFA staff participated in 9 financial aid outreach activities held at various venues in Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, Montgomery, Baltimore and Howard Counties and in Washington DC. These activities were directed toward college bound secondary school students, their parents and members of professional associations.

Six OSFA staff members attended a day long training session sponsored by USA Funds. The training was centered on recent updates to the federal student aid programs and processes.

OSFA held training sessions at MHEC for financial aid personnel from Maryland two- and four-year and independent institutions on October 27 and 28. Approximately 126 institutional aid staff attended the training sessions on the new financial aid processing system, MD CAPS. The training was conducted by representatives from Gold Bridge Partners (GBPI) the company that is developing the new processing system.

On October 23, 2009 OSFA staff and representatives from Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene met to review applications for the Maryland Dent-Care Loan Assistance Repayment Program and select five recipients for the upcoming award year.

On October 8, 2009 OSFA staff and representatives from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene met to review applications for the Loan Assistance Repayment Program for Primary Care Physicians and select nine recipients for the upcoming award year.

During the month of October, select staff has been working with members of the Legislative Auditing team conducting a three year audit of all financial aid programs administered by OSFA.

BRAC Coordinator Report
Meetings Attended:
Oct 6, 2009: BRAC Coordinator attended the BRAC Joint Legislative Committee meeting.

Oct 14-15, 2009: BRAC Coordinator represented MHEC at the Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, Relocation Fair.

Oct 20, 2009: Secretary Lyons and BRAC Coordinator Dr. John Stephenson attended the Northeastern Maryland Higher Education Summit at the HEAT Center in Aberdeen. Dr. Lyons presented an overview of higher education in the Northeastern region, and moderated a discussion of possible long and short term solutions.

Oct 23, 2009: BRAC Coordinator represented MHEC at the Defense Information Systems Agency Fall Picnic.

Oct. 26, 2009: BRAC Coordinator Dr. John Stephenson represented MHEC at a briefing for Lt. General Pollett chaired by Lt. Gov. Brown and held at the State House.





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