Students at Carroll Community College now can complete undergraduate business degrees without leaving the Westminster campus.
A new partnership between Carroll Community College and Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg makes a four-year degree possible at the community college.
The partnership, which started in June, offers upper-level business courses taught by Mount St. Mary's professors on the Westminster campus.
Kristine DeWitt, senior director of student development for Carroll Community College, said students at the school traditionally head to University of Baltimore or to Towson University to complete their degrees.
"Our business students tend to be busy people," DeWitt said. "They're working, they're going to school. This way their class is near their home."
The Carroll program, which has 13 students, offers accelerated courses. They meet four hours one night a week for five weeks.
The program is targeted at students who are at least 25 years old and have been working full time for at least three years.
Carroll Community College has worked with a number of area four-year schools to streamline the transfer process. These institutions include Shippensburg University in south central Pennsylvania; Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa.; Johns Hopkins Hospital Schools of Medical Imaging; University of Maryland, University College; and all public colleges and universities in Maryland.
Faye Pappalardo, president of Carroll Community College, earned a bachelor of science degree in secondary education from Mount St. Mary's.
Mount St. Mary's has about 1,200 undergraduates at its main campus in Emmitsburg, Frederick County. The school's continuing education programs, which started in 1996, have been quite popular, said Ross D. Peddicord, director of marketing for the programs.
The school's first accelerated learning program started in 1999 in a Frederick office park with 23 students. It now has 300 students, all business majors.
"It's like a merry-go-round," Peddicord said. "We go [to school] all year round."
M. Linda Martinak, assistant dean of continuing studies for Mount St. Mary's, stressed that the two schools are partners, not competitors.
"We don't want to compete with" Carroll Community College, she said. "We want to work [with] them."
The schools are looking to add courses to the accelerated learning program in Westminster, Martinak said.