UB reaches pact with 2 other schools

Deal involves Howard, Prince George's schools

Laurel site will serve as grounds in college deal

May 05, 2002|By Jason Song | Jason Song,SUN STAFF

Howard Community College and Prince George's Community College have agreed to run a program with the University of Baltimore that will give local students a chance to earn high-tech bachelor's degrees.

"Students [who don't want to leave their counties] have gone from having pretty much nothing to the possibility of a four-year degree," said Mary Ellen Duncan, HCC president.

HCC and Prince George's Community College have been holding classes at Laurel College Center, a former business facility on Marshall Avenue in Laurel, for the past eight months. About 1,600 students are taking classes there this semester.

But many of the courses are noncredit offerings, and HCC and Prince George's Community College offer two-year associate degrees only.

In an agreement signed Thursday, the University of Baltimore agreed to join the partnership. Students from all three schools can take courses in information technology and business administration at the center. Credits earned will be transferable among the three schools and could be used toward bachelor's degrees from the University of Baltimore. Students will not be charged extra to takes classes at the Laurel center.

School officials described the center's location as one of the prime attractions.

Although the center is in Prince George's County, it is within easy reach of Howard and Anne Arundel counties, and could help schools attract more students.

University of Baltimore officials were especially eager to reach out to students in the Howard and Prince George's areas.

Although most students commute to school, university officials have long felt a need to reach farther.

"We have to evolve and get the ability to attract students from new areas," said H. Mebane Turner, UB president. "I imagine we're going to do more programs like this in the future to keep pace."

Local leaders hope the campus can bring an economic boost to the area.

"We'd like to develop this as a technology-driven area, and firms are going to need employees," said Del. John A. Giannetti Jr., a Laurel Democrat. "What better place to educate employees than here [in Laurel]?"

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