Maryland Community Colleges See Notable Increase in Degrees and Certificates Awarded

The Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC) reported that associate degrees awarded by the state’s community colleges are up 45 percent and certificates awarded are up 56 percent since 2009. The news was released during a recent summit dedicated to helping more Maryland community college students complete their educations. The ninth annual “Summit on Completion” drew more than 300 participants on Dec. 7, including community college faculty, administrators and higher education policymakers.

College of Southern Maryland faculty and staff were among the summit’s presenters and panelists, including Professor Dr. Christine Arnold-Lourie presenting on measuring pathway successes; Professor Kim Donnelly, Planning and Institutional Resources Dr. Kelly McMurray, Chair of English, Communication and Languages David Robinson, Chair of Biology Jean Russ and Assistant Professor Barbara Link presenting on student retention and classroom strategies; and Counselor Jennifer Fossell, Student Life Coordinator Jennifer VanCory and Associate Professor Michelle Brosco Christian presenting on supporting opportunities for connection and inclusivity to help maintain students on a pathway to success.

Summit attendees were addressed by Dr. Sandra Kurtinitis, president of the Community College of Baltimore County, and Dr. Charlene Dukes, president of Prince George’s Community College, and higher education researchers. This year’s summit focus was defining pathways to guide student success.

The summit’s keynote was offered by Dr. Nina Lyon Bennett, director of strategic research, EAB, with a theme of “Defining Student Educational Pathways.”

Most community college students attend college part-time, work, and have family responsibilities; many struggle to complete associate degrees and career certificates. To address their needs, Maryland’s community colleges have modified course programs and enrollment processes, yielding consistently improved student completion rates since 2009, according to MACC.

“Community colleges offer education and training for students to enter in-demand careers that pay middle class wages,” said Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges Dr. Bernie Sadusky. “By contrast, workers with a high school education or less face steadily dropping labor market demand and lower pay scales.*”

*Source: Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce,
Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements through 2018, June 2010.

About Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC)
The Maryland Association of Community Colleges  is an advocate for the state’s 16 community colleges and the educational needs of the students they serve. The community colleges offer a wide variety of programs, 1000 learning sites and 23 campuses for students pursuing academic degrees, career credentials or life enrichment. College connections with local employers enhance in-demand training programs and strengthen local economies. Maryland WorkSmart offers customized workforce training to employers. Please visit or call (410) 974-8117.