Maryland Program Helps Community College Students Reach for the Stars

The University of Maryland is extending the reach of its innovative Maryland Transfer Advantage Program (MTAP) to students enrolled at the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) in LaPlata and Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold. In 2005, Maryland joined with Montgomery College and Prince George’s Community College to make it easier for their students to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Now a similar two-year MTAP agreement has been signed with CSM and AACC that begins this month and ends in December 2009.

The Maryland Transfer Advantage Program guarantees University of Maryland admission to qualifying community college students who complete the program requirements. These students will also be eligible for early access to Maryland advisors and other resources, including tuition discounts, to put them on track to a bachelor’s degree from the start. If the pilot program is successful, it could turn into a longer term agreement.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission reports that nearly 8,000 Maryland community college students transferred to a public four-year institution in the State in 2005. (2006 Data Book).

“Students admitted to this program become part of the Maryland family at the very beginning of their academic career at the two-year colleges. To the students, the program is a bridge to a clear, unbroken path toward a four-year degree at the University of Maryland,” said Dr. C.D. “Dan” Mote, Jr., university president. “As the flagship university, we are pleased to form a partnership with Anne Arundel Community College and the College of Southern Maryland to help more students move on to complete the bachelor’s degree that is so critical to success in today’s information-based economy.”

The two-year pilot program will begin in fall 2007, with applications open to students who meet specific academic standards at the community college. They will begin studies at the College of Southern Maryland or Anne Arundel Community College and transition to the University of Maryland after completing program requirements. They may enroll in Maryland degree programs in College Park or the Universities at Shady Grove.

“This is a remarkable partnership between the University of Maryland and the College of Southern Maryland. It not only eases the transfer process but also makes it possible for students to begin taking classes at College Park, at reduced tuition, while still attending CSM. Students are also able to take advantage of University of Maryland services, such as advising, the library and special events while still enrolled with us. The net result is that students gain access to the University, make a smooth transition to College Park and reduce the cost of their four-year education,” said CSM President Dr. Bradley Gottfried.

After earning 15 credits at the community college, students will have access to academic advising at Maryland to guide course selection towards the bachelor’s degree. They will also be eligible for a tuition discount to take one course per term at Maryland.

Anne Arundel Community College President Dr. Martha A. Smith says MTAP will make a difference for AACC students. “Anne Arundel Community College is committed to developing program pathways that provide our students with a road map to a successful career and MTAP provides an excellent opportunity for students to gain acceptance into the state’s flagship institution.”

A joint report to the Maryland General Assembly in 2003, prepared by the community colleges and the University System of Maryland, showed that the demand for higher education in Maryland is expected to increase as much as 31 percent through 2010, fueled by record numbers of college age students. The Maryland Transfer Advantage Program is one way to help students reach their goals of a college education efficiently – and at a reduced cost.

For more information about the Maryland Transfer Advantage Program students should visit the University of Maryland MTAP web site at or contact the counseling offices at Anne Arundel Community College or the College of Southern Maryland.