News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: November 23, 2004 (04-108) 

Montgomery College to Receive More than $400,000 in Federal Funds to Equip Wireless Mobile Classrooms for Engineering, Computer Programs
Senators Mikulski and Sarbanes, Congressmen Van Hollen and Wynn Key in Securing Funding

      Montgomery College is slated to receive $406,720 in federal funding to equip two wireless mobile classrooms that will serve its engineering and computer science programs, thanks to the efforts of the Maryland Congressional delegation – led by Senators Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes, and Congressmen Chris Van Hollen and Albert Wynn – to include the project in the FY 2005 Omnibus Appropriations bill. The legislation has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and is expected to pass the Senate, according to Senator Mikulski’s office.     

      “This is very exciting news for Montgomery College and the wonderfully deserving students we serve,” said Dr. Charlene R. Nunley, president of Montgomery College. “Community colleges such as ours provide access to higher education for many students who may otherwise not be able to attend college, and are particularly instrumental in providing opportunities for women and minorities in the fields of science, technology and engineering. This funding will help us to meet our capacity challenge and serve many more students, especially in the high demand area of engineering. We are so grateful to our Congressional delegation – particularly Senators Mikulski and Sarbanes, and Congressmen Van Hollen and Wynn -- for their leadership and recognition of the vital role we play in this arena.”   

      “Montgomery College has been a leader in engineering and computer science education in Maryland, especially for under-served groups like minorities and women,” said Senator Mikulski. “Yet I know that Montgomery College is bursting at the seams. The new wireless mobile classrooms will allow Montgomery College to offer more classes and accept more students into these high-demand areas. That’s why I worked hard to secure funding for this important project.”     

      "I am very pleased that this bill contains funding for important education, healthcare, public safety, transportation, and environmental initiatives in our community," said Congressman Van Hollen. "For example, the funds for Montgomery College are an essential part of the school's plan to expand engineering opportunities for students.  I am pleased that we will no longer have to turn away talented students who want to study engineering.”     

      With the new federal funding, Montgomery College will be able to transform two conventional classrooms on its Rockville Campus into engineering/computer science laboratories, equipped with banks of notebook computers, printers, storage facilities, software and related wireless equipment.     

      Of the more than 500 Montgomery College students currently enrolled in Engineering/Computer Science, 56 percent are from minority backgrounds. Approximately 200 students from the College’s engineering program transfer each year to a four-year institution to complete their bachelor’s degree in the field. Some 70 of these students graduate annually from the University of Maryland’s highly regarded engineering school, and other students transfer to an array of top programs, including those at MIT, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Virginia Tech, among others.     

      College officials note that the addition of the two wireless labs will allow hundreds of students to access high-demand freshman and sophomore-level engineering and specialized computer courses that are routinely closed, because they are often at capacity, well before a semester begins.              

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County. The College serves nearly 50,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.