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News Release

Date: November 3, 2005
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan (Montgomery College), 301-251-7970; Cassandra Robinson (University of Maryland), 301-405-4625

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New University of Maryland Program Opens Doors for Montgomery and Prince George’s Community College Students

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has joined with Montgomery College and Prince George’s Community College to create a new bridge that immediately links more students to a four-year program, significantly increasing their opportunities to attain a bachelor’s degree.

The Maryland Transfer Advantage Program, announced today by the three institutions during a joint ceremony, 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.

According to the Maryland Higher Education Commission, 62 percent of Maryland students who pursue higher education within the state enroll first in community colleges.  Only about 28 percent of these students transfer directly to Maryland’s public four-year schools.

“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 C.D. Mote, Jr., university president.  “As the flagship university we are pleased to form a partnership with Montgomery College and Prince George’s Community College to help more students move on to complete the bachelor’s degree that is so critical to success in today’s information-based economy.”     

Improving education opportunities for community college students also has a significant economic impact at both the local and state levels.  Ronald A. Williams, president of Prince George’s Community College notes, “This program benefits Prince George’s County and the state by ensuring that more students begin and complete their college education in Maryland. Graduating students from this program will add to the state’s intellectual capital and strengthen its workforce.”

The two-year pilot program will begin in fall 2006 with application open to students who meet specific academic standards at the community college.  They will begin studies at Montgomery College or Prince George’s 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. 

“Although we currently transfer well over 800 students each year to the University of Maryland,” said Charlene R. Nunley, president of Montgomery College, “we know it’s possible that we could dramatically increase those numbers if we work to create an even more seamless process for our students who want to transfer to Maryland.  This is terrific news for students who want to follow this smoother path to a four-year degree.” 

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.

A joint report to the Maryland General Assembly in 2003, prepared by the community colleges and the University System of Maryland, indicated 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 provides one vehicle to help move more students through the pipeline more efficiently.

For more information about the Maryland Transfer Advantage Program students should visit the University of Maryland web site at or contact the counseling offices at Montgomery College or Prince George’s Community College.

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