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HCC, college alliance offers more class choices

July 08, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

Hagerstown Community College and the University of Maryland University College on Monday are to sign an "alliance" agreement that includes a promise the University College will offer upper-level paralegal classes at the HCC campus this fall, officials said Tuesday.

"This gives our student population a menu to select from," HCC President Norman Shea said.

The $13.4 million University System of Maryland center is projected to open at Friendship Technology Park in the fall of 2002.

"We are trying to get a jump on the university center," said Mike Parsons, HCC's dean of instruction.

At least initially, freshman and sophomore level classes will not be offered at the system center, which means students will have the option of taking those classes at community colleges, said Robert Sweeney, system center project director.

The single-building campus is modeled after the Shady Grove Center in Rockville, Md., which does not offer lower-level classes, Sweeney said.

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Parsons and Shea expect HCC enrollment to increase because of the opening of the university center and the alliance.

"It is the best thing that's happened to us in some time," Parsons said.

Under an agreement HCC has with the Frostburg State University Center in Hagerstown, Frostburg agrees not to offer classes that compete with those offered at HCC, Parsons said.

The University College previously agreed to begin offering a computer information system major at the Frostburg Center in downtown Hagerstown this fall, said James Shaw, Frostburg Center director. Those classes would be moved to the system center when it opens, he said.

Frostburg plans to move at least most of its operations to the center when it opens.

University College and Frostburg are two of the eight colleges that have committed to offering classes at the system center, Sweeney said. The other six are University of Maryland; University of Maryland, Baltimore; Bowie State University; Towson University; Salisbury State University, and University Eastern Shore, Sweeney said.

Under the alliance, University College will offer upper-level undergraduate courses at HCC , starting with the paralegal program.

After the alliance is signed, the colleges will determine the logistics, including how many classes will be offered, he said.

Under the alliance students can be enrolled in HCC and University College simultaneously, Parsons said. That will ease the transition from HCC to University College classes, he said.

The University System Board of Regents is scheduled Friday to approve a fiscal 2001 capital improvement program that includes the $13.4-million Washington County campus. The CIP program then moves to the Maryland General Assembly for funding.

It initially was estimated that the system center would cost $12 million, but System Capital Planner Mark Beck suggested the system ask the state for an additional $1.4 million so a second 20-acre land parcel can be acquired at the Allegheny Power-owned park.

The first parcel was donated by Allegheny Power.

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