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Colleges agree to alliance

July 12, 1999

HCC & UMUC allianceBy BRUCE HAMILTON / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

University of Maryland University College will begin offering classes in the fall at Hagerstown Community College under an "alliance agreement" signed Monday.

The agreement allows students to enroll simultaneously in both colleges and work toward bachelor's degrees. It spells out the conditions under which HCC graduates can transfer to University College and continue with their studies.

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"We just think this is a wonderful opportunity for the people of Washington County, actually the I-81 corridor," said HCC President Norman P. Shea.


He stressed that HCC is a regional college and serves both state and out-of-state residents.

Shea and Robert E. Myers, interim UMUC president, signed the agreement in an HCC board room with representatives of both schools present. Myers, a Hagerstown native who enrolled at HCC in the fall of 1970, said he wished the agreement had existed sooner.

"If I would have had the opportunities available to me then ... my life might have taken a very different course," he said.

Myers and Shea said the agreement will prevent some graduates from leaving the area because it creates more opportunities locally.

A $13.4 million University System of Maryland Center is expected to open at Friendship Technology Park in the fall of 2002.

The University College is typically the first of the University of Maryland System's 13 institutions to offer classes at System centers. It will begin giving courses through HCC before the center is built.

It will serve as a base for the center, which may attract other colleges from the university system, according to Myers. At first, UMUC will offer programs in the arts and sciences, paralegal and computer-related studies.

Under the agreement, students graduating from HCC with a liberal arts associate's degree can complete a bachelor's degree in the behavioral sciences or humanities with 60 additional credits from University of Maryland University College.

Students graduating with a paralegal studies certificate and an associate's degree in general studies can get a bachelor's degree with a specialization in paralegal studies from UMUC with 60 more credits.

HCC students with associate's degrees in computers can take 60 additional University College credits and obtain a bachelor's degree in computer management information systems, computer management systems technology or information systems management.

The agreement includes other provisions, including one that allows HCC graduates with associate's degrees to transfer with junior status. It also says HCC students enrolled at UMUC will have access to academic counseling from both institutions.

Under the alliance agreement, which went into effect July 1 and will be reviewed in two years, UMUC will accept a maximum of 60 semester hours taken at HCC.

"It's been a 20-plus-years dream to get this opportunity to our clients," said Michael Parsons, HCC's dean of instruction.

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