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Engineering comes to USM

December 02, 2005|by TARA REILLY

· The University System of Maryland at Hagerstown announced a partnership Thursday with the University of Maryland, College Park, which will offer master's degrees and graduate certificate engineering classes through distance learning at the center.

tarar@herald-mail.com

Three school flags hanging from a railing above the lobby in a downtown Hagerstown campus were joined by a fourth Thursday - this one bearing a popular school logo commonly associated with the phrase, "Fear the Turtle."

"The University of Maryland, College Park is in Washington County as of two o'clock today," David Warner, executive director of the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, said Thursday. "I am thrilled to make that statement."

The downtown Hagerstown education center held an open house publicly announcing its partnership with the University of Maryland, College Park, which will offer master's degree and graduate certificate engineering classes through distance learning at the center.

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The University of Maryland, College Park became the fourth school to offer courses at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown.

It joins Frostburg State University, University of Maryland University College and University of Maryland at Baltimore as schools partnering with the Hagerstown campus.

The University of Maryland, College Park's A. James Clark School of Engineering will begin offering classes through video conferencing - meaning students can watch lectures on a screen at the University System's Hagerstown campus - in January 2006.

Students will be able to earn master of engineering degrees, graduate certificates in engineering and take noncredit courses, said George Syrmos, director of the Professional Master of Engineering Program.

Syrmos said lectures also will be taped so students who missed them live can watch them another time.

Some of the degrees in the Master of Engineering program include aerospace engineering, civil and environmental engineering, and electrical and computer engineering.

Syrmos said students will be required to complete 10 courses, which equals 30 credits, and maintain a 3.0 grade-point average to receive a master of engineering degree.

To receive a graduate certificate, students will have to take four courses, or 12 credits.

Timothy R. Troxell, executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, said having University of Maryland, College Park classes available in Hagerstown will benefit residents and the county's economic development.

"I think it's a real win-win for the EDC and for the whole community at large," Troxell said.

"I hope that this will be a mutually beneficial relationship and that it will be here for years to come," Syrmos said.

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