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HCC chosen for mentoring program

December 21, 2008

Hagerstown Community College has been selected to participate in a new college mentoring program that will allow faculty and staff in its biotechnology program to work directly with faculty and staff at Salt Lake Community College as a mentor college and Miami-Dade College as a fellow mentee college.

The goal of the program is to support the development of effective intervention strategies for improving student achievement in post-secondary education.

Eighteen community colleges were selected to participate in the college mentoring program. Teams of faculty, staff and administrators will work collaboratively in six mentoring communities -- each with one mentor college, two mentee colleges and a facilitator with extensive professional experience in the two-year college community, according to a release from HCC.

Mentee colleges were selected through a national competition and matched with a mentor college experienced in the implementation of an effective initiative similar to that which the mentee would like to develop, the release says.

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HCC was chosen to participate in the program to further develop its career pathway in biotechnology using the College and Career Transitions Initiative (CCTI) model. Partners in this pathway include HCC, Washington County Public Schools, biotechnology employers and four upper-division institutions.

The focus of the peer mentoring initiative will be learning from the InnovaBio program at Salt Lake Community College to develop a robust internship program for HCC and its biotechnology partners.

The first students in the HCC Biotechnology program will complete internships in spring 2009 at Fort Detrick (USAMRIID), MedImmune in Rockville, Md., and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Frederick, Md., Judith Peisen, chair of HCC's mathematics and science division, said in the release.

A full list of the mentoring communities and participating colleges, as well as descriptions of the colleges' initiatives, can be found at www.communitycollegescan.org/about/factsheet.cfm.

The college mentoring program is a central component of Community Colleges CAN, (www.communitycollegescan.org), an initiative funded through June 2009 by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education.

The initiative, which is administered by JBL Associates, is designed to strengthen the capacity of community colleges to meet students' academic needs and support their success in college and the work force.

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