Agreements Between USM and Community Colleges Ease Transfer for Maryland Students

October 13 Conference to Focus on Best Transfer Practices

ADELPHI, MD. (October 10, 2006) University System of Maryland institutions accepted some 2,200 more Maryland community college transfer students in fall 2004 than were accepted in fall 2000. The jump from 6,381 to 8,659 accepted students is a 26 percent increase.

This news of increasing access, and the growing ease with which community college students can transfer to USM institutions, was made possible by collaboration between USM and the Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC). Agreements developed by the two groups are improving transfer opportunities for the state's community college students.

Overseeing the transfer initiatives is the Committee on Transfer and Success, part of the USM/MACC Joint Leadership Council. The committee's co-chairs are Stuart Bounds, president of Chesapeake College, and Robert Caret, president of Towson University (one of USM's 11 degree-granting institutions). "We have extended our long-standing commitment to an effective and efficient transfer process to include assessment and analysis of student transfer patterns and identification of best practices among our institutions," stated Bounds. "Moreover, the committee has established specific goals to ensure that we jointly meet the need for baccalaureate education in Maryland."

In related news, USM recently issued a report titled "Transfer Students to the University System of Maryland." According to the report, 21 percent more Maryland community college students actually transferred to USM institutions in fall 2004 than just five years ago, from 6,626 in fall 1999 to 8,048 in fall 2004. During this same period, the number of African-American community college transfer students increased 42 percent and the number of Hispanic transfers increased five percent.

"Among the most important happenings are the partnerships between specific community colleges and USM institutions to encourage and smooth the transfer process," said Caret. "For example, Towson University is developing new 2+2 (two years offered by the community college; two years offered by four-year institution) programs to be offered entirely at community college sites including the Community College of Baltimore County and Harford Community College. Also, the University of Maryland, College Park has established the Transfer Advantage Program with Prince George's Community College and Montgomery College. Students who participate in this program successfully will be admitted for transfer at the four-year institution."

Other programs, such as Project Focus, allow for dual admission to Coppin State University and one of the following two-year institutions: Baltimore City Community College, The Community College of Baltimore County-Catonsville, Prince George's Community College and the College of Southern Maryland.

Increasing financial resources available to transfer students is another goal of the Committee on Transfer and Success. In the past year, need-based financial aid for Maryland's community college students has increased $1.5 million (34%) providing aid to 1,936 additional students (25%); and for public four-year college students, $4.8 million (15%) for 544 recipients (4%). To help inform students of their financial aid options, the financial aid directors at Maryland's community colleges published the first Transfer Scholarship Guide nearly a year ago, with support from USAFunds. The guide is available at community colleges and on the Maryland Higher Education Commission's Web site at:

Several states have contacted Maryland to learn more about the agreements between community colleges and USM institutions that define transfer degree programs in Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) and Associate of Arts in Science (AAS). These programs are increasing the number of teaching and nursing degree candidates in Maryland. "But we are not done," said Caret. "We are starting work on an Associate of Science in Engineering (ASE) degree, to encourage more students to become engineers, in response to another of Maryland's workforce shortages."

To share best transfer practices and success stories statewide, Maryland's higher education community is holding the Maryland Institute for Transfer Success (MITS), a one-day conference at the University of Baltimore Friday, October 13. Nearly 200 faculty and staff members, administrators, and students from all of the state's higher education segments are expected to attend and to discuss continued improvement of the transfer process. For more information about MITS, visit:

The Maryland Association of Community Colleges is the organization representing Maryland's 16 community colleges. Its mission is to develop and execute a strategic direction for the community colleges. MACC seeks to provide leadership and advocacy on behalf of the institutions to the state legislature, other branches of government, and the community as a whole.

The University System of Maryland (USM) is the state's public higher education system. It comprises 11 degree-granting universities and two research institutions and is home to nationally ranked academic programs and path-breaking research centers. USM universities enroll some 144,000 students worldwide.

For a copy of the most recent MACC/USM transfer report titled "Growing Our Own," or the USM transfer report, contact Barbara Ash at MACC, 410.974.8117, or Anne Moultrie at USM, 301.445.2722,


Contact: Anne Moultrie
Phone: 301.445.2722