USM, Montgomery College, Public Schools Partner to Boost College Opportunities for High-School Students
System of Maryland, Montgomery College, Montgomery County Public Schools Forge
New Agreement to Expand Higher Education Partnerships with High Schools
October 18, 2006
new agreement between the University System of Maryland, Montgomery College,
and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will pave the way for the expansion
and acceleration of partnerships that will give students more opportunities for
early exposure to college courses and college life.
System of Maryland Chancellor William E. Kirwan, Montgomery College President
Charlene R. Nunley and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent
Jerry D. Weast gathered at Wootton High School today to publicly sign the
memorandum of understanding between the institutions.
the agreement, the University System of Maryland, Montgomery College, and MCPS
will work cooperatively to increase the number of college-level programs and
coursework available for MCPS students in county high schools. The goal is to
provide all students capable of college-level work, including those students
from traditionally underrepresented groups, with the opportunity to take
courses while still in high school and to be exposed to college-level experiences.
agreement also calls for the formation of a small, collaborative group of
representatives from each institution that will meet periodically to encourage
and solicit new and innovative program ideas that will provide college-level
opportunities for MCPS students.
Wootton High School was chosen as the site for the signing
ceremony because it is one of four MCPS schools that currently hosts the
College Institute program, which brings Montgomery College courses directly to
high-achieving MCPS high school seniors. Through that effort, Montgomery
College professors teach courses in the high schools, giving students the
opportunity to earn college credits before leaving high school. Wootton was the
first school to host the program, beginning in 2002. The College Institute
program has since expanded to three other County high schools-Gaithersburg,
Kennedy and Seneca Valley-and has served nearly 1,100 students since its
2002, we were just beginning to see the potential of early college opportunities
for high school students with the College Institute program," said Dr. Jerry D.
Weast, superintendent of schools. "Today, that potential is being fully
realized with the signing of this cooperative agreement with the University
System of Maryland and Montgomery College."
framework for expansion of higher education partnerships will provide wonderful
opportunities for our students," said Dr. Charles Haughey, president of the
Montgomery County Board of Education. "Students from families unfamiliar with
the college application process will be among the greatest beneficiaries."
agreement symbolizes the message that we want to send to students," said Dr.
Charlene R. Nunley, president of Montgomery College. "It is that college is
within their reach and that we want to do all we can to prepare them for
success at the collegiate level."
"Our signing of this
agreement today demonstrates that we are working as one educational system-K-12,
community colleges, four-year universities-in the best interests of our
students," said Dr. William E. Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of
Maryland. "And most important, this partnership will increase students' access
to higher education, and thereby, their opportunities to build successful lives
and careers in the decades to come."
School, college and university officials hope the new agreement
will help to spearhead a variety of new partnerships between the state's
universities and colleges, and county schools. One such example of
collaboration between MCPS, Montgomery College, and a University System of
Maryland institution-University of Maryland, Baltimore County-is Wheaton High
School's Institute for Global and Cultural Studies. The academy program, which
opened this fall to ninth graders, explores different cultures and global
issues while giving students opportunities for early access to college-level
Recently, MCPS launched
another special program aimed at providing early college opportunities for
Northwood High School students. The program, modeled on the concept of Early
College High Schools, is the result of the collaboration between MCPS and the
University of Maryland, College Park. Through that program, Northwood High
School students will have the opportunity to take college-level courses at
Maryland and use its facilities.
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Media Contact: Brian Edwards, 301-279-3214 (MCPS); Steve Simon,
301-251-7952 (Montgomery College); Anne Moultrie, 301-445-2722 (USM)
Contact: Anne Moultrie