UMUC Forges Alliance with Chesapeake College

Agreement will bring bachelor’s programs to Higher Education Center on the Eastern Shore

By Kerry O'Neill ( |   June 16, 2008

ADELPHI, Md. (June 16, 2008) – UMUC and Chesapeake College recently announced a partnership to bring baccalaureate programs to the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center.

Officials from both institutions met recently at the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center to formally sign the alliance agreement.

Chesapeake President Dr. Stuart Bounds said the new alliance will open new opportunities for residents of Chesapeake’s five-county service area.

"UMUC is the premier provider of adult education and we are so pleased to be linked with them,” Dr. Bounds said. “Without opportunities for higher education, our region will not be able reach its full potential for economic development.”

Dr. Susan Aldridge, president of UMUC, said her institution and Chesapeake share a commitment to provide higher education to working adult students.

"We welcome Chesapeake College to our network of partners. We have wanted to work with Chesapeake for a long time,” Dr. Aldridge said. “As the second largest public institution of higher learning in the United States, we are committed to offering quality education that is accessible and affordable.”

With this alliance, Chesapeake College associate degree graduates will have the opportunity to transfer seamlessly to a UMUC bachelor’s degree program.

Beginning this fall, UMUC will offer bachelor’s degree programs in business administration and criminal justice at the Higher Education Center on Chesapeake’s Wye Mills campus. Students will be able to apply, register, obtain financial aid information, and talk with advisors without leaving the Eastern Shore. UMUC officials will be holding open house events at the Wye Mills center this summer and will eventually staff an office there.

As further incentive, UMUC is offering transfer scholarships to Chesapeake College graduates. Under the program, Chesapeake graduates with a 3.0 GPA may receive a scholarship to pay the difference between Chesapeake’s tuition and that of UMUC. Seven of those scholarships have already been awarded, according to UMUC officials.

One such scholarship recipient is Katy North of Easton who graduated from Chesapeake in 2007 with an associate’s degree in criminal justice.  North works full-time and wanted to continue her education close to home.

"I’ve put off pursuing a bachelor’s degree because there just wasn’t a program that worked for me. I don’t enjoy online classes and I can’t afford to commute to a university,” North said. “I’m ecstatic that the UMUC program is coming to the Higher Education Center. This is perfect for me, so I applied as soon as I heard about the new agreement.”

North will begin her bachelor’s degree program through UMUC this fall.

"The application and enrollment process went very well. I was amazed that the officials at UMUC evaluated my transcript in less than 48 hours and that 70 of my credits were accepted for transfer,” North said. “The UMUC representatives have been helpful and they’ve made the process quick and easy. I already have an advisor who has been checking in with me to answer every question I’ve had.”