University of Maryland Global Campus and Community College of Philadelphia Establish Guaranteed Transfer Admission Agreement to Accelerate Pathway to a Bachelor’s Degree

Adelphi, Md. (Nov. 22, 2021)—University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), the nation’s largest public online university, and the Community College of Philadelphia, the city’s largest public institution of higher learning, have announced a partnership that will expand the reach of UMGC’s 90 online academic programs and increase the affordability of a bachelor’s degree to the community college’s more than 22,000 students.

Under the guaranteed transfer admission agreement, students can transfer a minimum of 60 credits when they complete their associates degree and be guaranteed admission to a UMGC bachelor’s degree program in a complementary field of study. 

“Community College of Philadelphia is excited to officially announce our dual admissions transfer agreement with the University of Maryland Global Campus,” said College President Dr. Donald “Guy” Generals. “Since increasing the availability of online courses, we have found that many of our students prefer the added flexibility and convenience that virtual learning offers. This partnership with UMGC will allow these same students to pursue a bachelor’s degree from a first-class institution at their own pace and on their own time.”

All degree-seeking Community College of Philadelphia students, graduates, and employees of the college, as well as their spouses and dependents who attend the college, will receive a waiver of the UMGC application fee and a discount on out-of-state tuition for most programs of study.

“We are extremely proud to join with the Community College of Philadelphia to increase access to quality online bachelor’s programs and accelerate the pathway to a four-year degree,” said Gregory Fowler, president of UMGC. “It’s vitally important to provide a seamless process for community college students to ultimately achieve their educational goals as efficiently and affordably as possible.”

UMGC has an enrollment of more than 90,000 students, more than half of whom are active-duty military personnel and their families serving on military bases around the world.

UMGC offers award-winning online programs in disciplines including biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, and information technology that are in high demand in today’s increasingly technical, global workplace. UMGC also offers cost savings through its use of digital resources, which have replaced costly publisher textbooks in most courses.

For more information, visit the university’s national community college alliances webpage.

About University of Maryland Global Campus

Celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2022, University of Maryland Global Campus is a world leader in innovative educational models with award-winning online programs in biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, information technology, and other high-demand disciplines in today’s increasingly technical, global workplace. With an enrollment of some 90,000 students, UMGC offers open access with a global footprint and a specific mission—to meet the learning needs of students whose responsibilities may include jobs, family, and military service. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs, including doctoral programs. A pioneer in distance education since 1947, UMGC is harnessing the power of learning science and technology to deliver accessible high quality, low-cost higher education.

About Community College of Philadelphia

Community College of Philadelphia is the largest public institution of higher education in Philadelphia and the sixth largest in Pennsylvania. The College enrolls approximately 28,000 students annually. Visit the College at www.ccp.edu.

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UMGC Recognized as One of the Nation’s Top Colleges in Newsweek’s First-Ever Ranking of Online Schools 

Adelphi, Md. (November 16, 2021)—University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) was ranked #21 among 150 top colleges in Newsweek’s first-ever survey of online schools

“Our mission is to provide students with learning experiences that align with their needs and expectations, thereby improving lives and strengthening communities” said Greg Fowler, president of UMGC. “We measure success by delivering levels of service that are unprecedented—and perhaps unexpected—in higher education and by wrapping our students in a blanket of support that responds to the realities of their lives, academic backgrounds, and learning styles.”  

UMGC enrolls some 90,000 students annually—more than half of whom are active-duty military personnel and their families serving on bases around the world—and offers award-winning programs in disciplines including biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, and information technology that are in high demand in today’s increasingly technical, global workplace. UMGC also offers cost savings through its use of digital resources, which have replaced publisher textbooks in most courses. 

In addition, UMGC has established innovative alliances with leading corporations throughout the U.S., such as Amazon and Uber, to increase the pathways for employees to achieve their educational goals in more efficient and affordable ways.   

UMGC has also developed transfer partnerships with community colleges in Maryland and around the country, including California Community Colleges, the largest community college system in the country, enabling UMGC to reach the system’s 2.1 million students attending 116 community colleges throughout the state and creating a seamless transition to obtaining an affordable bachelor’s degree. 

According to Newsweek, the rankings are based on an online survey of 9,000 people in the U.S. who have used online learning services to obtain an academic degree or acquire knowledge and skills for their personal or professional development. 

“Alot of American college and university students are learning online,” said Newsweek’s Global Editor in Chief Nancy Cooper in announcing the new ranking. She highlighted U.S. Department of Education statistics from 2019 showing that “79 percent of U.S. colleges offered either standalone courses or entire degree programs online. That figure included about 96 percent of all public two and four-year colleges. As of 2018, the Department estimated, about 7 million college students were taking some or all of their classes online. 

“The pandemic has only added to the growth of online education,” she continued. “The range of online providers can be daunting. If you are looking for quality online education for yourself or a loved one, we hope you will find our listings helpful.” 

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Uber Technologies and University of Maryland Global Campus Announce Alliance to Expand Access to Higher Education for Company’s 20,000+ Corporate Employees and Increase Hiring of Military Veterans

Adelphi, Md. (Nov. 9, 2021)–University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), the nation’s largest online public university, and Uber Technologies, Inc., a leading technology company in today’s gig economy, announced an alliance to expand access to higher education for the company’s 20,000+ corporate employees around the world.  

“UMGC’s coursework aligns with critical workforce needs, and its online capabilities and flexibility are suited to adult students with jobs and families,” said UMGC President Gregory Fowler. “Corporate partnerships represent a large and growing segment of our market, and we are proud to help some of today’s most dynamic companies develop the knowledge, skills, abilities, and dispositions they need in employees at every level of their organizations.” 

As part of the alliance, Uber will participate in UMGC’s career services activities, including recruiting UMGC students and alumni, with the aim of increasing the number of military veterans it hires. 

UMGC enrolls more than 90,000 students annually, and over half are military-affiliated, including active-duty servicemembers and their families stationed around the world, reservists, members of the National Guard and veterans. 

By participating in UMGC recruiting events and activities, as well as with the university’s military veteran career initiatives, Uber is seeking a faster pathway to identify qualified candidates from military populations as it fills key positions in the company, including in sales, business development, communications, data science, finance, accounting, technology and software engineering. 

“We are proud of our unique history and experience with military-affiliated students—not just in understanding the challenges they face when pursuing their educational goals but also with providing career services that are geared toward their particular needs,” added Fowler. “Our alliance with Uber brings together two organizations that are taking action to prepare and hire our talented and highly trained veterans for post-military careers.” 

UMGC will offer Uber’s corporate employees—as well as their immediate family members—reduced tuition options. They can choose courses from any of the university’s 90 academic programs, available wholly online. UMGC also saves students money by using digital resources, which have replaced costly publisher textbooks in most courses. 

UMGC’s online format makes it a great choice for continuing education, an advantage that has been underscored by the challenges that many brick-and-mortar colleges and universities have faced while operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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University of Maryland Global Campus and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Form Alliance to Accelerate Agency Employees’ Pathway to a Bachelor’s Degree

Adelphi, Md. (November 4, 2021)–University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), the nation’s largest online public university, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the nation’s largest law enforcement organization, announced an education alliance that will expand the reach of UMGC’s 90 online academic programs and increase access to a bachelor’s degrees to the federal agency’s 60,000 employees across frontline law enforcement, trade, intelligence, and mission support professionals.

Under the agreement, employees who complete certain classes in the agency’s training program will be able to transfer that credit or be awarded prior-learning credit to UMGC and speed the path to a bachelor’s degree. Nearly 45 courses in the training program are eligible for transfer credit.

Further, CBP employees are eligible for a tuition discount on classes taken at UMGC. For information about the alliance, visit U.S. Customs and Border Protection | UMGC.

“Our critical training coupled with advanced education is a win for all levels of our agency,” said CBP’s Chief Learning Officer Chris Hall. “That’s why we’re so proud to partner with UMGC who will recognize the professional training of our workforce with credits that can be applied towards advanced degrees. Our hope is this will further incentivize and encourage our employees to earn advanced degrees, as well as help recruit skilled professionals for the future. You can learn more about CBP careers at cbp.gov/careers.”

“We are proud to join with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to create additional pathways to speed an agency employee’s ability to earn a university degree and achieve their educational goals,” said Blakely Pomietto, UMGC’s senior vice president and chief academic officer. “Our mission of serving adult students in the workforce and the military is a natural fit with a premiere law enforcement agency.”

UMGC has an enrollment of more than 90,000 students, more than half of whom are active-duty military personnel and their families serving on military bases around the world.

UMGC offers award-winning online programs in disciplines including biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, and information technology that are in high demand in today’s increasingly technical, global workplace. UMGC also offers cost savings through its use of digital resources, which have replaced costly publisher textbooks in most courses.

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University of Maryland Global Campus Establishes Alliance with California Community Colleges to Increase Bachelor’s Degree Pathways for Some Two Million Students

Adelphi, Md. (Oct. 26, 2021)–University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) have announced a transfer partnership that will expand the reach of UMGC’s 90+ online academic programs to more than two million learners enrolled in the California system’s 116 community colleges.

“With this agreement, students with an Associate Degree for Transfer from the California Community Colleges can enroll at UMGC with the assurance that they will be admitted as juniors in their academic major and that their community college courses will count toward their bachelor’s degree,” said Acting California Community Colleges Chancellor Daisy Gonzales.

As part of the partnership, all degree-seeking California community college students, graduates, and employees of the community colleges, as well as their spouses and dependents who identify a California community college on their online application, will receive a waiver of the UMGC application fee and a discount on out-of-state tuition for most programs of study.

UMGC

“We are proud to join with the California Community College Chancellor’s Office to increase access to quality online bachelor’s programs and accelerate the pathway to a four-year degree,” said UMGC President Gregory Fowler. “It is vitally important to provide a seamless process for community college students to ultimately achieve their educational goals as efficiently and affordably as possible.”

UMGC has an annual enrollment of approximately 90,000 students, more than half of whom are active-duty military personnel and their dependents serving on military bases around the world.

UMGC offers award-winning online programs in disciplines including biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, information technology, healthcare management, and business that are in high demand in today’s increasingly technical, global workplace. UMGC also offers cost savings through its use of digital resources, which have replaced costly publisher textbooks in most courses.

About California Community Colleges

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC)

UMGC is the state of Maryland’s open-admissions university. With an enrollment of some 90,000 students, the university offers high-quality, affordable, accessible undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs as well as non-degree certificate programs in online and hybrid formats. In 1949, UMGC became the first institution to send faculty overseas to teach active-duty military personnel at installations in Europe.

The university expanded overseas operations to Asia in 1956 and to the Middle East in 2005. UMGC now offers classes and education support services to military personnel and their families at 175-plus locations in more than 20 countries. Over half of the university’s current students are active-duty military personnel and their families, reservists, members of the National Guard and veterans.

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Top Higher Ed Publication Ranks UMGC No. 1 in Conferring Master’s Degrees in IT to Minority Students

Adelphi, Md. (July 12, 2021)—Diverse: Issues in Higher Education (Diverse), the preeminent source of news, information and commentary on issues concerning diversity in American higher education, has ranked University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) No. 1 in conferring master’s degrees to minority students in the area of Information Technology, according to its latest survey results.

The results, featured in Diverse’s most recent “Top 100 Degree Producers” rankings of institutions that confer the most degrees to minority students, are based on analysis of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Set. They represent degrees conferred during 2018-19. According to the survey, UMGC ranked number one in the category of IT master’s degrees with 758 total minority graduates in 2018-19 (474 men and 284 women).

“UMGC is particularly proud that minority students constitute 53% of our total enrollment and represent 52% of all UMGC credentials, including degrees in the fastest growing and most in-demand fields,” said Douglas Harrison, vice president and dean, School of Cybersecurity and Information Technology. “This is important because meeting the workforce demands of the future in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) will only be possible by widening the funnel of opportunity for students from historically marginalized populations.”

Information Technology remains one of the hottest industries in the U.S. UMGC’s IT programs are designed with input from today’s top employers to provide technical, operational, and problem-solving skills for career advancement.

“UMGC offers a growing number of graduate and undergraduate degrees and certificates in Information and Computer Science structured for current professionals, career changers, and first time job seekers,” said Dan Mintz, chair, department of Information Technology at UMGC. “Furthermore, we are continually expanding our programs. In addition to our existing master’s degree program in Data Analytics, which was included in the Diverse rankings, we are adding an undergraduate degree in Data Science and a certificate in Business Analytics, thus offering students even more career-relevant options in fields such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.”

About University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus is a world leader in innovative educational models, with award-winning online programs in disciplines including biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics and information technology that are in high demand in today’s increasingly technical, global workplace. With an enrollment of some 90,000 students, UMGC offers open access with a global footprint and a specific mission—to meet the learning needs of students whose responsibilities may include jobs, family and military service. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, including doctoral programs. A pioneer in distance education since 1947, UMGC today is harnessing the power of learning science and technology to deliver high quality, low cost, accessible higher education.

Largest Class of Pillars of Strength Scholarship Recipients to Attend University of Maryland Global Campus

Unique Scholarship Program Recognizes Volunteer Service of Family Members and Friends Who Care for Severely Wounded, Ill or Injured Military Servicemembers

Adelphi, Md. (June 30, 2021)—Twelve caregivers of wounded, ill, or injured military servicemembers were awarded full scholarships to attend University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC). That is the largest number of scholarships the Pillars of Strength program has ever awarded in a single year. 

Of the 51 recipients of scholarships since the program began in the fall of 2013, 13 have now graduated and four more are expected to join them by December. 

“Pillars of Strength is truly a marquee program for UMGC,” said President Gregory Fowler. “It continues our long tradition of service to the military and aligns precisely with our goal of bringing education within reach for underserved populations, thus improving lives and strengthening communities around the world. We are so proud of this year’s recipients, so grateful for their service to injured and wounded military personnel, and so pleased to be able to support them as they work to overcome the challenges ahead and improve their own lives and the lives of those they love.” 

“We are once again pleased that we have been able to expand the Pillars program even further with 12 more full scholarships to our great recipients,” said Richard F. Blewitt, founder and CEO of The Blewitt Foundation, which established the Pillars of Strength program in association with UMGC. “We are proud to remain the only program of its type providing full scholarships to the caregivers of our military heroes.” 

The scholarships are designed to help volunteer caregivers, usually spouses of servicemembers. These scholarship recipients have had their worlds turned upside down as they take over day-to-day caregiving responsibilities while maintaining a household, earning income to make ends meet and, often, raising children. 

The restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic made those challenges much more difficult. Among other things, they complicated the caregivers’ ability to be present when their servicemembers and veterans, who often had memory problems, visited doctors. 

These caregivers receive few, if any, educational benefits from the federal government, yet academic degrees are often essential to their ability to support their families. UMGC’s fully online programs allow these students the flexibility they need to earn college credit on their own schedules. 

“Caregivers give and give and then give some more… often losing themselves in that cycle of care,” said Besa Pinchotti, executive director and CEO of the National Military Family Association, a partner organization in the scholarship program.  Providing scholarships to these 12 caregivers isn’t a gift, but an investment in the future of their families who gave so much to our country. It’s an honor to work with The Blewitt Foundation and UMGC who are making it all possible. 

Melissa Allen, one of this year’s Pillars of Strength recipients, said it felt like a weight had been lifted when she learned she had been chosen for a scholarship. “I let out a huge cry and sigh of relief because it finally was like those bricks that were on my shoulders? They fell off.” 

Although the specific circumstances surrounding each of this year’s recipients—all wives—were different, in many ways their experiences were the same. 

They talked about how the “invisible wounds” of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder often went unrecognized while the servicemembers were in the field. These injuries also were not obvious to the public, and the caregivers faced critics who wondered why their husbands were not working. What the public could not see were the sleepless nights, the psychotic spells and the struggles to manage the most basic needs. 

Caregivers married to men who were committed to their military careers said their husbands did not want to accept that they were wounded, ill, or injured, even as they were sent back into battle. 

These women had to come to grips with how to help relieve the pain and psychological suffering of their loved ones while still raising children, working to support their families and handling most of the household finances and decisions. They had to become quick studies in disorders with long, complicated names. And they had to learn how to take care of themselves so they could continue to have the strength for their work and their caregiving duties. 

The bureaucracy of the Veterans Administration often was overwhelming, many said. One recipient has gone to work for the VA with the express purpose of using her experience to make it easier for other injured veterans and their caregivers to get the attention they need. 

“I want to help the veterans and their families in this journey, especially the new ones who are coming into the system,” said scholarship recipient Karen Lopez. “I’ve heard a lot of horror stories—how patients would fall through the cracks, how family members struggled to get appointments for their spouses. I want to make sure the gaps in the system don’t happen to them, at least on my watch.” 

Here are the stories of 12 remarkable women who are setting off on a path to remake themselves and build the resiliency of their families.

Melissa Allen, Bloomingdale, GA

Elisabeth Baugess, Springfield, VA

Volha Butkouskaya, North Potomac, MD

Sasha Clarkin, Bayville, NJ

Lelia Cottner, Kissimmee, FL

Karen Lopez, Kissimmee, FL

Amanda Martin, Fort Bragg, NC

Connie Ozmer, Bonney Lake, WA

Lisa Shaw, Monroeville, PA

Anna Soler, Tacoma, WA

Alison Storemski , Bowie, MD

Elisa Zanni-James, Fort Mill, SC

Army Veteran Credits UMGC Professor for Post-Military Career Success

Andrew Eyerly is the outreach director for the Citizens Climate Lobby, an international grassroots nonprofit with more than 200,000 supporters. How the Army veteran got there is the story of a University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) professor who saw Eyerly’s potential and offered help at each step of his career.

Like many UMGC students, Eyerly—who goes by the first name Drew—joined the Army right out of high school. He came from a small Pennsylvania town and was only the second in his family to graduate from high school. No one talked about college.

“There was nobody really to help me with that process, and at 17 years old, it was just overwhelming to me,” he said. “It was just easier for me to sign on the line, put on a uniform and go off and do that stuff.”

The Army was good to Eyerly. During the first two years of his service, he became a preventive medicine specialist trained in environmental and occupational health. His job was to limit soldiers’ exposure to hazards in their environment. He saw the effect on soldiers’ respiratory systems when that didn’t happen. After seven years in the service, he became a combat medic.

During his tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, he found himself increasingly focused on how fuel convoys were linked to servicemember casualties. He could see that petroleum is needed in every aspect of overseas military operations. That sparked his interest in how a more sustainable U.S. energy infrastructure could lessen dependence on other countries.

As he expanded his understanding of the energy infrastructure, Eyerly was also deepening his conservative political views and questioning the role of government regulation and taxation. He wasn’t worried about climate change. He saw it as a problem for the far future that did not affect him.

Until his daughter was born.

“It took the birth of a 10-pound baby girl—with cheeks so big, she couldn’t open her eyes—to get me to open my eyes,” he said.

Leaving the Army, Eyerly wanted to continue his education. One college told him he would have to start from scratch to earn credits for graduation. Then he found UMGC and its environmental management degree. He enrolled after a counselor informed him that his military training would translate into 45 to 55 credits, shaving about a year and a half off the time it typically took to earn a bachelor’s degree.

As part of his program, Eyerly ended up in the virtual classroom of Professor Sabrina Fu, who now directs UMGC’s Environmental Science and Management Program. Fu noticed that Eyerly was not active in discussions in her classes. She didn’t realize he was biting his tongue because he believed his classmates did not share his political philosophy regarding government regulation and taxation. She encouraged him to speak up, and he took her advice to heart.

“Everyone was just tax, tax, tax,” he said. “I guess I lost my cool a little bit. I put my real thoughts all over the discussion board.”

A day or so later, Fu sent him an email. Eyerly replied with an apology for his rants in class, but his professor encouraged him to speak out, telling him that conservative voices were needed in the climate change arena. Fu was working with Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), which trains volunteers to build relationships with elected representatives to influence climate policy. The organization supports carbon fee-and-dividend legislation through which carbon fees would be collected and returned to taxpayers as direct payments.

Fu invited Eyerly to check out the organization’s website and arranged a scholarship so he could attend his first “lobby day” in Washington. He found he could talk with ease to people there about his conservative ideas on how to fight climate change—something he could not do in his conservative social circle in Evans, Georgia.

He said CCL “helped me with my advocacy and how to speak on this topic without being adversarial.”

As soon as he completed his B.S. degree in Environmental Management at UMGC, Eyerly immediately enrolled in a second bachelor’s degree program—in occupational health and safety—at another university while working with the Environmental Protection Division in the George Department of Natural Resources taking air samples.

That’s when Fu contacted him again. Citizens Climate Lobby was looking for someone to head its outreach to conservatives. She thought he would be a perfect fit. Was he interested?

Fu said consensus on climate change requires taking the case beyond a one-sided viewpoint, something she believed Eyerly capable of. When the lobby’s president asked if she would recommend Eyerly, Fu was quick to endorse her former student.

“All I know is we can’t keep doing things the way we have been doing it,” she said. “Drew comes from a very different background than most CCL members, and he offers a perspective not often heard there.”

Because of his military service and background, he is able to talk to staunch Republicans, she said. Since he’s only 33, he brings a youthful perspective. She noted that Eyerly has done a lot with veterans and with habitat conservation. She told the CCL president that he was just what the organization needed.

“I never thought in a million years I would get that job,” Eyerly said. “But [Fu] always had better ideas for me than I did, and here I am.”

Many conservatives oppose what they view as overburdening environmental regulation. A large percentage even doubt that climate change is a man-made existential threat. How does Eyerly open their minds?

“I begin by listening,” he said. “I find out where they’re at.”

He said many conservatives like him enjoy outdoor activities and hunting. He starts by noting the changes in their surroundings caused by pollution and climate shifts. “As a sportsman, you get to see firsthand how it’s impacting your lifestyle,” he said. “But a lot of people don’t make that connection.”

He also talks about the economic impact caused by pollution and its damage to the environment. He points out that those costs have to be borne by someone. Then he refers to conservative economists and the lens they use to evaluate the costs of climate change. Many of those economists argue that raising the carbon fee can strengthen the nation’s economy, reduce regulation, help working-class Americans, shrink the size of government and promote national security.

Eyerly said a carbon fee can generate three jobs for every one the fossil fuel industry creates without it. Still, he acknowledged, it can be difficult to bring conservative legislators onboard when their supporter base is suspicious of anything that addresses climate change.

“They need cover,” he said. “They need something that they can move behind while addressing the issue without saying that they’re addressing this issue. There are a lot of Republicans that are active in the discussion up on … [Capitol] Hill.”

Not only does Eyerly credit his UMGC professor for guiding him to his job with Citizens Climate Lobby, but he said Fu’s influence on his career continues.

“She doesn’t take no for an answer,” he said. “She is so passionate, she’s so energetic about things. You can’t help but fall in line with her perspective. It doesn’t matter if you are uncomfortable with the topic or not. You’re going to address it because you want to work with her. “She’s someone I know I can call and talk to and get honest feedback.”

University of Maryland Global Campus Goes Beyond Traditional Transcript to Articulate Competency-based Learner Achievements with Parchment Award – CLR Services

New Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) Helps UMGC Students Progress on Career Pathways

Adelphi, Md. (June 9, 2021)–Parchment, the industry leader in academic credentials management, and University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), the largest online public university in the country, announced today that UMGC has launched a pilot program to develop and issue Comprehensive Learner Records (CLRs).  

CLRs are official academic records and expand the information and insights a college or university certifies about a learner’s educational experience, both inside and out of the classroom. Using Parchment Award – CLR Services, UMGC can capture more specific evidence of a student’s learning—as well as a more holistic representation of a learners’ education—in ways traditional transcripts were not designed to do. 

“UMGC is committed to helping students articulate to employers the specific knowledge, skills, abilities, and dispositions they develop through their programs and how they can contribute to employers’ needs,” said  Blakely Pomietto, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer. “This Comprehensive Learner Record pilot is an innovative and dynamic example of how we are putting students first and continually committed to developing new ways to fulfill our mission.”

The value of what the CLR articulates was validated in a recent AAC&U (American Association of Colleges & Universities) report where the majority of employers surveyed viewed skills, including teamwork, critical thinking, data analysis and interpretation, applying learning in real-world settings, and digital literacy, as important. In general, responses show that employers think a college education should provide both breadth and depth of learning and prepare future employees to think for themselves, adapt to problems, and have the technical knowledge necessary for their new roles.

As a Parchment CLR Charter Member program participant, UMGC evaluated their learning model, with a goal of tying what its graduate students were learning to skills for employers.  For the pilot, the university selected its Master of Business Administration program because it was structured to easily allow the extraction of competency-based data.

UMGC partnered with Parchment to create a meaningful CLR using data to demonstrate knowledge, skills, abilities, and learning outcomes within existing MBA course projects, including badges earned for proficiency of work. Students are able to access their CLRs through the Parchment Credential Profile to share with potential employers and their professional networks, such as LinkedIn.

“Leveraging our current CLR, we hope to direct its next iteration and, in tandem, work on developing a CLR for additional programs beyond the MBA,” said Insiya Bream, assistant vice president for Data & Systems at UMGC. “While generating CLR output is one piece of the project, another is exploring competencies and learning outcomes to fully support additional CLRs and digital credentialing efforts.”

“For UMGC and other higher ed institutions, a CLR is an innovative way of thinking about how to aggregate and disseminate credentials that benefits students,” said Jason Weaver, VP of Product, Parchment. “It tangibly represents learning outcomes, and that can increase student success by providing employers with the information they need to make easier, informed decisions.”

About University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus (formerly University of Maryland University College) is a world leader in innovative educational models, with award-winning online programs in disciplines including biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, and information technology that are in high demand in today’s increasingly technical, global workplace. The university offers undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, as well as doctoral programs.

A pioneer in distance education since 1947, UMGC today is harnessing the power of learning science and technology to deliver high quality, low cost, accessible higher education. With an enrollment of some 90,000 students, UMGC offers open access with a global footprint and a specific mission—to meet the learning needs of students whose responsibilities may include jobs, family, and military service.

About Parchment

Parchment believes credentials matter in the lifelong journey of a learner. Offering the most comprehensive academic credential management system, Parchment helps learners, academic institutions and employers request, verify and share transcripts, diplomas, and other credentials in simple and secure ways. Our platform has helped millions of learners, over 13K districts, university registrar offices, state education agencies, and receivers (including university admissions offices, background check companies, employers, college application services, OPMs, and certification and licensing boards) exchange more than 100 million transcripts, diplomas, certificates and other credentials globally. Founded in 2003, Parchment is headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ, with offices in California and Illinois. We help turn credentials into opportunities. Follow Parchment on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

University of Maryland Global Campus and Fort Meade Alliance Team Up to Increase Access to Higher Education for Employees of Regional Group’s Member Organizations

Adelphi, Md. (June 3, 2021)—University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) and the Fort Meade Alliance (FMA), which includes more than 270 partnered organizations, are teaming up to increase access to higher education for the employees of FMA members.

The mission of the FMA is to promote Fort George G. Meade as a growing regional economic asset and provide impact to the region with targeted programs and initiatives. The alliance with UMGC is designed to increase the affordability of higher education through a tuition discount program for all employees of FMA member organizations with permanent residence out of state.

“Our teaming up with the Fort Meade Alliance is a match of two missions that can increase the skills of the workforce and boost businesses and economic opportunity for people in the region,” said Blakely Pomietto, senior vice president and Chief Academic Officer at UMGC. “UMGC is focused on educating adult students who are juggling full-time jobs—including military service—with family and other responsibilities, as well as their studies. We offer workforce-relevant programs and student services that are designed to support students who find going to classes on a traditional campus either impractical or impossible.”

“We are excited to team up with educational institutions like UMGC that have high standards in education and can bring a significant offering to the men and women of the Fort Meade region,” said Doreen Harwood, FMA President. “This partnership provides our FMA members with affordable education options that will help  advance their careers.”

Eligible employees can choose courses from any of the university’s 90 academic programs, available entirely online, including in disciplines such as biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, and information technology that are in high demand in today’s increasingly technical workplace. UMGC also saves students money by using digital resources, which have replaced costly publisher textbooks in most courses.

“UMGC has had a historic relationship with educating and supporting military servicemembers on installations throughout the world for nearly 75 years,” said Nora Graves, regional director at UMGC whose area includes Ft. Meade. “Supporting an organization like the Fort Meade Alliance (FMA) whose entire mission is to provide assistance in the growth and stability of Fort Meade and its commission and the partners that work alongside the military is an honor.”

UMGC’s online format makes it a great choice for continuing education, an advantage that has been underscored by the challenges that many brick-and-mortar colleges and universities have faced while operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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