Baltimore, Md. (March 1, 2019) -- The University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland (USMSM) – previously known as the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center – today formally joined the Universities at Shady Grove and USM at Hagerstown as the third regional higher education center operated by the state’s public university system, the University System of Maryland (USM).
Located in St. Mary’s County, the center (Maryland’s oldest higher education center) currently hosts educational programs sponsored by nine universities, including five USM institutions. Unlike other regional higher education centers in the system, USMSM also boasts a major research component through a partnership with the University of Maryland Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site.
“The University System of Maryland is excited to formalize our longstanding partnership with the higher education center located in Southern Maryland and welcome them and their students into our family,” Chancellor Robert Caret said. “Our focus will be on expanding access to higher education for students in Southern Maryland, developing the region’s workforce, and jointly making the center and nearby Unmanned Aircraft System Test Site a major hub for research and development. In achieving these goals, the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland will have a major impact on the region’s economy for years to come.”
Said Joe Anderson, long-serving chair of the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center Board of Governors, “After many years of hard work, the merger between the University System of Maryland and the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center is now a reality. The University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland will open the doors to great opportunities for the people of Southern Maryland by providing readily accessible, easily affordable, and workforce relevant degrees, training and certification programs that will enable a bright future for our region.”
USMSM currently enrolls a total of 282 students in 42 degree and certificate programs offered by five USM institutions: Bowie State University, Salisbury University, Towson University, the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland University College. These include programs in high-demand areas including business administration, criminal justice, education, engineering, nursing, and social work.
Additionally, four educational partners – the Florida Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Notre Dame of Maryland University and Webster University – sponsor 63 degree and certificate programs at USMSM.
To enable the expansion of both the educational and research capacity, plans are underway for the construction of a new, 84,000 square foot academic and research facility that will include state-of-the-art classrooms and cutting-edge research labs.
As the USM’s third regional center, USMSM will build on previous efforts to ensure that students in areas of the state not located near a public university can access programs offered by the 12 institutions in Maryland’s state higher education system.
Established in 2000, the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) in Montgomery County hosts more than 3,000 students enrolled in 80 degree and certificate programs offered by nine University System of Maryland universities. The University System of Maryland at Hagerstown (USMH), which opened in 2005, offers more than 20 programs of study from six University System of Maryland institutions.
“Our two existing regional higher education centers are already bringing educational resources–programs, courses and faculty–from our campuses across the state to thousands of students in Montgomery County and Hagerstown,” Chancellor Caret said. “The two centers enable students in those areas of the state to study for a degree near their homes and workplaces, significantly increasing the chances that they’ll both enroll and ultimately graduate. We hope and expect that our newest regional center in Southern Maryland will emulate the success the first two have enjoyed in serving Maryland students, while also forging its own path as a center for research, development, innovation and economic development.”