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MARYLAND HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


[photo, Maryland Higher Education Commission, 839 Bestgate Road, Annapolis, Maryland] Origins of the Maryland Higher Education Commission trace to 1963, when the Advisory Council on Higher Education was formed (Chapter 41, Acts of 1963). The Council was renamed the Maryland Council on Higher Education in 1968 (Chapter 130, Acts of 1968). The State Board for Higher Education replaced the Council in 1976 (Chapter 538, Acts of 1976). The Board in turn was superseded in 1988 by the Maryland Higher Education Commission. The Commission implemented a reorganization of Maryland universities and colleges in 1988 (Chapter 246, Acts of 1988). In 1991, when the State Board for Community Colleges was abolished, its functions transferred to the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

839 Bestgate Road, Annapolis, Maryland, December 2002. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


The Maryland Higher Education Commission coordinates the growth and development of post-secondary education in Maryland. In keeping with the goals outlined in the State Plan for Higher Education, the Commission establishes statewide policies for public and private colleges and universities, and for private career schools. The Commission reviews and approves the start-up and continuation of new colleges and universities in Maryland, as well as requests for new academic programs at established schools. In 1991, State funding extended to community colleges and to eligible independent colleges and universities administered by the Commission.

State Plan for Higher Education. Every four years, the Commission reviews and updates the State Plan for Higher Education (formerly State Plan for Post-Secondary Education), and reports on the status and needs of post-secondary education in Maryland (Code Education Article, sec. 11-105). The Plan is developed consistent with the Maryland Charter for Higher Education (adopted in 1988) which sets forth State goals for higher education (Code Education Article, secs. 10-201 through 10-212).

The Commission's twelve members are appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent. Eleven serve five-year terms; a student member has a one-year term. The Governor names the chair (Code Education Article, secs. 11-101 through 11-206).

Under the Commission are two divisions: Finance Policy, and Planning and Academic Affairs. The Maryland Fire-Rescue Education and Training Commission also assists the Commission. In addition, the Commission administers the Higher Education Investment Fund.


SECRETARY OF HIGHER EDUCATION

[photo, 839 Bestgate Road, Annapolis, Maryland] Appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent, the Secretary of Higher Education oversees the State's system of higher education. The Secretary chairs the Segmental Advisory Council, and serves on the Governor's Executive Council; the Governor's Subcabinet for International Affairs; the Smart Growth Subcabinet; the College Savings Plans of Maryland Board; the Education Coordinating Committee; the Maryland Education Council; the Education Coordinating Council for Correctional Institutions; the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority; the Coordinating Council for Juvenile Services Educational Programs; the Maryland K-16 Partnership for Teaching and Learning; the Maryland Advisory Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness; the Interdepartmental Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs; the Southern Regional Education Board; and the Governor's Workforce Investment Board.

Maryland Higher Education Commission, 839 Bestgate Road, Annapolis, Maryland, August 2004. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.



[photo, MARYLAND FIRE-RESCUE EDUCATION & TRAINING COMMISSION
In 1976, the Maryland Fire-Rescue Education and Training Commission was established within the State Board for Higher Education (Chapter 682, Acts of 1976). The Commission was placed under the Secretary of Higher Education in 1988 (Chapter 246, Acts of 1988).

"Between Morning and Night": Maryland Fire-Rescue Services Memorial scupture (2006), by Rodney Carroll, Calvert St., Annapolis, Maryland, July 2007. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.



DIVISION OF FINANCE POLICY

In 1988, the Division of Finance Policy started as the Division of Finance and Policy Analysis and received its present name in 1993.

Over $93 million in State student financial aid is administered by the Division. For institutions of higher education, the Division sets guidelines for operating and capital budgets; analyzes campus budget requests; and makes recommendations on funding. The Division also directs State aid for community colleges and private institutions, and capital improvements for community colleges.

The Division oversees Finance and Facilities; Grants; and the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

OFFICE OF STUDENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
The Office of Student Financial Assistance began in 1961 as the State Scholarship Board (Chapter 412, Acts of 1961). The Board reorganized in 1988 as the State Scholarship Administration under the Maryland Higher Education Commission (Chapter 246, Acts of 1988). On July 1, 2002, the Administration was renamed the Office of Student Financial Assistance (Chapters 315 and 429, Acts of 2002). The Office is responsible for all State student financial aid programs.


DIVISION OF PLANNING & ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

Formed in 1988, the Division of Planning and Academic Affairs approves academic programs and new institutions, and oversees postsecondary institutions, including private career schools. The needs of education and training programs as well as plans for such programs are analyzed by the Division.

Under the Division of Planning and Academic Affairs are the Maryland Digital Library, and three offices: Academic Affairs; Information Systems; and Planning, Research Analysis, and Workforce Development.

OFFICE OF ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
The Office of Academic Affairs coordinates the approval process for postsecondary institutions wishing to offer certificates, degrees or diplomas in Maryland. It establishes minimum requirements for academic programs and provides information about approved programs and the approval process.

The Office also oversees the regulation of private career schools in Maryland. The office sets academic and financial standards for Commission approval and provides information on how to open a school. For students, the office maintains lists of approved schools and those which have closed. Enrollment figures, completion rates, and pass rates of graduates on any licensure examination are published by the office. To protect students, the office may take legal action against schools when necessary.

OFFICE OF PLANNING, RESEARCH ANALYSIS, & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
The Office of Planning, Research Analysis, and Workforce Development originated in 1976 as Research, Planning, and Evaluation. In 1985, it reorganized as Research, Planning, and Information Systems. Under the Division of Planning and Academic Affairs since 1988, it reformed as the Division of Policy Analysis and Research in 1997. In June 2001, the Division became the Office of Policy Analysis and Research. The Office reorganized further in 2008 as the Office of Planning, Research Analysis, and Workforce Development.

For the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the Office studies major issues in postsecondary education. The Office also collects and analyzes data later reported in the Commission's annual Data Book and Trend Book and on the Internet. For public colleges and universities, the Office coordinates the yearly performance accountability process and prepares enrollment projections.

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2009

July 1, 2009   
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