Maryland College’s Online Program Fights for Survival

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Recently, the Maryland Higher Education Commission invalidated the University of Maryland University College’s (UMUC) online program because it too closely mirrored a traditional program at Morgan State University. Instead of fixing the problem, according to an article in the Baltimore Sun

State university leaders, in what they call a quest to expand college access to students around Maryland, are working to reverse an October decision by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

The higher-education panel barred University of Maryland University College from offering the program for community college administrators to in-state students, instead giving Morgan two years to add an online component to its program. The decision left UMUC – the largest online arm of the state system – in the position of delivering a program to students from every state but Maryland.

University of Maryland isn’t giving up, however. The school’s board of regents, in what the Sun calls “an unusual move,” is now asking the commission to reconsider the decision it issued in the fall about the online program.

Susan Aldridge, president of UMUC, said the commission’s decision was troublesome because it might be used to block other online programs, which she believes are necessary for Maryland.

The UMUC move is unusual because there is no precedent for this sort of thing; there is no process for appealing decisions of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

The University of Maryland University College enrolls over 90,000 students worldwide, many through its online distance learning program. The Higher Education Commission’s October decision referred specifically to an online doctoral program for community college administrators.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer