The distance between Annapolis and Prince Frederick shortened considerably-both in terms of geography and accessibility-as members of Gov. Martin OMalleys administration visited College of Southern Maryland trustees administrators, students, faculty and staff to discuss state goals, funding, and community needs during the Calvert County Capital for a Day event.
The governors Capital for a Day initiative takes administrators and policy makers out of Annapolis to constituents in counties around the state. On this day the state capital was Calvert County.
CSMs Prince Frederick Campus was the first stop for Maryland Higher Education Commission Secretary James Lyons who came with a list of Gov. OMalleys Fifteen Goals for Maryland in the areas of security, student and workforce skills, environmental sustainability and health.
One by one, CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried addressed what CSM was doing to meet state goals.
In our community, we see a great need for skilled trade workers, said Gottfried. Because of the third reactor at Calvert Cliffs [Nuclear Power Plant] there will be a need for labor and skills. To meet this need, CSM has started a whole new initiative. People are saying that they dont have two to four years to train for a job; they say I need a job now! To match the workforce to the jobs in demand, CSM has developed a non-credit 10-to-16 week boot camp for welders, carpenters and electricians.
It takes a long time for four-year institutions to react to changes in workforce needs. Community colleges can more readily adapt to prepare for new technologies, said Lyons. What you are doing is so relevant-it supports the governors initiatives.
Another CSM initiative is to facilitate college placement testing for all county high school juniors in Calvert County as a way to gauge their readiness for college. The goal is to determine where each student is academically before he or she starts their senior year, said Gottfried. Because the placement test results are immediate, the juniors can share the results with their guidance counselors and develop their plan for senior year and beyond, Gottfried said. The program will begin with Patuxent High School.
Lyons acknowledged that he was familiar with similar programs but that often the lag time between the date students take the placement tests and the date they receive the results often negate their usefulness for scheduling and planning senior year courses.
Lyons was joined at the meeting by Maryland State Senator Roy P. Dyson, who praised both CSM and MHEC for their initiatives.
Among those meeting with Lyons were CSM criminal justice student Patrice Robinson and CSM secondary education student Linda Dexter, both attend classes at the Prince Frederick Campus.
Next to visit the Campus was Maryland Deputy Secretary of Budget and Management David Romans who discussed CSMs plans for a second building on the Prince Frederick Campus. In the design phase the building would include a large conference area, six to eight classrooms and administrative offices.
Secretary of State John McDonough visited during lunch to talk about Sister States initiatives linking Maryland communities and organizations with localities overseas. McDonough heard input on CSM programs from Professor of Business Rex Bishop and Professor of Social Sciences Maria Bryant, Prince Frederick Campus Director of Administrative Services Gladys Jones and Vice President of Corporate and Community Training Institute Alan Kutz.
At the end of the day, cabinet, commission and agency secretaries reconvened at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum to report their findings to the governor in a public forum.
During that meeting, Lyons said, Governor, Im happy to report that the College of Southern Maryland is already addressing 11 of your 15 state goals.