To the Editor: We were pleased to see Meghan Thompson’s piece, “Garrett County Leads the Way With College Tuition Program” (November 1, 2017; Maryland Matters), on Garrett College’s promise program, but want to be sure that your readers were aware that while Garrett College had the first community college promise program in the state, it is not the only one.
There are five community college promise programs at the following Maryland community colleges:
- Garrett College, and
- Allegany College of Maryland
- Hagerstown Community College
- Prince George’s Community College
- Wor-Wic Community College
In addition, the mayor of Baltimore city has recently announced her intention to introduce a college promise program as part of the city’s crime prevention initiatives.
These five community college promise programs are managed and funded differently, but all recognize the tremendous benefits they can provide to students, counties, and the state.
For that reason, the Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC) is in favor of a statewide community college promise program. The initiative makes financial sense for Maryland just as it makes sense for the counties already funding their own programs. A statewide program would allow all Marylanders and all counties to benefit, not just those in certain zip codes.
The benefits of college promise programs are well-documented; they have spread rapidly across the U.S. Currently, there are over 200 programs nationally, including six statewide programs. Not only would this program address student debt for all Marylanders, it could be an incredible economic driver for the state.
Legislation calling for a statewide “Maryland Promise Program” was introduced in the 2017 session of the Maryland General Assembly by Sen. Paul Pinsky (D), and another version by Sen. Ronald Young (D).
Bernard J. Sadusky, Ed.D.