Changes to the requirements for graduation; approval of two new teaching degrees; and final approval of the fiscal year 2012 budget, are among the action items on the June 14 agenda for the Harford Community College Board of Trustees.
The proposed changes to graduation requirements are an effort to increase college completion and would cut the number of credits needed for an associate degree from 62 to 60. The proposal also requires that at least 15 credit hours be earned at HCC, eliminating the requirement that the last 15 credits be earned at the college. Harford Community College currently offers four different associate degrees in 65 programs of study as well as several certificates. For students seeking to earn a certificate, the percentage of courses that must be earned at HCC is proposed to drop from 50% to 25%, and the requirement that the HCC credits include credits earned in the student’s last semester would be eliminated. If approved, the changes would be implemented for the fall of 2012.
The proposed changes are consistent with Maryland law and are similar to practices in other Maryland community colleges, according to supporting documentation provided by Nancy Dysard, director of public relations and marketing for HCC. Below is an excerpt:
“The Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR, 13B.02.02.16.A(1)) specifies “an associate degree requires the satisfactory completion of not less than 60 or more than 70 semester hours of academic credit.” Additionally COMAR (13B.02.02.16.A (4)) also specifies that in order to graduate with an associate degree “a student shall earn at least 15 semester hours of academic credit at the institution granting the degree,” which is 25% of credits earned (15 COMAR does not require more than 60 total credits nor the last 15 credits for an associate degree.
In surveying other Maryland community colleges, most colleges adhere to the 60 credits minimum for graduation or state that students must complete all program requirements. Regarding the associate degree residency requirement, Allegany, Howard, Frederick, Prince Georges, Hagerstown, College of Southern Maryland, and Chesapeake indicate they do not require the last 15 credits to be completed at their institution. Additionally, HCC students have the right to appeal the last 15 credits requirement, and in the past two years 79 out of 80 appeals for the last 15 credit residency were approved by the deans.
A quick perusal of other Maryland community colleges’ catalogs regarding the certificate residency requirement indicated that Howard, CCBC, Chesapeake, and Carroll require 25% of the credits needed for certificate completion in residence. And none require any restrictions that credits must be completed in the last semester.”
Also on the agenda for Tuesday is approval of two new associate of arts in teaching (AAT) degrees. If approved, the new teaching degrees – one in Spanish and one in English – would be added to the AAT degrees currently offered in early childhood education, elementary/special education, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.
Also up for final approval are the previously presented operating and capital budgets for the fiscal year 2012. Operating funding expected from county government includes no increases, but does include the restoration of a 3 percent cut in county funds taken in the current fiscal year, the result of a giveback requested by Harford County Executive David Craig. The 3 percent giveback was requested of county departments and outside agencies due lower than expected revenue projections.
Below is the complete agenda for June 14, 2011. Published agendas are subject to change.
I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call
III. Election of Officers
IV. Consent Agenda
C. Review of National Guard Waivers
D. Learning Management Software License and Service Agreement
E. Software License and Service Agreement for SCT/Banner
F. Personnel Update
V. Public Comment
VI. Board Reports
A. Chair’s Report
B. Member Reports
VII. President’s Report
A. Information Items
B. Academic Reports – Online Interactive Catalog
C. Introduction of New Employees
VIII. Action Items
A. FY 2012 Operating Budget
B. FY 2012 Capital Budget and Capital Improvement Program
C. New Programs
1. Associate of Arts in Teaching – Secondary Education – English
2. Associate of Arts in Teaching – Secondary Education – Spanish
D. Agreement Harford Community College and the Harford Community College
E. Change to Harford Community College Graduation Requirements
F. Tenure Requests
IX. Closed Session
X. Board Review