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by Janelle L. Plummer


The Old Line State has variety of institutions from Asian-serving and historically Black universities to a military academy and a plethora of community colleges.

Bowie State University: Maryland’s oldest historically Black institution was scheduled to break ground on its $79 million Fine and Performing Arts Center earlier this summer. The 123,000-square-foot building will include a 400-seat main theater, 200-seat black box theater, 200- seat recital hall, art gallery, classrooms, class laboratories and offi ces. The projected completion date is October 2011. The center primarily will benefi t fine- and performing-arts students but also the campus and surrounding communities.

Coppin State University: This historically Black, four-year liberal arts university offers 23 undergraduate majors and 10 graduate-degree majors. In July, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., joined the university in unveiling a major advancement to its Helene Fuld School of Nursing (HFSON) in July. Through a $50,000 grant from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Coppin has added a pediatric nursing simulator to its curriculum that will help expand the number of students able to gain handson experience. “Baby Blue” is a new interactive medical simulator and is the newest addition to CSU’s nursing simulator center. Stuffed with computer parts, the simulator is designed for training anyone involved with treating babies and will be used by the HFSON.

Johns Hopkins University: The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing now offers six new scholarships for students from disadvantaged backgrounds or underrepresented groups in nursing who enroll in the accelerated baccalaureate program. Funded through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the goal of the New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program is to increase student enrollment in accelerated programs and enhance the diversity of the student body.

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Kaplan College: Kaplan College and Kaplan University announced the merger of the Maryland campuses into one university. The merger is intended to provide students with a wider selection of program offerings and new online learning opportunities at a regionally accredited university. Located in Hagerstown and Frederick, the campuses are now among 10 Kaplan University campuses across the nation. The merger provides campus students greater fl exibility to pursue blended learning options by offering online and campus-based courses.

St. Mary’s College of Maryland: Three years ago, Maryland’s only public honors college implemented Communitywide Race Relations Study Circles. The two-person public relations offi ce at St. Mary’s wanted to provide leadership and a venue to improve race relations. The study circles were also formed to broaden the impact of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. prayer breakfast, which is held at the college. The study circles involve small and diverse groups of eight to 12 people, moderated by trained leaders and focused on local race-relations issues deemed important by the group. In 2008, the school’s Office of Public and Media Relations won a Public Relations Society of America’s Thoth Award for developing and producing an outstanding, strategic public relations program on race relations in the greater Washington, D.C. area. The award is shared with the St. Mary’s County Human Relations Commission and the county’s Board of Education.

Towson University: At the second largest university in the state there is no Black-White achievement gap as it relates to graduation and retention rates of African-American students. Towson University’s African- American six-year graduate rate of 68.6 percent exceeds the university’s graduation rate of 66.2 percent. The two-year retention rate among minority students is 85 percent, which bests the 82 percent two-year retention rate for all Towson students. The school’s Refl ective Process for Diversity aims to transform the campus by increasing awareness and commitment to diversity issues campuswide, identifying key goals and action steps by department and division, focusing scholarship on diversity, and fostering continued change leading through a comprehensive institutionalized model approach. So far, Towson is the fi rst university in the nation to commit to and implement an institutionwide diversity approach using the Now is the Time framework for a Refl ective Process.

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