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UMGC: Proud to Serve the State of Maryland

Kathleen Thornton
By Kathleen Thornton

Before the first online class, before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and even before the first moon landing, University of Maryland Global Campus was working to meet the unmet higher education needs of adults in Maryland.

UMGC began serving Maryland adults with off-campus, evening, and weekend courses in 1947, and in its first year offered classes in Baltimore and College Park as well as at business and industry sites and military bases across the state.

The world has changed substantially since then, but UMGC has proudly continued to serve as the open university of the University System of Maryland, working to remove barriers to education for all students.

Today, UMGC offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates to help give students the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing economy. The university grants the most degrees of any university in the University System of Maryland and is the largest provider of postsecondary education for Maryland residents. In fact, UMGC confers about one-third of the degrees granted by all University System of Maryland Institutions, and more than 100,000 Maryland residents have graduated from UMGC.

“Our contribution to Maryland is really about empowering those who are here—and those who want to come here—to change their lives and their communities and ultimately to stay here and make a difference in the state as a whole,” said UMGC President Gregory Fowler, PhD. 

UMGC Improves Education Access in Maryland

While nearly all UMGC programs can be completed entirely online, the university brings advising and hybrid courses that combine online and on-site to students at 18 locations in Maryland to ensure they have the support they need.

“At UMGC, we are proud to bring learning within reach for students in every corner of the state, with an education that aligns with their unique experiences and workforce needs,” said Fowler.

UMGC also works to remove as many financial barriers as possible for students. The university offers the second lowest in-state tuition and fees among four-year Maryland public institutions and provides scholarships and financial aid to qualified students.

UMGC Serves Maryland’s Community College Graduates

Another way UMGC improves access to education in Maryland is through alliances with all 16 Maryland community colleges. These alliances include more than 220 program articulations, which provide a clear path to a bachelor’s degree and help make UMGC the No. 1 transfer choice for Maryland community college students.

Lynette Lamp, a graduate of Anne Arundel Community College, was able to take advantage of UMGC’s generous transfer credit policies and seamlessly move from her community college program into a bachelor’s degree at UMGC.

“I completed an associate degree in psychology and then applied with UMGC. All of my credits moved over,” said Lamp, who graduated from UMGC with a bachelor’s degree in psychology this year and plans to continue her education and become a mental health professional.

Eligible Maryland community college graduates can complete their bachelor’s degree at UMGC for $12,000 or less with UMGC’s Maryland Completion Scholarship.

Since 2017, UMGC has awarded more than 15,000 of these scholarships and more than 7,700 Maryland Completion Scholarship recipients have finished their bachelor’s degrees at UMGC.

UMGC Brings Education to Underrepresented Students

UMGC enrolls the most minority students of any Maryland university and was recognized as a Minority Serving Institution by the Department of Education in 2023. President Fowler reflected on the university’s impact earlier this year.

“Each year, UMGC brings quality higher education within reach for thousands of students of color, many of whom come from low-income backgrounds and are the first in their families to attend college,” Fowler said. “This designation acknowledges that critical component of our mission and allows us to pursue new grants and other opportunities that will fund further innovation and research into the technology, support, and resources needed for us to best serve minority students and position them for success.”

UMGC also enrolls more African American students than any of the four Maryland historically black colleges and universities. In FY 2023, 28 percent of UMGC's students were African American and minority students constituted 55 percent of the university’s total enrollment.

Among Maryland universities, UMGC is also No. 1 in granting cybersecurity and IT degrees to women and students of color.

UMGC Serves Maryland’s Military Community

UMGC has a proud history of serving military servicemembers and veterans—one that dates back to the 1940s. Today, more than 60 percent of UMGC students have a connection to the military, and UMGC is the largest provider of postsecondary education to active-duty servicemembers and veterans in Maryland. Last year, UMGC enrolled more than 8,000 military-affiliated students from Maryland. 

In 2023, Military Times ranked UMGC the No. 1 online/hybrid university for veterans and the No. 1 best employer for veterans in the education category.

The university offers active-duty military servicemembers and eligible spouses and dependent children reduced tuition rates to help make their educations even more affordable.

UMGC has a dedicated military advising team, and military and veterans advisors regularly visit military bases in Maryland and across the United States. The university also offers special events throughout the year to support the military and veteran community. These include a Spotlight on Security event each October and MilVet Net, a spring event where students from across the state can meet with Veteran Service Organizations and employers and receive resources about entrepreneurship. This year’s event is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

UMGC Helps Meet Job Market Demands

Working adults investing the time and money to go back to school need to know that their investment will be worth it. UMGC’s undergraduate and graduate programs are designed to give students the knowledge and skills they need to be in demand.

“We’re really committed to understanding what the workforce needs of Maryland are and offering programs to respond to that,” said Blakely Pomietto, senior vice president and chief academic officer.

UMGC offers more than 135 undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates, many of which help prepare students for in-demand careers in areas like cybersecurity, healthcare and nursing, information technology, psychology, business, data science, and more.

Pomietto emphasized that in addition to offering an online Master of Arts in Teaching to help prepare the next generation of teachers in our K-12 classrooms, UMGC has been a cybersecurity and IT leader.

“We were the first institution in the state and in the country to have graduate cybersecurity degrees, and certainly in this particular area, cybersecurity and information technology is a huge industry,” she said. “We’ve been providing workforce-ready graduates for more than a decade.”

Students begin receiving career support from the moment they enroll, as advisors can help them choose a program that aligns with their professional and personal goals. In addition, students and alumni can take advantage of the university’s lifetime career services.

Cathy Francois, director of career services and assistant adjunct professor, explained how UMGC works with Maryland organizations to help them fill positions.

“The Office Career Services collaborates with organizations operating in Maryland through interactive virtual recruiting events such as our upcoming Virtual Career Fair on March 15, through our career development webinars where we invite them as guests, and via our CareerQuest portal, where employers can post jobs, search resumes, and directly connect with our job-seeking students and alumni.”

Employers also have the option of connecting with UMGC students and alumni via Handshake, she explained, and more than 2,000 employers operating in Maryland are approved to post events, internships, and job opportunities on the platform.

UMGC alumni in Maryland work for a wide range of organizations, including the U.S. Department of Defense, Booz Allen Hamilton, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, the University of Maryland, Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Air Force, the state of Maryland, Leidos, the National Institutes of Health, the FDA, and many more.

“We have alumni in virtually every sector of the state’s economy,” Pomietto said. “We have them in the K-12 classrooms; we have them protecting the cybersecurity of the state’s infrastructure at individual companies and corporations. We have our alumni serving as chief executive officers and chief financial officers of organizations and nonprofits throughout this state. They are everywhere doing the work.”

UMGC Helps Students Succeed Again

UMGC is proud to help Maryland students build on their past successes and succeed again. First-generation college graduate and Maryland resident Lakia Elam recently reflected on how UMGC helped her make her dreams a reality.

“I had 20 years of experience as an HR professional, and I could not get the title that I deserved doing the job that I was put on this earth to do,” Elam explained.

She said she had started and stopped school so many times, she started to doubt whether she could finish.

“With each step, you realize, ‘I am worthy. I am capable. I can be the first in my generation of the family to make the step,” she said.

Elam completed her bachelor’s degree in human resource management and went on to complete her MBA at UMGC.

“UMGC has me living dreams that I didn’t know to dream,” she said.


The UMGC Impact Across the State Of Maryland

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Reference on this webpage to any third-party entity or product does not constitute or imply endorsement by UMGC nor does it constitute or imply endorsement of UMGC by the third party.

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Achieve Your Dreams at UMGC

Watch Lakia's story of how she had the courage to bet on herself and earn two degrees at UMGC. Talk to an admissions advisor to learn how you can achieve your educational dreams.