New Harford County Campus Will Address Workforce, Student Needs
Northeastern Maryland has seen enormous growth in the past decade in terms of population and commercial development. However, the region still lacked one critical element for future growth – a four-year higher education institution. That will all change in the fall of 2014 thanks to the new Towson University in Northeastern Maryland campus in Harford County.
“This region has become a major growth engine for the economy of Maryland, with rapidly increasing needs for a highly educated workforce,” said University System of Maryland Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan at the groundbreaking ceremony on May 30. “As the public higher education system for Maryland, the University System of Maryland both has an obligation and a desire to come up to northeast Maryland and deliver the courses that you need.”
“We have already had discussions with Harford Community College and Cecil College on which majors are currently in demand on their campuses in order to gauge student interest. We will also have conversations with Aberdeen Proving Ground and the local business community to better define workforce needs,” says TU in Northeastern Maryland Director John Desmone. “We’re looking for the right balance for programs that are necessary with ones that interest students.”
Desmone adds that Towson University also aims to work with the Harford County Public Schools to promote the pathway from middle and high school to the community colleges and eventually Towson University.
The new school will operate under a “2+2 program,” allowing students to get their associate’s degree at HCC or Cecil College, and then transfer to Towson University in Northeastern Maryland, without having to make the drive to Towson for classes. Their degrees will come from Towson University. Jonathan Lindhorst, project manager, says the building is set for completion in July 2014 to welcome its first students for the fall semester.
Desmone points out that the new campus not only benefits Harford County, but also Towson University. “When we first began talking about this campus, Towson was already considered one of the institutions poised for growth within the University System of Maryland. The expectation was that enrollment would be growing by the thousands, and this new campus allows us to accommodate this growth without having to expand the Towson main campus,” he says. “Also, 65 percent of Harford Community College students who pursue a four-year degree already do so at Towson, so having a campus there just makes sense.”
A variety of programs will be offered on the undergraduate level, including business administration with a management concentration, elementary education/special education, early childhood education, information technology, sociology and psychology.
For more information, visit www.towson.edu/tln/tumaryland. I95