Allegany College of Maryland is the new home of adult basic education programs in Allegany County.
These programs, which offer preparation for high school equivalency and literacy services for family and workforce development, were formerly operated by Allegany County Public Schools. They will now be administered by ACM’s Center for Continuing Education and Workforce Development, which has the mission of lifelong learning through its many and diverse offerings.
Allegany County’s Adult Basic Education Program, which was previously based at Mountain Ridge High School, is now headquartered at ACM’s Gateway Center in downtown Cumberland. Melanie Chapman, who coordinated the program with ACPS, has relocated her office and staff to the third floor of the 118 Baltimore Street building that also houses the College’s Culinaire Café and School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts.
Programs that enable adults and out-of-school youth 17 and older to complete a high school diploma are a natural fit for the community college, which presents completers with multiple avenues for post-secondary education and training.
Chapman foresees many benefits for programs within higher education, especially the options that graduates will have to pursue certificates and associate degrees in credit programs and workforce development and training in continuing education.
“It’s a really exciting time for our programs,” said Chapman, who welcomes the move that ACPS volunteered. “Adult education provides the path for people to access post-secondary education.”
Adults and out-of-school youth without a high school diploma have the option of completing secondary education through GED testing or the National External Diploma Program. Successful students by either approach are issued a Maryland high school diploma.
Family literacy services, the second key part of adult education, help adults become literate for employment and self-sufficiency and enable them to become full partners in the educational development of their children.
Saint Francis University and Allegany College of Maryland have expanded on a successful collaboration that enables area residents to more easily earn a bachelor’s degree.
The partnership, which has benefited business administration and computer science graduates since 2012, now assists ACM biology, human service and psychology majors in their quest for a four-year degree.
The ACM-SFU arrangement provides a 3-to-1 sequence that lets ACM students pursue a bachelor’s degree with three years of courses at the community college and a final year of coursework at Saint Francis.
Distance-learning opportunities, such as online courses, make degree completion more convenient, and traditional sections of needed courses are offered by SFU in Altoona, Johnstown and State College in addition to its campus in Loretto.
The private university further supports ACM transfers within the collaboration by coordinating this arrangement through its Adult Degree program, which has substantially lower tuition and no customary fees.
The 3-to-1 transfer opportunities are open to ACM students of all ages at its campuses in Bedford and Somerset counties in Pennsylvania and in Cumberland, Md.
Graduates are able to complete 98 credits over three years of full-time study at their home campus, then transfer for a fourth year of 30 credits at Saint Francis.
Since their agreement was forged more than three years ago, SFU has graduated ACM business majors in organizational leadership and computer majors in computer systems management.
The updated agreement enables biology graduates to work toward a bachelor’s degree in health studies and psychology and human service associate graduates to pursue a degree in behavioral science.
To guide its future transfers, SFU has produced advising worksheets listing the courses that students should take at ACM and Saint Francis toward a bachelor’s degree.
ACM President, Dr. Cynthia Bambara, sees this as an excellent opportunity for ACM students to complete their bachelor’s degree in a convenient and affordable manner. “Saint Francis University has provided Allegany College of Maryland students an extraordinary opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in a variety of career fields at an affordable cost. On behalf of ACM students, I thank Father Malachi and Saint Francis University for providing this pathway to the baccalaureate.”
“As I began the 3 + 1 program (at ACM) I was excited to achieve my next goal, obtaining my bachelor’s degree. My professors at both institutions were always prompt with any questions or concerns I had and always happy to help me or my classmates. By completing my bachelor’s degree online, I was able to gain experience in my field by working a full-time job while enrolled in college and raise my son. A few months after graduation I got an offer to take a position that I had dreamed about since beginning college.”
- ACM Somerset County Campus Graduate, December 2012, Associate of Science in Business Administration
- Saint Francis University Graduate, August 2014, Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management