It is hard to believe, but the University of Maryland University College, a premier online university, has been barred by the Maryland Higher Education Commission from offering its online doctoral degree in community college administration because it might duplicate a face-to-face offering by Morgan State College, another state college in Maryland. It is hard to believe because it is based on an outdated geographic approach to oversight of higher education. It is hard to believe because there are adult students in Maryland who cannot attend on-campus at Morgan State, and who will not have access to a Maryland college for this degree. It is hard to believe because there is an impending shortage of community college administrators, according to the article. It is hard to believe because it will be impossible to protect Morgan State from other competitors.
But there is more to the story. The decision in Maryland was a sensitive one because it was based on the desire to protect historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) from competition by nearby universities. I understand and support the desire to assure that these historically black institutions receive some protection from competition. I just don’t know how to protect a school in a situation like this. Perhaps it would make more sense to help Morgan State develop an online version of its program, so that the people of Maryland would be able to access a Maryland-based doctoral program.
Regardless, there is an element of absurdity here.
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Welcome to The Other 85 Percent. So what does "the other 85 percent" refer to? Research has shown that only about 15 percent of higher education students still fit the traditional definition of young adults age 18 to 22 who live on campus and go to school full time. more