However preliminary it might be, Harford Community College is looking to the future with two ideas in mind, based on four-year college fundamentals, to enhance higher education in Harford County.
At a Harford Business Roundtable for Education meeting Thursday morning, Harford Community College President Dennis Golladay offered his vision for the school's future, which includes offering limited four-year programs and the potential for student housing.
The ideas, he reiterated throughout the presentation, are "out on a limb," but they are his goals for HCC. Although historically community colleges only offer two-year degrees, Golladay mentioned that some were beginning to offer limited four-year programs and he considered it as a viable option for HCC's future.
"I would like to see that in our future as well, especially in nursing," he said.
Golladay wants to expand the allied health program in general.
As for potential student housing, Golladay emphasized it was merely an idea he had, but he thinks it would increase the amount of foreign students who attend HCC, allowing students to get a sense of different cultures, as well as offering students the full college experience.
Golladay also mentioned the Northeast Maryland Higher Education Center Task Force whose report, he said, is due in December, and what he thinks its recommendations might be for HCC.
These include a building to support HCC's program with Towson University, the expansion of the Higher Education and Applied Technology or HEAT Center near Aberdeen, physically. In terms of programs, he talked of establishing a university research park, possibly at nearby Aberdeen Proving Ground.
To several laughs, Golladay then admitted, "The reason I see them inch toward that is because that's what I like to see."
Later in the presentation, Golladay said, for the Towson building in particular, there was a hang up in Annapolis about supporting the construction project, but he hoped to have it started in the coming year.
He has other hopes for HCC, too, such as creating a specific institute, much like Anne Arundel Community's Environmental Center, a nursing and allied health building on campus as well as a new sheriff's academy.
He also wants to strengthen the college's partnerships with Harford County Public Schools and Aberdeen Proving Ground, he said, as well as enhance its roles in the global and local communities. Part of this vision, at least, is already being realized in the renovation of the Susquehanna Center, which will include a 3,200-seat arena that can be used for concerts and conferences.
Golladay's main goal, or theme, in his vision for HCC is "Honoring the Past, Building the Future," he said. This, he added, is embodied in the Hays-Heighe House on campus, which was built in 1808 and recently renovated.
Throughout talk about his vision for HCC, Golladay emphasized keeping students at HCC engaged in civic activities. As everyone gets wrapped up in the workforce, he added, the biggest task for the college is to produce leaders and active citizens.
"We need to make sure this never escapes us," he said.