Carroll Community College could be less than a year away from independence, which would qualify it for increased state money and more local control.
The advisory board is set to vote tonight on whether to proceed with the accelerated plan recommended by Secretary of Higher Education Shaila Avery during a visit two weeks ago.
If it's approved at the local and state levels, as expected, the move could occur three years earlier than was originally scheduled, said Executive Dean Joseph F. Shields.
The quicker pace could bring an additional $2 million in state money to the college over the next three years, Mr. Shields said.
The state formula reimburses smaller schools at a higher rate than larger ones. But because Carroll is a branch of the larger Catonsville Community College, it re
ceives about $650,000 less a year than it would as an independent college.
Independence also will allow Carroll to have its own board of trustees.
"Issues of a local nature would be decided by Carroll countians, and that's important, too," Mr. Shields said.
The college's advisory board will vote tonight on whether to recommend that the college should:
* Apply for state approval as an independent school.
* Apply for accreditation from the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges. Carroll would ask for candidacy status by next July and could be fully accredited by 1995, Mr. Shields said.
Accreditation is crucial for students who want to transfer their Carroll credits to other schools and to receive financial aid. Carroll currently uses Catonsville Community College's accreditation.
OC "Candidacy gives us all the benefits of being accredited during
that process," Mr. Shields said.
* Notify Catonsville Community College that it plans to end its contract for Catonsville's academic and administrative services by June 1997.
"The intent is to stay in an affiliated status with Catonsville," Mr. Shields said. For example, Carroll could continue to contract with
the larger school for services such
as payroll and data processing.
"That's just good business," Mr. Shields said, because it would prevent duplication of expenses.
If the advisory committee approves the proposed recommendations, the Carroll County commissioners must vote on whether to ask the Maryland Commission on Higher Education to recognize the college as an independent institu
tion and allow it to appoint a board of trustees made up of area residents, Mr. Shields said.
The Carroll County commissioners now act as a board of trustees only on matters involving building construction. All academic decisions, including tuition, are made by the board of trustees of the Community Colleges of Baltimore County.