A recent report from the Maryland Higher Education Commission confirms that Carroll Community College meets standards necessary to award associate of arts degrees and certificates as an independent institution.
Last summer, the county commissioners petitioned the panel on behalf of the college (a branch campus of Catonsville Community College in Baltimore County) for authority to award two-year degrees and certificates.
A team of out-of-state consultants came to examine the college against the Higher Education Commission's standards for community colleges.
Some of the criteria were organization, administration, missions and goals, admission standards and graduation requirements, and academic credentials of the faculty. Other factors considered were student affairs, library services, and resources of the college and its financial health.
The comprehensive review also included interviews with the county commissioners, Carroll Community College's Executive Dean Joseph F. Shields, and Catonsville Community College President Frederick Walsh. The consultants concluded that the college met the state Higher Education Commission's minimum requirements in every category.
"That report is the first step in regard to us becoming independent," Dr. Shields said Friday night.
"Now, it must go to the [state] Planning Committee of Higher Education on March 23. If they recommend it, then it'll go to the commission on the 14th of April. If it goes through the commission, then our independence would be effective the first of July, then the governor would appoint a board of trustees made up of countians," Dr. Shields said. Should the recommendation pass both stages, the college would receive $1,784,876 for the 1994 fiscal year, $256,277 more than it would receive under the auspices of the Baltimore County Community College system.