Bowie State University has become the first institution to offer business administration programs at the Laurel College Center, following a signed partnership agreement with the higher education center and Howard and Prince George’s community colleges.
Beginning next fall, students attending either community college can take courses at the Laurel College Center as part of Bowie State’s bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Courses include banking and finance, information systems and entrepreneurship.
Bowie State University president Aminta Breaux said students who participate in the business administration program in Laurel will also have access to academic and research facilities, educational resources, social events and the bookstore on the Bowie campus.
“They see what’s possible because they’ll have a chance to interact with students already enrolled on-campus,” Breaux said. “It helps us in fine tuning the students coming in so they understand what’s expected of them.”
Students in the program have early exposure to the university atmosphere, develop a comfort level and learn about the campus, she said.
“If you think about the average 18- or 19-year-old enrolling in school, they’re still trying to sort out what their major is going to be and what courses they need to take,” Breaux said. “By having them get this early start, they’ll be better prepared.”
Charlene Dukes, president of Prince George’s Community College, said university sponsors, such as Northrop Grumman, the Environmental Protection Agency and Aerotek, frequently recruit graduates of Bowie State’s College of Business, and business administration is one of the university’s most popular and in-demand programs.
“Many of the region’s top employers partner with the university to provide internships and mentor students,” Dukes said. “Through this partnership, Prince George’s Community College students will also have access to these top employers.”
Aligning with other institutions expands “access and opportunity” for students, Dukes said. The Laurel College Center is convenient not only because of its central location, but also because of the economic growth and development in the region.
“When we partner together, we can offer the best of each institution to a broad and diverse population,” she said. “With this partnership, we look forward to building other programs that will serve the needs of our students and community.”
The Laurel College Center continues providing personalized and supportive educational offerings in its 16th year of operation, said Kathleen Hetherington, Howard Community College president. The ongoing partnerships give students the chance to earn an associate’s degree, continue for a bachelor’s degree and pursue higher education.
Hetherington said bringing the bachelor’s degree program in business to the college center will “ strengthen the workforce” in Laurel and the state.
“Our mission is providing pathways to success, and I am confident that offering this program at the Laurel College Center will ensure many more students achieve success,” Hetherington said.
Bowie State’s partnership comes three months after the Laurel College Center and community colleges signed an agreement with Morgan State University to bring two of its baccalaureate degree programs to the college center on Marshall Avenue in the city of Laurel. Students with associate’s degrees from either community college can take courses from Morgan State’s engineering and psychology programs, beginning in the 2018 spring semester.
The University of Maryland, College Park, University of Maryland School of Nursing and University of Maryland University College also partner with, and offer programs at, the Laurel College Center.