Garrett College and its largest transfer partner, Frostburg State University, have signed articulation agreements in computer science and computer information systems that officials say will allow students to move seamlessly from GC to FSU.
“I’m very excited about what this means for our students,” said Dr. Qing Yuan, Garrett College’s chief academic officer. “FSU is accepting all 60 credits in our associate of science in computer science in both their computer science and computer information systems degrees. This agreement illustrates the value our local state university places on the education Garrett College students receive.”
Dr. Elizabeth Throop, provost and vice president for academic affairs at FSU, said the agreements provide students with both academic and financial advantages.
“By creating coherent learning pathways, we help our students graduate on time and with important skills and knowledge,” Throop said. “And, because we provide graduate education in computer science as well, students can continue to enhance their knowledge seamlessly at the graduate level.
“Through partnering with Garrett College, students get their college degrees for a significantly lower cost,” added Throop, who began her own teaching career at the community college level. “Both Garrett and FSU, as a primary value, believe students should be able to get an education without taking on massive loans.”
Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College’s president, praised the work of Yuan and Richard Lewis, GC’s professor of computer science, for their work on the agreements.
“Both Dr. Yuan and Professor Lewis put significant time and energy into developing these agreements — and it was time well spent,” Midcap said. “I also appreciate the emphasis Dr. Throop and her staff put on creating these agreements. I’m confident these agreements will serve as a template for similar ones with FSU in a wide variety of academic programs.”
Both articulation agreements allow students to earn a baccalaureate degree in 120 credits, the minimum number required by the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Midcap said the 120-credit baccalaureate is his goal for all articulation agreements in order to “save students time and money while providing them with excellent educations from two committed higher education partners.”
Lewis said Garrett’s computer science program was developed with the goal of offering both theoretical and practical experience while serving students with interest in a variety of related fields.
“The program will lead students into their choice of a computer science, computer information systems, secure computing, or information technology degree,” Lewis said. “And, Garrett County high school graduates can take advantage of the Garrett County Scholarship Program, which provides up to two years of free tuition at Garrett College.”
Yuan said Garrett College intentionally modeled its associate’s degree in computer science, which was approved last year by MHEC, after FSU’s computer programs because of FSU’s strong academic reputation. Throop noted students taking advantage of this agreement will be obtaining a high-quality baccalaureate in a high-demand career field.
“We provide students with up-to-the-minute coursework, as well as internships and career guidance,” Throop said. “Our professors also partner closely with related departments — mathematics, for instance — to give students the chance to get the learning experiences they need to succeed in the classroom and the workplace.”