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AACC joins Maryland's community college alliance to open statewide health career pathways for student success

Anne Arundel Community College has joined six other Maryland community colleges to form the Maryland Education Alliance (MEA) to further boost students’ opportunities to earn associate degrees or certificates in the health care or health disciplines across the state.

The MEA is an innovative collaboration that creates a clear, seamless pathway for students to move from one community college to another and decreases the need to run highly specialized, costly and sometimes low-enrolled programs at several locations. The alliance also creates opportunities for community colleges to share resources and expertise, meet community needs, and generate cost savings that can be passed on to students.

“This agreement is to support a pathway for students to complete a program in the health care area where they may not have the opportunity at their home college,” Health Sciences' Dean Elizabeth Appel said.

Through the MEA agreement, students complete their initial coursework at their home institution, such as general education, before transferring to the receiving community college for the specialized discipline coursework. For health care programs, the home college would help develop agreements for students to complete their clinical requirements at a local health care facility. For some other programs, students can take a course at another community college and seamlessly transfer it back to their home institution to facilitate quicker completion of degrees.

For instance, AACC currently offers students the opportunity to transfer to the massage therapy and public health programs. This statewide collaboration expands opportunities for sharing resources among the seven participating community colleges in order to increase student access to programs and meet workforce needs in the county and region.

In addition to AACC, Carroll Community College, Cecil College, Chesapeake College, College of Southern Maryland, Harford Community College and Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) make up the MEA . These seven community colleges serve 10 counties in eastern, southern and central Maryland.

Representatives from each participating community college will serve as the governing body to meet annually to discuss issues, maintain smooth transitions and open communication. As the MEA expands academic program opportunities, other Maryland community colleges can join to benefit their students as individual institutions can choose which programs to offer.

With the creation of an umbrella agreement, providing the collaboration parameters, each academic program shared under the MEA will be considered a specific articulation agreement among the institutions. These collaborations will have a signed addendum by participating institutions, creating flexibility related to each program’s curriculum requirements. Plans are underway to expand with similar opportunities in additional disciplines.

The innovation and resource-sharing of this “students first” alliance create the synergy, access and pathways to rapidly expand Maryland and regional residents’ opportunities to further their education and careers for a better tomorrow. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Maryland Education Alliance (MEA)?

The Maryland Education Alliance is a collaboration among several community colleges in Maryland designed to share resources and create more opportunities for students across Maryland. Students enrolled in participating institutions have streamlined access to several degree programs that might not be offered at their home (county) community college. The Maryland Education Alliance (MEA) creates pathways for students to complete these programs of study. Participating community colleges include Anne Arundel Community College, Carroll Community College, Cecil College, Chesapeake College, College of Southern Maryland, Harford Community College and Prince George’s Community College.

How do I participate?

Any student is welcome to participate in an MEA program. Students are encouraged to work with their advisors at AACC to prepare to apply to an MEA program. Students should compete the first year of the plan of study/degree at their home community college and then apply for admission to the specific program offered at another community college.

Who should I speak to about an MEA program?

Students should contact their advisor at AACC with any questions about how to apply for an MEA program.

What is the cost of MEA programs?

The first year of the program of study is whatever the cost of tuition and fees is for any AACC student. Tuition for discipline-specific programs of study once you transfer to the appropriate community college would reflect the tuition and fees required to study at that community college. Students who transfer to a community college program that is designated as a Maryland Health Manpower Shortage Program may be eligible for in-county tuition. Students should speak to an advisor to determine if they are eligible. 

What programs are currently part of the Maryland Education Alliance (MEA)?

  • Massage Therapy – Anne Arundel Community College
  • Nuclear Medicine Technology – Prince George’s Community College
  • Public Health – Cecil College, Anne Arundel Community College, Carroll Community College and Prince George’s Community College
  • Respiratory Therapy – Prince George’s Community College


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