The University of Maryland announced today that it will become the latest member of the Baltimore Collegetown Network (BCN), a consortium of 14 colleges and universities dedicated to attracting, engaging and retaining students in an effort to raise the region’s profile as a great college town. Joining BCN highlights the University’s commitment to the Baltimore area, serving as one more link between the two regions.
BCN, incorporated in 1999, boasts programming created to enhance the Baltimore college experience by improving the academic and social lives of students in the region, while encouraging community engagement and collaboration among its members. This announcement comes on the heels of the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership Act of 2016, which formalized the MPowering the State partnership established in 2012 between UMD and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) to achieve innovation and impact in Maryland.
“The University of Maryland joins a network of institutions committed to Baltimore and I welcome their partnership. The collective strength of our students, programs and leaders raises the visibility of Baltimore as a higher education hub. I look forward to working together to help our city, region, and state thrive," said Kristen Campbell McGuire, executive director of BCN.
The network’s signature effort, BCN Leadershape, unites students from the different campuses and sets them on a path of civic leadership in Baltimore through an intensive year-long program. Other notable programs are the Collegetown Shuttle, which transports students between six campuses and area destinations, and the Baltimore Student Exchange Program, which allows students to take classes at any campus in the network.
“The University of Maryland is very excited to join the Baltimore Collegetown Network,” said Vice President for Student Affairs and BCN Governing Board Representative, Linda Clement. “As we strengthen our relationships between College Park and Baltimore, this consortium will provide an exceptional opportunity for the University of Maryland and the colleges in Baltimore to work more closely together on a wide variety of initiatives.”
UMD becomes the first new member in nine years. Founding network members include Coppin State University, Goucher College, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University Maryland, Maryland Institute College of Art, Morgan State University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Stevenson University, Towson University, University of Baltimore, University of Maryland Baltimore and University of Maryland Baltimore County. The Community College of Baltimore County joined the network in 2008, following a bylaw change that granted admittance to two-year institutions.