Southern Maryland Higher Education Center

44219 Airport Road, California, Maryland 20619

(301) 737-2500 (Main) * (301) 737-2542 (Facsimile)

Copyright © Southern Maryland Higher Education Center. All rights reserved.

SOUTHERN MARYLAND HIGHER EDUCATION CENTER

STRATEGIC PLAN

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Southern Maryland Higher Education Center’s Strategic Plan presents an outline of goals and action steps responding to “Guidelines for Strategic Plans” published by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

The Center’s Strategic Plan includes a Mission Statement that incorporates mandates of the Center’s enabling legislation and the State Plan for Higher Education for 2009-2013. It also incorporates priorities and mandates established by the Maryland Higher Education Commission for Regional Higher Education Centers.  The Mission Statement is revised every five years and approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.  The last approved Mission Statement is dated October 15, 2010.

Included in the Mission Statement are responses to appropriate goals and objectives of the State Plan for Higher Education.  Also included is a description of the Center’s efforts to achieve and maintain the delivery of high quality graduate and professional education among the academic programs offered at the Center, and the Center’s achievements in substantially improving access to graduate education to citizens and employers in an underserved Region of the State.

 The Mission Statement describes the Center’s success in providing ongoing professional development opportunities that directly enhance the economic development of the Region; the Center’s efforts in bringing to the Region research that effectively responds to the economic development opportunities of the Region; the Center’s success in bringing high quality graduate and upper division programs to a diverse population of students that bears directly on the enhancement of personnel in the public schools systems in the Region, and indirectly on the future workforce of the Region, while also serving the interests of developing a workforce that will continue to enhance the economic development of the Region; the Center’s provision of instructional technology to its university partners for their use in teaching; and the delivery of quality higher education in a cost effective format that maximizes the State’s investment in higher education.

The Mission Statement also describes the Center’s essential functions in response to the academic and economic development needs of the Region; the unique strengths of the Center; its partnerships with governmental and non-governmental institutions engaged in economic and workforce development activities; and the range of the Center’s collaborative efforts with local and State governmental agencies, the business community, the U.S. Naval Base at Patuxent River, public school institutions, and non-governmental organizations engaged in efforts to maintain and strengthen the economy of the Region.  

The Mission Statement further sets forth a listing of long-range and short-range goals that meet both the goals and objectives of the State in meeting its responsibilities for providing adequate levels of support for higher education that responds to the economic development objectives of the State, but also to the goals of the Region as it strives to establish a stronger economy and the technical and professional workforce necessary to maintain its current economy.

The Strategic Plan sets forth the Center’s five-year fiscal plan, projections of enrollments over a five-year period and a presentation of enrollments since the Center’s establishment in 1995, an outline of the Center’s Governance structure, a description of its partnerships with universities and other institutions, and a description of its staffing and technological needs. 

The Strategic Plan also includes materials describing the Center’s leadership and partnership with technology institutions in the Region directed toward the establishment of a Technology Business Incubator; a description of a proposed Third Classroom and Engineering Building that will feature a New Mechanical Engineering Laboratory, a Conference Center, 17 new seminar rooms, and 11 university coordinator offices; an overview of Center training and public service activity; and an overview of the Center’s grants and revenues in FY 2013, and approved State support for FY 2014.

The Strategic Plan will also demonstrate the success of the Center as a vital participant in the current and future economic development of the Southern Maryland Region.  State support for the Center's operations has permitted the strengthening of a State-Local partnership that has demonstrated a successful means of delivering higher education to a Region of the State in a cost effective and efficient manner. Further, that partnership has provided a substantial opportunity for expansion of the professional workforce in Southern Maryland, contributing to the continued development and expansion of the Region’s economy, and consequently, a continued expansion of the State’s economy.


VISION STATEMENT

The Southern Maryland Higher Education Center will serve as the regional upper-level undergraduate and graduate education and research center for Southern Maryland, facilitating the creation of a new national high technology center of excellence, in partnership with institutions of higher education, industry and government.

FINANCIAL PLAN

The Center’s financial plan for the period FY 2009-2013 is based on the active participation and commitment of the major constituencies served by the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center.  These include the U.S. Navy at Patuxent River Naval Base, its personnel and their dependents; the three county governments in Southern Maryland; the State of Maryland; area businesses and industry; Southern Maryland residents earning master’s degrees for professional development; community college students seeking upper-level undergraduate programs to complete their bachelor’s degrees; and teachers and administrators seeking additional skills, credentials and certification.

As the Center’s successes in preparing the area’s workforce and enhancing the economic development are continually and routinely achieved and recognized, business and industry will be developed as contributors to both the Southern Maryland Higher Education Foundation and special grant initiatives.

The State of Maryland legislation that established the Center in 1994 authorizes the Center to request support for operations from the three counties in its service area, and provides that the Center may charge fees for the use of its classrooms.  Subsequent State legislation passed in 2000 specifically authorizes the Center to request support for operations from the State.

REVENUES:

The current sources of revenues are:

1.   Direct Governmental Appropriations

      ·      State Grants:

                    Capital construction

                    Capital equipment

                    Non-capital equipment

                    Operating funds

       ·      County Grants:

                    St. Mary’s County

                    Calvert County

                   Charles County

 1.  Fees and Usage Income:

      University rentals for classrooms

      ·      Rentals for training and special events to non-university organizations

      Other Services

      Office rentals for university coordinators

      Vendor income

      Audio/visual rentals to training organizations

      State Grants:

The State of Maryland’s support for operations has been critical to the efficacy of the Center.  In grants for operations, the state provided $422,855 in FY 2013, and will provide $718,587 in FY 2014.    


County Grants:

It is anticipated that the three counties in the Region will maintain support at a relatively constant total level with grants averaging approximately $110,000 annually.  Each county has recognized the Center’s contribution to the economic development of the Region and the benefits its residents derive from the Center’s academic services.
 
Fees and Usage Income:

Revenues from fees charged to university partners for use of classrooms amounted to $310,012 in FY 2012.  It is anticipated that university rental fees will amount to $340,000 in FY 2013.

To augment revenues for the use of classrooms charged to universities, SMHEC engages in entrepreneurial activities to market its facilities for daytime uses, specifically for training programs and conferences, as well as special events such as the St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce Showcases, U.S. Navy Enterprise Symposiums, and other special events requiring SMHEC’s teaching technology for meetings and conferences provided for special events and conferences. Training programs, conferences, and events are charged a daily usage fee for the use of meeting rooms and spaces, with varying usage fees charged depending on the size of each room utilized.

Revenues from fees charged for training, conference and special event programs amounted to $176,565, and are expected to reach $188,000in FY 2013.

Additional ancillary fees are charged for services such as office usage fees for university partners, charge back fees for copying and telephone usage, vendor commissions, and bank interest.  In FY 2012 ancillary fees amounted to $62,261, and are expected to reach $67,000 in FY 2013.

EXPENDITURES:

As an independent State institution of higher education, the Center bears all the costs of the operation of its facility, and accordingly, requires professional staff proficient in financial management practices.  The management of the Center also requires professional staff with administrative and leadership experience in higher education to identify, recruit and assure delivery of  academic programs responsive to the workforce development of Southern Maryland.  In addition to administrative personnel costs, other major expenses are communications and marketing; maintenance of the Center's facilities; utilities; and the installation and maintenance of technology equipment and furnishings.

SOUTHERN MARYLAND HIGHER EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN AS IT APPLIES TO THE 2009-2013 MARYLAND STATE PLAN FOR POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION GOALS

The listing of long and short range goals respond to the goals for postsecondary education outlined in the 2009-2013 Maryland State Plan for Postsecondary Education.  As stated earlier, the creation of SMHEC and its opening in 1995 was in response to the State’s realization that there was a lack of access by the citizens of Southern Maryland to quality upper division and graduate education opportunities, in concert with the expansion of the work force at NAVAIR Patuxent River. 

SMHEC’s program goals and priorities emphasize cost-effective and efficient delivery of quality graduate and upper-level undergraduate programs for the workforce of the Southern Maryland Region. The actions undertaken to meet these goals and priorities focus on providing specific education programs that meet the identified workforce development needs of the Region, with particular emphasis on technology (information technology, applied sciences and engineering) and the preparation and ongoing professional development of public school teachers and administrators.  The recruitment and selection by SMHEC of specific universities and the partnership agreements established between these select universities and the Center guarantee that the highest quality academic programs and unprecedented higher education opportunities are made available to citizens of the Southern Maryland Region.  


These goals and priorities also provide an accessible campus, flexible class schedules to accommodate working professional students, and a learning and teaching environment that fully utilizes technology.   Achieving these goals assures that SMHEC will continue to provide Southern Maryland residents convenient and affordable access to graduate education opportunities by university and college partners widely recognized as preeminent institutions.

The financial goals will guide the Center in its efforts to expand adequately to keep pace with the education and professional development needs of the Region and its many and diverse constituencies. Campus expansion will lead to providing suitable, high-tech facilities for the teaching, learning and training demanded in job markets of today and in the future.

Goal 1: Maintain and strengthen a system of postsecondary education institutions recognized nationally for academic excellence and effectiveness in fulfilling the educational needs of students and the economic and societal development needs of the state and the nation.

Each SMHEC campus building has its own unique features, designed to offer the highest quality, technologically sophisticated, student service-focused graduate learning and professional training available in Southern Maryland.  Ongoing campus expansion is in response to the growing and urgent need for suitable space to meet the high-level academic program requirements and special access conference and meeting needs of the high-tech economy in Southern Maryland.


SMHEC provides a full spectrum of facilities and services to support these programs, including classrooms, computer laboratories, instructional equipment, administrative service, and offices for university coordinator presence onsite to assure optimum student services.

Long-Range Goal: Fully utilize the Center’s facilities for the delivery of the highest quality graduate and upper division academic programs by distinctive and nationally recognized universities and colleges.

Long-Range Goal.  Build, equip and maintain Center classroom buildings for the creation and maintenance of an educational campus environment with an academic standard of excellence viewed Regionally, Statewide and nationally as a premier campus for graduate education and professional development opportunities.

Long Range Goal. Assure that educational programs selected for recruitment and presentation at SMHEC are of the highest quality.

Long Range Goal.  Increase State funding for operations adequate for the effective operation of SMHEC.

Long Range Goal.  Assure that SMHEC’s university partners maintain a high level of academic performance by faculty and students in academic programs and classes offered at SMHEC. 

Short Range Goal.  Increase SMHEC’s public relations efforts to distribute pertinent university information about SMHEC based degree programs, class schedules, and links to university websites.

Short Range Goal.  Assure continued State approval of SMHEC’s Capital Investment Program for the funding of architectural and engineering work and the contraction and equipping of a Special Access Conference Center in a Third Classroom Building.

Short Range Goal.  Secure adequate State funding to equip, maintain and continually upgrade computer software and hardware and other technology equipment necessary for SMHEC’s academic programs

Goal 2:  Achieve a system of postsecondary education that promotes accessibility and affordability for all Marylanders.

The economic and social environment of Southern Maryland creates specific and unique constituencies served by SMHEC. These include NAVAIR Patuxent River, and the Sea Systems Command at Indian Head (NAVSEA Indian Head), and their personnel and dependents; the three county governments; area offices of the State of Maryland; expanding area businesses and industry; Southern Maryland residents earning degrees for professional development; community college students completing bachelor’s degrees in preparation for career; and teachers and administrators seeking additional skills, credentials and certifications

A major distinguishing feature of SMHEC is its high-tech facilities and accessible campus location, making state-of-the art graduate level learning conveniently available to a professional workforce distanced from the major university centers in the State and the Washington-Baltimore Region.

SMHEC serves as an alternative approach to the delivery of higher education, providing accessibility to a population that been denied accessible higher education prior to the creation of the Center.  Tuition and other costs for academic programs offered at SMHEC are the same as for on-campus programs, and several State Universities offer degree programs and courses at SMHEC that provide relatively affordable higher education opportunities. 

These goals and priorities also provide an accessible campus, flexible class schedules to accommodate working professional students, and a learning and teaching environment that fully utilizes technology.   Achieving these goals assures that SMHEC will continue to provide Southern Maryland residents convenient and affordable access to graduate education opportunities by university and college partners widely recognized as preeminent institutions.

Long-Range Goal. Deliver graduate and upper division academic programs to the citizens and professional workforce of Southern Maryland, a Region that has historically been underserved by four-year and graduate universities and colleges, and accordingly provide affordable and equitable access to graduate and upper division education for every qualified citizen of Southern Maryland. 

Long Range Goal.  Assure that each citizen in the Region has the opportunity to learn of and benefit from the professional development opportunities available at SMHEC.

Short Range Goal.  Assure that information about educational opportunities at SMHEC reaches every social and economic level of the Region’s population.

Short Range Goal. Strengthen existing university partnerships and establish partnerships with new universities to continue to deliver distinctive graduate degree programs that meet the professional workforce development needs of Southern Maryland.

Goal 3: Ensure equal opportunity for Maryland’s diverse citizenry.

Ensure that SMHEC continues hold diversity as a defining initiative in the overall operations of the center.

Long Range Goal.  Ensure that university partners make the same effort to accommodate minorities and women in SMHEC based educational programs as they are required to make for on-campus programs.

Goal 4:  Achieve a system of postsecondary education that promotes student-centered learning to meet the needs of all Marylanders.

SMHEC’s program objectives emphasize cost-effective and efficient delivery of quality graduate and upper-level undergraduate programs responding to the needs of the workforce of the Southern Maryland Region.  The actions undertaken to meet these objectives focus on providing specific education programs that meet the identified workforce development needs of the Region, with particular emphasis on technology (information technology, applied sciences and engineering) and the preparation and ongoing professional development of public school teachers and administrators. 

The recruitment and selection by SMHEC of specific universities and the partnership agreements established between these select universities and the SMHEC guarantee that the highest quality academic programs and unprecedented higher education opportunities are made available to citizens of the County.”  

These objectives also provide an accessible campus, flexible class schedules to accommodate working professional students, and a learning and teaching environment that fully utilizes technology.  Achieving these objectives assures that SMHEC will continue to provide County residents convenient and affordable access to graduate education opportunities by university and college partners widely recognized as preeminent institutions.

Long Range Goal.  Assure that education at all levels is the most critical and important social and political issue in Southern Maryland.

Long Range Goal.  Assure student intellectual exploration and academic research in SMHEC based programs

Short Range Goal.  Assure that student services offered by university partners are comparable to services available on the university partner’s campus.

Goal 5:  Promote economic growth and vitality through the advancement of research and the development of a highly qualified workforce

The economic and social environment of Southern Maryland creates specific and unique constituencies served by SMHEC. These include NAVAIR Patuxent River, and the Sea Systems Command at Indian Head (NAVSEA Indian Head), and their personnel and dependents; the three county governments; area offices of the State of Maryland; expanding area businesses and industry; Southern Maryland residents earning degrees for professional development; community college students completing bachelor’s degrees in preparation for career; and teachers and administrators seeking additional skills, credentials and certifications.

Several of the academic programs at SMHEC respond to specific needs identified by the Region’s employment centers.  By example, a specific need exists for a graduate program that concentrates on modeling and simulation, important in the testing and an evaluation of naval aircraft during their development, a task that is essential in the work of NAVAIR Patuxent River.  With only four nationally accredited master’s programs offering such a degree, SMHEC was successful in recruiting a master’s degree in modeling and simulation from Old Dominion University, one of the four accredited programs.  Similarly, SMHEC is the process of recruiting an accredited master’s degree in industrial engineering from North Carolina State University, again responding to the Base’s need to have qualified individuals who are responsible for monitoring national programs of naval systems manufacturing and production.

Historically, the region has been underserved by higher education institutions.  This reality is reflected in the realization that only 30 percent of the Region’s population over 25 years of age has a bachelor’s or higher degree, compared with 20 percent for the region in 2010, and 36 percent currently for the entire State of Maryland, and 57 percent for Montgomery County which has the highest percentage in the Nation.  The availability of 13 bachelor completion programs and 52 master's degree programs at SMHEC has been and will continue to be influential in raising the percentage of bachelor’s degree and higher degree holders in the Region. 

Academic programs recruited for presentation at SMHEC respond to workforce needs of organizations in the Region, and accordingly are focused on specific professional fields.  All academic programs at SMHEC are presented in their entirety at the SMHEC site, including class presentations, admissions, counseling and additional requirements of specific programs.
 
The unique strength of SMHEC has been its ability to affirmatively reach out to employers in the Region to determine their needs for an educated professional workforce and to successfully recruit the most distinguished programs from top-ranked universities for presentation at SMHEC.

SMHEC also works collaboratively with the major employers and employment sectors in the Region, including the technical and management leadership of NAVAIR Patuxent River, NAVSEA Indian Head, support associations for government and industry such as the Patuxent Partnership composed of industry and government leaders; the Southern Maryland Naval Alliance composed of chief executive officers of leading defense contractors, the offices of the superintendents of schools for the three county-wide school districts in the Region, with the boards of county commissioners of the three counties in the Region, with the chambers of commerce for the three counties in the Region, with the economic development departments of the three counties in the Region, and with the Workforce Infrastructure organization that serves the Region.

SMHEC’s academic programs are viewed by governmental and industry leaders in the Region as essential to the continued economic development of the Region. They view a well educated workforce as the principal catalyst for successful continued economic and social growth of the Region.

In addition to the presentation of academic programs, SMHEC also hosts a broad range of training and professional development programs, conferences, luncheons, banquets, and special events.  In FY 2012, 248 programs were conducted at SMHEC, for 469 program days.   Training and conference programs may take place in single rooms, or utilize meeting rooms for plenary sessions and several classrooms for required break-out meetings. 

During FY 2012, 18,001 individuals participated in training and conference programs at SMHEC.  Including multi-date programs a total of 26,457 person days of training and conference activity was conducted at SMHEC during FY 2012.

Additional utilization of the Center is demonstrated with the attendance of government, school systems and non-profit organizations conducting training, retreats, luncheons and other activities, conducted on a non-rental fee basis.  Included are programs conducted by The Office on Aging for senior citizens for classes on utilization of the Internet for shopping and messaging, luncheon programs of service organizations, recruitment and interviewing meetings for public school system teacher candidates, high school equivalent diploma testing, board meetings of nonprofit organizations, county planning and zoning meetings, county government management retreats, and a variety of other public service related meetings.   In FY 2012, 7,471 citizens attended 356 public meetings held at the Center.   

A principle objective of SMHEC is the contribution its academic programs are making to the continuing development of the economy of Southern Maryland through the continuing development of the Region’s workforce.  Since SMHEC initial year of operation, over 35,440 class enrollments have occurred, with over 25,000 individuals engaged in career advancement and the accumulation of new knowledge and skills for the new knowledge economy.  With an expanding knowledge based workforce, new employers are attracted to the Region, further expanding the economic development, and social development, of the Region.

SMHEC has actively participated in the enhancement of the Region’s technological capabilities through the process of technology incubation as the recipient of a State grant to conduct a feasibility study to determine the level of interest and capabilities currently available in the region for the further development of a technology business incubator.  SMHEC continues to support the expansion of new technology business activity in the Region.

The achievement and maintenance of a comprehensive array of quality graduate and upper level bachelor programs offered by a diversity of higher education institutions has been a continuous and preeminent priority of SMHEC.  The process of academic program selection and recruitment has been a continuing one, demonstrating the interest of the community’s economy engines for continuing education in professional fields of study.  Each institution partnering with SMHEC is a preeminent institution of higher education.  Many of the academic programs offered at SMHEC are nationally ranked academic programs. The achievement of excellence for SMHEC’s academic programs is a primary goal of SMHEC. 

 The Center has enhanced the skills of teachers and quality of performance of public school students in Southern Maryland. At SMHEC teachers may access numerous master’s degree programs, post-master’s certificate programs and education certification programs. Towson University, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Bowie State University, and Central Michigan University offer these programs.

Long-Range Goal. Expand the professional workforce in Southern Maryland through the presentation of high quality higher education degree programs that address the current and future work demands of the Region’s employers, that contribute to the continued development and expansion of the Region’s economy, that identify and engage opportunities to stimulate the growth of the State’s economy, and that promote entrepreneurial activity in the Region.

 Long-Range Goal. Assure that appropriate academic programs are presented to meet the professional development needs of an increasingly diverse citizen population, and through teacher education programs, increase the effectiveness of the Region’s teaching workforce and teaching institutions impacting on a future workforce reflecting the racial, ethnic and gender population of the Region.

Long Range Goal.  Assure that the development of human capital is at the very center of the Region’s economic development activities.

Long-Range Goal. Utilize the Center’s current available daytime training spaces to provide to organizations and corporations a high-technology venue for the training and development of their professional personnel.

Long Range Goal.  Assure that a comprehensive diversity of academic disciplines is provided to the workforce of the Region.

Short Range Goal.  Assure that SMHEC’s analysis and research activities effectively assess higher education needs of the region’s workforce.

Short Range Goal.  Work with individuals in leadership positions at NAVAIR Patuxent River, at public schools in the Region, at economic development agencies and at the technology and defense support community to identify and select quality academic programs and universities that meet the economic development needs of Southern Maryland

Short Range Goal.  Support technology workforce development that is required to achieve the testing and evaluation, research and development, and acquisitions missions of NAVAIR Patuxent River

Short Range Goal.  Provide technology-based conference and meeting space for business and industry; state, county and local government entities; and not-for profit organizations.

Short Range Goal.  Expand graduate teacher education and certification programs offered at SMHEC and provide support to the Region’s school systems to the end of improving the quality of instruction in the classroom, the capabilities of pupils in schools in the Region, and the opportunities for meaningful careers of high school graduates in the Region.

Short Range-Goal.  Improve information technology and on-line resources to SMHEC academic programs that will help to prepare the Region’s workforce for the dynamic technology employment environment.

Short Range Goal. Provide adequate funding and staff to support SMHEC’s facilities and its services to its university partners, to the citizens and professional workforce of the Region attending academic programs in the Center, and to the economic development goals of the Region

The model selected for SMHEC was a comprehensive array of university partners presenting programs of excellence in a wide range of professional fields, with specific needs for graduate programs in the following areas:

Science and engineering in response to the continuing testing, evaluation, research, and development mission of NAVAIR Patuxent River;
Graduate management education in response to NAVAIR moving its Command Headquarters and Program Offices to the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River; Graduate studies to meet the continuing education of teachers in regional school systems; Courses to prepare qualified individuals for careers as teachers in the region.

SMHEC serves as an alternative approach to the delivery of higher education, providing accessibility to a population that been denied accessible higher education prior to the creation of the Center.  Tuition and other costs for academic programs offered at SMHEC are the same as for on-campus programs, and several State Universities offer degree programs and courses at SMHEC that provide relatively affordable higher education opportunities.  Most students enrolled in SMHEC are engaged in professional fields and are able to have their tuition costs reimbursed by their employers. 

University and college programs at SMHEC are urged to ensure equal access to their high quality   academic programs.  To this end, SMHEC sponsors open houses for the three academic sessions, advertises the open houses in all six regional newspapers in full-page and legal size ads, host information sessions that are widely advertised, sends out flyers to all public and social institutions and organizations, private sector organizations, and thousands of individuals.  Schedules of classes for all three academic sessions are distributed to over 15,000 addresses.  Presentations about the academic programs and opportunities for career advancement at SMHEC are made on a continuing basis, at meetings of new teaching faculty for the three local school systems and at service and professional society meetings.  Information sessions are organized for presentation on a bi-annual basis at NAVAIR Patuxent River in cooperation with the Base’s Career Development Office. 

Many graduate education academic programs have been recruited and are offered at SMHEC.  Programs include a doctorate in education; master’s degrees in reading, special education, school counseling, clinical and community counseling, instruction, leadership in teaching, technology, instructional technology, human resources development; a post-master’s certification in administration and supervision; a post-master’s certificate of advanced study in education, a graduate certificate in the teaching of children with autism and other pervasive disorders; and graduate certification programs in special education, TESOL, administration and supervision, reading library media, and accelerated certification for teachers.  In addition, SMHEC hosts two master’s of arts in teaching programs designed specifically to prepare individuals for careers as teachers.

A principle objective of SMHEC is the contribution its academic programs are making to the continuing development of the economy of Southern Maryland through the continuing development of the Region’s workforce.  Since SMHEC initial year of operation, over 35,000 class enrollments have occurred, with over 24,000 individuals engaged in career advancement and the accumulation of new knowledge and skills for the new knowledge economy.  With an expanding knowledge based workforce, new employers are attracted to the Region, further expanding the economic development, and social development, of the Region.

SMHEC has actively participated in the enhancement of the Region’s technological capabilities through the process of technology incubation as the recipient of a State grant to conduct a feasibility study to determine the level of interest and capabilities currently available in the region for the further development of a technology business incubator.  SMHEC continues to support the expansion of new technology business activity in the Region.

The achievement and maintenance of a comprehensive array of quality graduate and upper level bachelor programs offered by a diversity of higher education institutions has been a continuous and preeminent priority of SMHEC.  The process of academic program selection and recruitment has been a continuing one, demonstrating the interest of the community’s economy engines for continuing education in professional fields of study.  Each institution partnering with SMHEC is a preeminent institution of higher education.  Many of the academic programs offered at SMHEC are nationally ranked academic programs. The achievement of excellence for SMHEC’s academic programs is a primary goal of SMHEC.