*This commentary by Dr. Cynthia Bambara, ACM president, was shared with local media outlets in September.
As we launch our fall semester at Allegany College of Maryland, I have been encouraging a renewed spirit of positivity among those on our campus. I want to extend these positive sentiments to our local community by sharing some good news items from ACM.
While many colleges and universities across the nation are struggling with enrollment post-pandemic, we at ACM are grateful and pleased to announce that our enrollment for the fall 2022 semester has exceeded our initial projections. We have seen a 4% increase in headcount and a 7% increase in credit hours. I know this success is due to the dedicated ACM faculty and staff who make it their priority to educate, care for, and retain our students on a daily basis.
This semester we also had the honor of introducing three new programs to meet the workforce needs of our area, including a Data Analytics degree and certificate, a Social Media Marketing certificate, and an Engineering - Automated Manufacturing Technology degree. In August, we officially dedicated the Western Maryland Works Training Center and MakerSpace, a 33,000 square foot facility with over $3.5 million of state-of-the-art and high-tech training equipment to meet workforce demand for manufacturing and technology jobs. Watching community members and students bring their business concepts and ideas to fruition is inspiring and truly a positive addition to our area.
I also want to draw attention to ACM’s current “Healthcare Heroes” awareness campaign to recruit and train essential workers across our 16 allied health programs. This positive campaign has been designed to address the local healthcare professional shortage and encourage individuals to join these vital professions to “uplift” our community. We can’t say thank you enough to the many healthcare heroes who helped the ACM community and all of us during the pandemic.
Lastly, I would like to thank our many partners, alumni, and donors who value and support ACM’s role in our region. Through your promotion, dedication, and commitment to our programs, you have helped us in our mission to bring affordable and quality education to students and have positioned ACM as a positive economic force in our area.
Thank you for allowing me to share the good news from our campus. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the 2022-2023 academic year has in store for our ACM students, our community, and all of you.