Eastern Shore Higher Education Center Strategic Plan 2018 - 2022*

*This Plan was submitted to MHEC in 2018. Some items have been changed, but the Plan won't be amended until 2022.

Mission Statement

The Eastern Shore Higher Education Center will provide access to higher education in the underserved area of the Upper Eastern Shore of Maryland through university and college partnerships which will deliver onsite baccalaureate and graduate degree programs to meet the educational needs of area citizens and the economic development needs of the region. The Center is dedicated to working with each partner to create an environment that fosters accessible, affordable, quality, diverse, educational experiences that focus on student achievement, choice in instructional delivery and innovative use of instructional technology.
*This Mission Statement has been created based on Mission Statements from all partner institutions.

Center Identity

The Eastern Shore Higher Education Center (ESHEC) is located on the campus of Chesapeake College, in the heart of the Upper Eastern Shore Region which serves Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne's, and Talbot Counties. The ESHEC has the distinction of being the only Regional Higher Education Center to sit on a Maryland community college campus. The campus is located off of US Route 50 and Maryland Route 213. The purpose of the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center is to improve access to higher education in underserved areas of the Upper Eastern Shore, as identified in the 1998 Maryland State Plan for Postsecondary Education.

With convenient access to all five Upper Eastern Shore counties, the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center provides both baccalaureate and graduate degree programs and services comparable in quality to those available in other areas of the state of Maryland. The Eastern Shore Higher Education Center was developed through a partnership among Chesapeake College, Salisbury University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

The Mission of the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center is aligned with those of the partnering institutions. In partnership with educational institutions on the Eastern Shore, local and state government, business and non-profit organizations, the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center will continue to play a key role in educational and economic development of the region. By supporting and providing on-going, high quality opportunities for learning, the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center enhances both the employment opportunities and overall quality of life for citizens of Maryland's Eastern Shore.

The Executive Director of the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center reports to the Chesapeake College Vice President of Workforce Training and Academic Programs and ultimately to the President and Board of Trustees for Chesapeake College. However, a Steering Committee is comprised of representatives from each of the partners. This committee communicates via email and phone throughout the year, but meets at least once each year to evaluate current programs, discuss the proposed budget for the ESHEC, and address concerns or issues that may arise.

The founding partners are: Chesapeake College, Salisbury University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). The affiliate partners include: University Maryland University College (UMUC), Stevenson University, La Salle University (through our partnership with The Regional Training Center), ECPI University, and Notre Dame of Maryland University. The ESHEC partners with Chesapeake College when working with its university partners in order to develop 2+2 articulation agreements between the two institutions, thus providing a seamless transition for students with associate degrees. The following degrees or programs are currently in place at the Center:

  • Salisbury University
    • Bachelor's in Elementary Education
    • Bachelor's in Social Work
    • Master's in Educational Leadership
    • MSDE Administration 1 Certificate
    • Master's in Social Work
  • UMES
    • PhD in Organizational Leadership
    • Bachelor's Degree in Human Ecology with a concentration in Early Childhood Development
  • La Salle University
    • Master's in Education/Instruction
  • Stevenson University (formerly Villa Julie College)
    • RN to Bachelor's Degree - currently, students are choosing to complete this degree online
  • Notre Dame of MD University
    • PhD in Instructional Leadership in Changing Populations
    • Masters of Arts of Teaching for Career Changers
    • Master's Degree and Teacher Certification in TESOL
    • Master's Degree and Teacher Certification in Special Education
  • ECPI University
    • All programs are currently only offered online but Articulation Agreements are being crafted for Bachelor's Degrees in both Criminal Justice and Radiology Technology.
  • Chesapeake College and the Executive Director of the ESHEC have worked closely with the five Economic Development Directors, five public school systems, and Chambers of Commerce to help meet the education and training needs of local businesses. At least two Market Studies have been completed by Chesapeake College for the region. Both reports showed that most of the training and education needs were in the area of education, nursing, social work, and business. Degrees in three of the four areas are in place at the Center. People pursuing business degrees prefer to continue their degrees online, as opposed to face to face. The ESHEC also works closely with the five local school systems and Chesapeake College to promote 2 + 2 + 2 degree programs for high school through graduate degree options.

    Salisbury University is planning to offer a dual degree in Elementary Education / Early Childhood Education in the near future. They have also partnered with the local school systems and the ESHEC to offer an Emerging Leaders in Education Program for teachers wishing to pursue their Master's in Educational Leadership or their Administration 1 Certification.

    UMES is currently offering some of their PhD courses at the Center. Plans are to offer all of the courses at the ESHEC, pending the hiring of an additional staff person in the program. A new Early Childhood Articulation Agreement between Chesapeake College and UMES has been approved with plans to begin a new cohort in the fall of 2018.

    East Coast Polytechnical Institute University (ECPI University) is the newest partner. Based out of Virginia Beach, VA., they are working with Chesapeake College to establish articulation agreements. The ESHEC has entered into a partnership with ECPI. Students who mention the ESHEC will be given a 15% tuition discount. ECPI University is willing to expand degree programs to the Center if a pipeline of students can be developed. In the meantime, students can access their online degree programs. Recently, an Articulation Agreement for the Radiologic Sciences Program has been approved between ECPI and Chesapeake College. All courses will be offered online.

    La Salle University, through our partnership with The Regional Training Center, offers their Master's Degree in Education. Because of Direct Billing agreements with all of the local school systems, and the convenience of the courses (weekends during the school year and one week session during the summer), this has become our most popular and best attended degree program. Teachers can work towards the degree or can take individual courses towards their recertification.

    The ESHEC partnered with Chesapeake College to create and offer the four courses required for public school career and technology instructors to complete, in order to receive teacher certification. A fifth course was added which is required for Career Changers (those with at least a bachelor' degree) wishing to become a teacher. All five courses are taught in the ESHEC. The ESHEC also partnered with Chesapeake College to create a pathway for Career and Technology Instructors without a degree, to earn their Associate of Applied Science Degree through a combination of education courses, industry certification, teaching certification, and college courses. This program was recognized and endorsed by the Maryland State Department of Education Division of Career and Technology. The Center is currently working collaboratively with Wilmington University on an articulation agreement for these teachers so that they can transfer and complete a bachelor's degree.

    Center Capabilities

    The ESHEC is a stand-alone facility on the outside of the Chesapeake College Campus. The funding for the ESHEC comes from two sources: allocation from MHEC based on the funding formula and leased space for classroom use from the partners. Partners pay $1000 for a regular classroom for each 3 or 4 credit course each semester, $1300 for the computer lab for each 3 or 4 credit course each semester, and $1660 for each of the Distance Learning Classrooms for each 3 or 4 credit course each semester. Occasionally, we will have an outside agency or organization that rents space for special events or projects. The ESHEC also provides space for many non-profit agencies, government and education meetings, trainings, conferences and youth activities like the Boy Scouts, 4-H and Pony Club. In FY 2018, more than 8,000 individuals participated in these community and state activities and programs.

    The Administrative Wing of the ESHEC houses the offices of the ESHEC Executive Director and Administrative Associate, a large conference room, an outer office currently occupied by the Salisbury University Administrative Associate, three offices (two occupied by Chesapeake College faculty members whose programs are part of the 2+2 initiatives and one occupied by Salisbury University Social Work Satellite Coordinator). There is also a small work room, equipped with a printer, fax machine, office supplies and mailboxes.

    On the parallel hallway there are five offices which are dedicated to the ESHEC Partners. One of the offices is used exclusively by the Salisbury University Elementary Education Cohort Coordinator. Other offices are provided to Notre Dame of Maryland University, Salisbury University, UMUC and UMES for their representatives to use on a regular basis. There is no charge to the partner institution for this space. There is also a small work area equipped with mailboxes, printer and copier/scanner.

    The ESHEC has a large conference room (amphitheater) which will hold 70 participants at round tables or 100 participants in theatre style. This room is used for university information sessions as well as, community organizations, non-profit, government and education trainings and meetings. This area is equipped with state of the art technology. There is also a small butler’s pantry with a microwave, refrigerator, storage and a sink with running water. In the lobby area there is a registration area and two seating areas for folks to use as needed. Various Chesapeake College activities are also held in the ESHEC, like Faculty Assembly meetings, staff development trainings and student activities.

    Near this area on the first floor there are men's and women's restrooms, water fountain, storage, a vending area with a sink and running water, microwave, tables and chairs, and vending machines. At the end of the hallway are four classrooms with state of the art technology which hold approximately 24 students. One of the classrooms has been dedicated to the Chesapeake College Institute of Adult Learning and Continuing Education courses and training programs.

    Upstairs there are three larger classrooms and a teacher education library dedicated to the use of Salisbury University's Elementary Education Program, the Chesapeake College Early Childhood Program, the UMES Early Childhood Program and the La Salle Graduate Program in Education. One of the classrooms is also equipped with Distance Learning Equipment which was provided by Salisbury University. There are also restrooms and drinking fountains in this wing.

    At the other end of the Center there is a computer lab with 20 student computers, a classroom dedicated to the Chesapeake College Associate of Arts in Teaching program, one large classroom that can also serve as a Distance Learning Room, one classroom dedicated to only Distance Learning, a small Conference Room and a small storage room.

    There are four Shelter in Place areas in the ESHEC- 2 upstairs and 2 downstairs. Each Shelter in Place area is stocked with a small Emergency Kit. All of the restrooms and classrooms can be locked from inside the room and black out shades are on all classroom windows and doors. Emergency signage is located throughout the building and in each classroom. There are first aid kits located on both levels of the Center and there is an AED next to the elevator on the first floor. There are video security cameras located in the lobbies and all hallways in the Center. Chesapeake College Security Officers monitor the building during night and weekend classes and activities.

    While there are many conferences, trainings and meetings in the Center during the day, the majority of the classes take place at night and on the weekends. The ESHEC Staff briefs all instructors and coordinators of the different events on the safety measures and instructions for the Center. The Center staff primarily work during the week from 8:30am - 4:30pm but are often in place on weekends during events and will arrive earlier to meet with clients and stay late for information sessions, meetings and conferences.

    The Center supports the economic development needs of the region by providing space to the partner universities to offer their degrees. The ESHEC staff also works collaboratively with all of the local Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development Offices and public and private school systems and Chesapeake College.

    Center Objectives and Outcomes

    *Based on MHEC's 2017 - 2021 State Plan for Postsecondary Education: Student Success with Less Debt

    Access: Ensure equitable access to affordable and quality postsecondary education for all Maryland residents.

    The ESHEC provides complimentary access to partner institutions, community, education, government and non-profit organizations for programs, staff development and community outreach. The Center provides equitable, complimentary space to organizations like: the Boy Scouts, 4-H, Regional 4-H STEM Festival, Regional Pony Club Testing, Home School Mock Trial Debates, Chesapeake College Teacher Academy Program Annual Conference, and Regional FFA Conferences and competitions. By reaching out into the community, children and adults learn more about the mission and programs offered by the partner institutions. They also gain information on the affordability of attending classes at the ESHEC versus a main college campus. Three well-stocked information racks are located in the main lobby with information from all of the partners and programs offered at the Center. The ESHEC Staff works collaboratively with the Chesapeake College Advising Staff and Registrar's Office, as well as the partner institutions to create equitable access to affordable and quality postsecondary education. The ESHEC is centrally located at the major intersection of US Rt. 50 and MD Rt. 213 for easy access to the facility. Free parking is provided at the Center.

    MHEC Strategy 1: Continue to improve college readiness among K-12 students, particularly high school students.

    MHEC Strategy 2: Cultivate greater financial literacy for students and families to encourage financial planning and to prepare for postsecondary education.

    MHEC Strategy 3: xpand efforts to cultivate student readiness, financial literacy and financial aid for individuals outside traditional K-12 school channels

    ESHEC Goals:

    1. By FY 2022, increase participation of non-credit attendees by 5%. Baseline of 8000 attendees in FY 2018. (Strategies 1, 2, 3)
    2. At the request of each university partner, provide equal access to ESHEC facilities for on sight recruitment, advising, registration and student meetings. (Strategies 2, 3)
    3. By FY 2020, collaborate with university partners to add at least one new baccalaureate degree program. (Strategies 2, 3)
    4. y FY 2020, collaborate with university partners to add at least one new graduate degree program at the ESHEC. (Strategy 2, 3)
    5. By FY 2020, add at least one new university partner. (Strategies 2, 3)

    Success: Promote and implement practices and policies that ensure student success.

    It is vital to the success of the university partners and the operation of the ESHEC that current staffing is maintained through the annual MHEC Budget. In addition to the Executive Director and Administrative Associate, part time Distance Learning Facilitators and part-time staff are hired as needed. The ESHEC Executive Director requires that all Distance Learning Classes have a paid Distance Learning Facilitator in the classroom for the entire class period. These facilitators are paid through the ESHEC Annual Budget. The Center Executive Director collaborates with each partner institution to provide the best classroom to meet the students' needs for each course whether it is face to face, hybrid, distance learning or in the computer lab. Classes are scheduled to best meet the needs of the students through the universities and may be held during the day, at night and on weekends. All current and future students are always welcome to the ESHEC Office Suite to meet with an instructor, coordinator or the ESHEC Staff as needed. The ESHEC continues to work with each institution on an individual basis to find solutions to issues and problems which occur. On numerous occasions, the ESHEC has provided complimentary classroom space to programs whose enrollments did not meet the institution's minimum requirement. This encourages a sense of collaboration and trust and gives the institution time to build interest in a cohort or program without having to pay for the use of the classroom. All partners are provided with complimentary office and meeting space, as requested. Partner institutions are encouraged to provide on sight support to students for financial aid, registration, applications and orientations. The ESHEC staff also facilitates discussions between university partners and the Chesapeake College TRiO Program staff and students, as well as, with the Chesapeake College Advising Staff.

    MHEC Strategy 4: Continue to ensure equal educational opportunities for all Marylanders by supporting all postsecondary institutions.

    MHEC Strategy 5: Ensure that statues, regulations, policies that support students and encourage their success are designed to serve the respective needs of both traditional and non-traditional students.

    MHEC Strategy 6: Improve the student experience by providing better options and services that are designed to facilitate prompt completion of degree requirements.

    MHEC Strategy 7: Enhance career advising and planning services and integrate them explicitly into academic advising and planning.

    ESHEC Goals:

    1. Bi-annually, the ESHEC will initiate and facilitate conversations between Chesapeake College and partner institutions to develop a more efficient pipeline of Chesapeake College graduates into partner programs offered at the Center. (Strategies 4, 5, 6, 7)
    2. At the request of each university partner, support their success by providing equal access to office space, meeting space, classrooms and technology, as the budget allows. (Strategies 4, 5, 6, 7)
    3. Bi-Annually, coordinate and schedule equal access to classrooms that support partner institution's unique curricular / instructional needs. (Strategies 4, 5, 6)
    4. By 2022, upgrade distance learning equipment in three DL classrooms, as per partner institution's requirements for continued delivery of courses. (Strategies 4, 5, 6)
    5. By FY 2020, complete ESHEC Leadership Succession Plan to ensure continuity of leadership and programs. (Strategies 4, 5, 6, 7)

    Innovation: Foster innovation in all aspects of Maryland higher education to improve access and student success.

    The Executive Director of the ESHEC is a member of the Chesapeake College Vice-President's Staff and collaborates with the Deans and Vice President on new initiatives, new articulation agreements and new degree programs needed for Chesapeake College graduates. The Executive Director also meets with and communicates on a regular basis with all five Upper Shore Public School System Human Resource Directors and Career and Technology Directors, in order to meet the needs of teachers and career and technology graduates. From this partnership, the ESHEC Executive Director was able to work with Chesapeake College to create and offer the four mandatory courses that all Career and Technology teachers must have in order to meet their certification requirements. The Executive Director was also successful in working with Chesapeake College to develop a pathway for Career and Technology teachers without a college degree to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Technical and Professional Studies at Chesapeake College by using a combination of teacher certification, industry certification and college courses. The ESHEC Executive Director also worked with the five public school systems to create and provide, at no cost to the participant or school system, a PRAXIS Math Exam Tutorial Program and a PRAXIS Writing Exam Tutorial Program for teachers who needed assistance in preparing for the exams. The Executive Director also serves on many boards and committees in the communities, including Shore Leadership, the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce Partners in Education Committee, Upper Shore Career & Technology Local Advisory Council, the Talbot Extension Advisory Council and several local high school program advisory committees. This network provides information to the Executive Director to share with the partners on degrees needed to support the economic development and workforce development on the Upper Eastern Shore.

    MHEC Strategy 8: Develop new partnerships between colleges and businesses to support workforce development and improve workforce readiness.

    MHEC Strategy 9: Strengthen and sustain development and collaboration in addressing teaching and learning challenges.

    MHEC Strategy 10: Expand support for research and research partnerships.

    MHEC Strategy 11: Encourage a culture of risk-taking and experimentation.

    ESHEC Goal:

    1. By FY 2022, initiate at least one new partnership between a university partner and local business to enhance the regional workforce and economic development, needs based on formal and informal assessments. (Strategy 8)
    2. By FY 2022, strengthen and sustain development and collaboration in addressing teaching and learning challenges by upgrading all instructional technology. (Strategy 9, 11)
    3. Provide start up support and accommodations to university partners, as needed, to encourage a culture of risk taking and experimentation in the development of new program offerings at the ESHEC. (Strategies 8, 9, 11)