Message from the President
The College of Southern Maryland continues to evolve to help ensure that our students are successfully achieving their goals. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to student success, and our programs, services, facilities, and cost are all built around this theme.
Our wide variety of academic programs are tailored to serve the needs of Southern Maryland and its residents. These programs are offered by outstanding faculty, many of whom are working in fields directly related to the courses that they are teaching. These courses are taught in modern facilities that promote state of the art technology, and our small class sizes promote interaction among our faculty and students.
Some of our most popular academic programs include those that help students transfer to baccalaureate granting colleges: business, cybersecurity, nuclear engineering technology, nursing and a wide variety of other health-related programs. We have recently launched programs in robotics (mechatronics) and entrepreneurship.
On the noncredit side, we offer a wide array of workforce development programs that are geared toward helping students quickly acquire the skills they need to find a job. These include programs in healthcare, transportation, and the trades.
Outside of the classroom, we offer a number of services that enhance student success. These efforts include advisement and career counselors who are available to help students plan their academic schedules, address academic concerns, and decide on career options. Our Student Success Center staff offer other support, such as tutoring, and our financial aid staff help students find the resources they need to pursue their education. Our faculty are always willing to work with students to help ensure their success. We also provide valuable services to students with special needs and challenges.
We are adding additional services, such as an enhanced new student orientation program, an early alert system that helps students address academic concerns before it is too late, a streamlined development education curriculum, and additional advising opportunities.
Acquiring a certificate or degree is one of the best decisions that a student can make while at CSM, even if they are planning to transfer to earn a baccalaureate degree. Too many students leave us without a degree, and if they are forced to temporarily halt their education, they have nothing to show for their hard work. Earning an associate’s degree is an important benchmark for future job searches and other opportunities. In fact, former students who have transferred without earning academic credentials at CSM, may transfer back credits earned elsewhere through our reverse transfer degree program.
In an era where student debt now exceeds a trillion dollars, keeping our tuition affordable has become even more important to us. This, coupled with ample financial aid in the form of grants and scholarships, allows the majority of our students to graduate debt-free or with only a small loan.
Please keep in mind that while CSM’s staff and faculty are committed to your success, it is your responsibility to do your part. This includes using our services, and when in need, letting us know how we can assist you.
Dr. Bradley M. Gottfried
College of Southern Maryland
The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) is an open-admissions, comprehensive regional community college that fosters academic excellence and enhances lives in Southern Maryland. CSM meets the diverse needs of students and the community by providing accessible, accredited, affordable, and quality learning opportunities for intellectual development, career enhancement, and personal growth. The college embraces lifelong learning and service, providing a variety of personal enrichment and cultural programs in a safe and welcoming environment.
“Transforming lives through lifelong learning and service.”
Diversity, Excellence, Innovation, Integrity, Knowledge, Respect, and Teamwork
The College of Southern Maryland defines civility as the demonstration of respect for others through basic courtesy and the practice of behaviors that contribute toward a positive environment for learning and working. While on any college campus or facility, attending any college event, or on any college electronic/cyber space (online course, email, telephone, etc.), faculty, staff, students, and visitors can all have the expectation of civility from one another.
The college views the following ideals as fundamental to civil behavior:
- Courteous and honest communication in both face-to-face and electronic environments
- Fair and just treatment of individuals
- Freedom from harassment
- Fostering a diverse campus community
- Adherence to the values of the professions in dealings with students, colleagues and associates.
- Respectful of diverse cultures and points of view
- Refraining from vulgar and offensive language.
Members of the college community can expect these ideals are modeled consistently by trustees, administrators, faculty, and staff.
The Quality Improvement Process
The Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is the means by which the college provides focus for the talent and energy of the college community. It supports the college in making reasoned choices about the investment of resources and in understanding how effective processes align with achieving results, including student learning outcomes. Through planning, assessment, and process improvement, the QIP provides the framework within which our college community and stakeholders can shape CSM’s future.
The Quality Improvement Process (QIP) has helped to widen the scope of assessment activities to include academic units, as well as all administrative units, and to integrate results of assessment into planning and renewal and the budgeting cycle. Assessment at the College of Southern Maryland is a systematic approach to measuring and documenting the college’s effectiveness. It demonstrates that what we do makes a difference, and that CSM is accomplishing its mission and achieving its goals. It is an essential component in the college’s ongoing efforts to improve in all areas, to meet the needs of an evolving community, and to respond to changing expectations Assessment is a key component of the CSM Quality Improvement Process.
Assessment gives the college an opportunity to demonstrate students’ learning as well as to identify areas for growth and improvement. Assessment tools and processes include all areas of the college and document the expected outcomes.
Assessment at CSM is driven by the college’s vision, mission, and its goals. Assessment at the college focuses on student learning, program effectiveness, and college impact. Assessment makes the college more aware of what its programs are accomplishing. With administrative support, faculty guidance, and student input, the college assesses and monitors student learning, beginning with the student entering the college and continuing through student goal achievement. Ultimate responsibility for the assessment of student learning rests with the faculty; responsibility for the assessment of program effectiveness rests within the appropriate academic division.
Assessment activities are ongoing in courses covering nearly every academic program. The goal of course assessment is to gain an understanding of the effectiveness of various instructional methodologies that facilitate student learning, improve course structure to enhance student learning, and provide evidence of student learning. Involvement of a broad spectrum of the college community in assessment initiatives is being realized through the faculty’s commitment to assessment at the instructional level, including courses and programs - and ensures that assessment is comprehensive.
Programs are considered a set of “collegiate experiences” that include certificates, degrees, or sequences of courses leading to a specific student goal. The goal of assessment at the program level measures program effectiveness to improve student learning. The expected outcome of a program is the attainment of a certificate or degree, thus program assessment evaluates the knowledge, skills, and abilities of students who complete programs. Each year, academic divisions involve several programs of study to undergo specific, program-related assessment activities. For each program, critical, student learning outcomes are identified, and standards are developed for each outcome. Direct and indirect evidence is collected to measure student performance against each standard.
Each unit of the college undertakes annual assessment activities that take into consideration the goals, objectives, measures, and action plans of that unit. Using a common tool, each defined unit completes an assessment and is reviewed by an independent group of colleagues, the college assessment team. The data is reviewed and improvements are recommended for future planning. CSM has developed a culture of collecting data to gauge its performance in relation to established benchmarks. Assessment techniques are applied through the use of course, program, and unit assessment at CSM. For more information on the college’s planning, institutional effectiveness, and research program, contact the Planning, Institutional Effectiveness, and Research Department.
The College of Southern Maryland (formerly Charles County Community College) is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 267-284-5000, and the Maryland Higher Education Commission, 16 Francis Street, Annapolis, MD 21401, 410-974-2971. The Medical Laboratory Technology program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Rd. Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5119. The Practical Nursing and Associate Degree Nursing programs are approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3343 Peachtree Road Suite 850, NE Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-975-5000, www.acenursing.org. The Physical Therapist Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, 703-684-2782. Business degree programs in Accounting, Business Administration, and Business Management are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, 11520 West 119th Street, Overland Park, KS 66213, 913-339-9356. The Commercial Vehicle Operators certificate is approved by the Professional Truck Driving Institute, 2200 Mill Road, Alexandria, VA 22314, 703-838-8842.
The catalog is intended to be a fair summary of matters of interest to students. Readers should be aware that (1) the catalog is not intended to be a complete statement of all procedures, policies, rules, and regulations which may be referred to or summarized in this catalog, (2) the college reserves the right to change, without notice, any academic or other requirements, course offerings, course contents, programs, procedures, policies, rules, and regulations that may be contained in this catalog, (3) departmental procedures, policies, rules, and regulations, whether or not contained in this catalog may be applicable to students in those departments, and (4) not all policies and procedures apply uniformly to credit and continuing education courses.
The College of Southern Maryland does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion, or marital status in its programs or activities. The academic support/ADA coordinator for Disability Support Services (LR Building, Room 123, at the La Plata Campus, 301-934-7614), has been designated to handle inquiries regarding discrimination on the basis of disabilities.The Associate Vice President of Institutional Equity and Diversity (CC Building, Room 208A, at the La Plata Campus, 301-934-7658) has been designated to handle all other discrimination inquiries.