Flexible Learning Options
Distance learning, including online instruction, and alternative and accelerated sessions make college more accessible to all students. Distance learning courses give students more options and more flexibility in selecting and scheduling classes and achieving goals. Alternative and accelerated sessions allow students to take classes on evenings, weekends, or in more flexible formats. Distance learning classes bring the best features of campus-based classes to a student’s home or workplace. Regular due dates for assignments, learning modules, and start and end dates that correspond with a semester pattern all add up to create a classroom that’s available without having to fight traffic or personal scheduling conflicts. For more information about distance learning offerings and answers to frequently asked questions, visit the college’s web site at www.csmd.edu/OnlineLearning. Please note: A listing of CSM programs available online can be found in Appendix XI.
Online and Distance Learning Options
Online courses are designed to bring campus-based classes to students’ computers. The instructor provides information posted on a course web site that guides the student through course content, prompts discussions, and helps students keep pace with assignments. Due dates for assignments, a logical learning pattern, and start/end dates that correspond with a semester create a classroom that is available at a convenient time and place. Students may be required to take proctored exams or on-campus assessments at a testing center.
Web-Hybrid (Blended) Courses
Web-hybrid courses blend on-campus instruction with online instruction. Students meet on campus according to the published schedule of classes and then complete approximately half of the course instruction and/or activities online. Web-hybrid courses create flexible learning options while allowing students to meet face-to-face with instructors and other students.
Web-enhanced courses are instructional methods, such as lectures and cooperative education experiences that use certain Blackboard tools, such as email or discussions. In a web-enhanced course, the class meets just as a traditional class, in a classroom, with an instructor, at the regular scheduled day, time, and location, as stated in the Schedule of Classes. All face-to-face courses have an online presence, which allows instructors to enhance class activities by posting supplemental materials or posting grades. Instructors may also use the web-enhanced component to communicate with students throughout the semester or to post announcements during emergency closings.
University of Maryland Academic Telecommunications Systems (UMATS)
UMATS classrooms permit students at distant locations to engage in interactive courses with the capacity for full-motion, real-time, two-way audio and video communication. Any number of distant sites may be linked in a broadcast mode, although interaction is limited to four sites at any time. All sites in the link see and hear the interaction, and the instructor can “engage” other sites during the session by prior arrangement. The peripheral equipment allows instructors to display graphics, computer files, and multimedia software and allows them to playback or record video or audio materials.
Maryland Online (MOL)
MOL courses are online courses offered by CSM that are provided by other community colleges. Students pay tuition to CSM and earn credit for the course from CSM.
Independent Study Courses
At the discretion of the division chair, students work cooperatively with a faculty member to plan and develop a course to meet their educational goals.
Alternative and Accelerated Sessions
The college offers credit and continuing education instruction throughout the year in a variety of times and formats In addition to the traditional fall and spring semesters, the college offers late-start classes, minisessions, Saturdays-only courses, weekend classes, self-paced courses, summer sessions, and cooperative education courses. These alternative and accelerated sessions and formats make college more accessible to those who have busy schedules.
These courses are offered in short, seven-week sessions. Students can take courses during the two minisessions that are offered as part of the traditional fall and spring 15-week semester.
The college offers Saturdays-only courses during the traditional fall and spring semesters at all four campus locations. These courses allow students to combine the earning of credits with their busy weekday schedules.
The college offers a variety of weekend courses that give students the option to earn an associate’s degree or to supplement degree and certificate completion. CSM offers Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday courses.
Students are also able to earn an associate of arts degree in General Studies by attending classes offered exclusively on weekends (Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays) at either the La Plata Campus or Waldorf Center and by supplementing these courses with online courses. Students choosing this alternative format never have to enroll in weekday courses.
Self-paced courses are delivered via modules that allow students to work at their own pace under the guidance of a faculty member. Students are required to attend the orientation session, generally on the La Plata Campus, and may choose to complete class assignments in a college lab or from home or any other appropriately equipped site. There is no fixed attendance schedule. Faculty assistance is available during scheduled hours. Students may enroll in these courses monthly and are required to complete them within a defined time frame.
The college offers summer sessions allowing students to supplement their course work outside of the traditional fall and spring semesters. The summer sessions provide an excellent opportunity for students to enhance their credit earnings and to accelerate degree completion.
Cooperative Education Courses
Cooperative education (co-op) provides an opportunity for the student to apply academic theory to a professional work environment in the student’s program of study.
Service-learning combines service to the community with student learning in a way that improves both the student and the community. According to the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993, Service-learning: 1) is a method whereby students learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized service that is conducted in and meets the needs of communities; 2) is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum of the students, or the education components of the community service program in which the participants are enrolled; and 3) provides structured time for students or participants to reflect on the service experience.
Students participating in service-learning projects will typically be in a course that requires or offers service learning as an option to another project in the course. Before the service takes place, students must complete a Liability and Release Form. This form can be found on the Center for Civic Engagement and Service-Learning web site, under “Service-Learning Orientation.” New forms must be filled out each semester. For more information, call 301-934-7642 or visit our website at www.csmd.edu/servicelearning.
Selecting a Program
Students who expect to be successful at the college should make every effort in the first semester to clarify both their short and long-term educational goals. When these goals are clear, students are better able to make intelligent choices among the wide variety of college programs available and to make efficient, productive use of time in college.
Among the many services on campus to help students do this are the following: individualized advisement; interest assessments; a transfer preparation course (STU 1090); a career decision-making course (STU 1050); ARTSYS, a database including all academic programs of the University System of Maryland, with transfer equivalencies of community college courses and programs; departmental program orientations; and reference materials. The faculty can offer both academic and career expertise.
Each new student should make an appointment with an academic advisor to discuss and select a program of study. Students who wish to change their program of study at any time during their enrollment must speak with an academic advisor to make the appropriate adjustments. All previous credits are reevaluated at this time.
Students are responsible for seeking out the kind of information that will help them make their most important decision at the college—program selection. The PROGRAMS OF STUDY section of this catalog contains a complete listing of academic programs offered at the College of Southern Maryland. Additional programs may have been developed since the printing of this catalog. Students should refer to the CSM web site for the most current information on new and existing programs.
Planning to Enter a Career
Students who are planning to enter a career immediately upon completing a degree or certificate program should take advantage of the services offered by the Career Services office at any campus. Goal setting, interest assessments, and career development workshops are available to help students clarify their career objectives and develop job search strategies. CSM Offers a Career Decision Making and Life Planning Course (STU 1050) to assist students in the career planning process. Opportunities for combining work and formal study are available through a cooperative education program. Career programs offer students the opportunity to prepare for entry into an occupation or to upgrade their job skills in their current positions.
Planning to Transfer
Students who are planning to transfer to another college or university should select their programs at the College of Southern Maryland early in order to make efficient and effective use of their coursework. Acceptance of transfer courses is the decision of the receiving institution. CSM offers a Transfer Preparation course (STU 1090) to assist students in developing a successful transition plan.
The general education core courses should be completed first. Students then need to match their program requirements at the college with the requirements of the major they intend to pursue at the upper level, bearing in mind that most colleges and universities require a GPA of 2.0-2.5 to transfer, depending on the program of study. Visit the CSM transfer web page (www.csmd.edu/TransferServices/) for additional information on transfer preparation.
Career and Transfer Resource Services
Transfer research materials and other online resources are available at each campus to assist students as they prepare to transition to a four-year college or university. The Career Services office, on the La Plata Campus, offers transfer resources, and the Student Services offices at the Leonardtown and Prince Frederick campuses have a selection of college catalogs, admissions applications, scholarship information, and curriculum and college guides. Information on special events and services such as transfer orientations and workshops is also available.
A computerized database (http://artweb.usmd.edu), developed and maintained by the University System of Maryland, is available to inform students in Maryland community colleges about the transferability of each community college course. The system allows students to determine if courses are transferable and indicates the four-year institution’s equivalent course number. It also indicates the general education area(s), at both the sending and receiving institution, applicable to the course. The system is presently in use at all Maryland public institutions and many independent colleges and universities.
Maryland Transfer Web Page
Additional resources for students transferring in Maryland are available online by accessing the Maryland TransPort web page (http://mdtransfer.usmd.edu). The web page provides current news, updates, and links of interest for the transfer student. The Maryland TransPort link suggests the following steps to a successful transfer:
- Visit your community college advisor or transfer coordinator in order to discuss your intentions to transfer and to obtain advisement.
- Request information from four-year institutions that interest you. A great way to discover educational opportunities is to attend the transfer advising days held at your community college.
- Find out about transfer requirements and deadlines for the institutions to which you intend to apply.
- Visit the campus(es). While you are there, arrange to meet with either an admissions representative or a department advisor to discuss your chosen major of study.
- Obtain an application form, or apply online.
- Complete and send the application(s) for admission.
- Arrange to send transcripts from your current college and all previously attended institutions to the institution(s) to which you are applying.
- Complete and send all required financial aid/scholarship information by the prescribed deadlines to the institutions to which you are applying.
Advisors will help students access and assess the data they need to transfer both within the state system and elsewhere. Students who take advantage of these services generally experience less loss of credits in transfer.
Statewide Transfer Opportunities
CSM is part of Maryland’s articulation process and its Associate of Science in Engineering (ASE) degrees in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering are designed to transfer as a block of courses, rather than on a course-by-course basis into four-year baccalaureate granting institutions in the University System of Maryland (University of Maryland College Park, University of Maryland Baltimore County, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Frostburg State University, and Morgan State University), along with Loyola College, Capitol College, and Johns Hopkins University. As a result, students can transfer without losing credits and can graduate with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering in an additional two years, if they attend the transfer institution full time.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Southern Maryland
CSM has developed a number of partnerships in order to encourage other colleges and universities to provide bachelor’s degree programs in Southern Maryland.
At the end of appropriate programs of study, information is included regarding the articulated partnerships with four-year institutions (look for TRANSFER OPTIONS in the Programs of Study section) that allow students to complete their bachelor’s degrees in Southern Maryland.
Bowie State University
A partnership with Bowie State University offers bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education and elementary education in Southern Maryland. Students are encouraged to speak to an advisor early in their program of study about these transfer options.
A consortial agreement between CSM and Capitol College offers students the opportunity to complete most of three engineering degrees in Southern Maryland—the electrical engineering degree (BSEE), the astronautical engineering degree (BSAE), and the computer engineering degree (BSCE).
College of Notre Dame
A partnership with the College of Notre Dame offers a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at the Prince Frederick Campus of the College of Southern Maryland.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
A partnership with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers a bachelor’s degree in Technical Management to students completing Business Administration: Technical Management.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
A partnership with St. Mary’s College of Maryland allows students to transfer from CSM with an associate’s degree in computer science to receive a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in computer science.
A partnership with Towson University offers a bachelor’s degree locally in elementary education.
University of Baltimore
A partnership between CSM and University of Baltimore allows a student to take courses for his/her associate’s degree at any CSM campus and to complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration. Programs in accounting, business administration, and management development transfer into the University of Baltimore’s business program.
University of Maryland College Park
Graduates of the CSM Engineering program may be eligible for the Cooperative Experience Employment Education (CO-OP) Program with the University of Maryland and the Naval Warfare Centers at Patuxent River or Indian Head. Information on this CO-OP program can be obtained from the Advisement and Career Services Department.
University of Maryland University College
The alliance program with University of Maryland University College offers students dual admission and enrollment, creating a seamless transition from an associate’s to a bachelor’s degree. Students can be admitted to and registered for classes at CSM and UMUC simultaneously. Associate degree programs that transfer seamlessly to UMUC are: Accounting; Business Administration; Computer Science; Criminal Justice; Environmental Technology; General Studies - Communication, Journalism, and Speech Communication; Information Services Technology; Management Development; and Paralegal Studies. Students can earn their bachelor’s degrees from University of Maryland University College locally at the Waldorf Center for Higher Education and online.
Maryland Transfer Advantage Program (MTAP)
University of Maryland College Park
CSM students can now be a part of the Maryland Transfer Advantage Program (MTAP) that guarantees University of Maryland admission to qualifying students who complete the program requirements. Students may begin studies at the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) and transition to University of Maryland programs in College Park or at Shady Grove. This innovative program not only eases the transfer process, but also makes it possible for students to begin taking classes at University of Maryland College Park at a tuition discount while still attending CSM.