State studies show that, in 2010, 45.5 percent of adults, aged 25 to 34, earned postsecondary degrees. That percentage already is a benchmark of pride, but by 2020, the state wants that figure to increase by 55 percent.
Gov. Martin O’Malley’s budget has $5 million to start planning for what will ultimately be a $159.2 million wager to increase Marylanders with college degrees. It’s a good bet.
The money will build the 220,000-square-foot Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Facility at the Universities at Shady Grove, a building that will house courses in engineering and dentistry, as well as more biotechnology classes.
USG, which admitted its first students in 2000, is a remarkable innovation for Maryland higher education. Until USG, Montgomery County students needed to travel at least to College Park to get a four-year degree. The campus, at Shady Grove and Darnestown roads, makes college degrees more accessible and more affordable. Expanding the range of options at USG only benefits the state.
“This will add the level of degree programs that will make a difference in Montgomery County and the state’s economy,” said William E. Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland, speaking with editors of The Gazette recently.
He is absolutely correct.