The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) is pleased to release the 2022 State Plan for Higher Education . MHEC is charged with producing a statewide plan that clearly outlines the priorities and major goals for the State's postsecondary system. The 2022 State Plan for Higher Education is a revision to the 2017-2021 State Plan for Postsecondary Education: Student Success with Less Debt.
The three primary goals for the postsecondary community in Maryland remain the same:
- Access: Ensure equitable access to affordable and high-quality postsecondary education for all Maryland residents.
- Success: Promote and implement practices and policies that will ensure student success.
- Innovation: Foster innovation in all aspects of Maryland higher education to improve access and student success.
Each goal highlights recent initiatives and current challenges higher education in Maryland faces and provides several priorities to address those challenges. Current and innovative initiatives that support student access and success are interwoven throughout the document.
The 2022 State Plan for Higher Education is also written with two very important contexts:
First, the importance of equity. Maryland is one of the most diverse states in the nation – there is a two-thirds probability that two people chosen at random with be from different race and ethnicity groups. Additionally, many of our colleges and universities have student populations that are majority minority. However, we still find equity gaps in degree-attainment, persistence, and other indicators of access and success. An equity statement or diversity statement is not enough to ensure we are providing educational opportunities all students successfully. It is imperative that we “do the work." This means evaluating policies and practices, measuring equity gaps, and evaluating specific initiatives. The 2022 State Plan challenges all organizations that touch postsecondary education in Maryland to create initiatives around the goals, priorities, and action items outlined in the 2022 State Plan with an “equity lens."
Second, higher education in Maryland quickly and successfully responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of those responses are now permanent structures in postsecondary education while others have provided the opportunity for campuses to collaborate with nontraditional partners. It will be important for the postsecondary community to remain agile and responsive to the changing needs of the workforce and recognize the mental health impact the pandemic has had on students, faculty, and staff.
We must appreciate the importance of these two contexts – a focus on equity and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic – as the postsecondary community in Maryland charges forward to meet the three goals of student access, student success, and innovation.
A summary of the goals and priorities can be found below. The Commission strongly encourages all segments and partners in postsecondary education to focus on strategies that align with their mission and develop strategic plans accordingly.
The 2022 State Plan for Postsecondary Education reflects the work of three workgroups aligned with each goal. Workgroup membership can be found in the Appendix and reflects participation from all postsecondary partners. The Commission reviewed this document and approved it as the 2022 Maryland State Plan for Postsecondary Education on June 22, 2022. MHEC, when appropriate, will convene various stakeholder groups to discuss and implement innovative initiatives that increase student access and success with less debt.
Student Access: Ensure equitable access to affordable and high-quality postsecondary education for all Maryland residents
Priority 1: Study the affordability of postsecondary education in Maryland.
Priority 2: Examine and improve financial literacy programs for students and families to encourage financial planning to pay for postsecondary education
Priority 3: Analyze and improve systems that inform and evaluate a student's academic readiness for postsecondary education
Priority 4: Analyze systems that impact how specific student populations access affordable and quality postsecondary education
Student Success: Promote and implement practices and policies that will ensure student success
Priority 5: Maintain the commitment to high-quality postsecondary education in Maryland.
Priority 6: Improve systems that prevent timely completion of an academic program.
Priority 7: Enhance the ways postsecondary education is a platform for ongoing lifelong learning.
Innovation: Foster innovation in all aspects of Maryland higher education to improve access and student success
Priority 8: Promote a culture of risk-taking.
Previous State Plans:
2017-2021 State Plan for Postsecondary Education: Student Success with Less Debt
Maryland Ready: 2013-2017 State Plan for Postsecondary Education
2009 Maryland State Plan for Postsecondary Education
2004 Maryland State Plan for Postsecondary Education