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AN OVERVIEW OF THE the University of Maryland College (UMUC)

Updated on November 14, 2017

The University of Maryland College (UMUC)

Purpose

The University of Maryland University College or (UMUC) is an accredited University in Maryland. The learning institution focuses on creating value for each course taken by students. The core purpose of this institution of higher learning is to provide affordable, relevant and convenient education to students. This may explain why the organization has instituted both hybrid classes, that is, classes that combine both in person instruction, and online learning and an entirely online based learning system (Maryland University College, 2017).

Overarching Goal

The overarching goal of UMUC is to assist students in earning their certificates, or degrees to enable them achieve their career goals in an affordable and convenient way. The management actively engages various stakeholders including business partners, alumni, potential students, coaches, in mentoring students. The college also concentrates on providing high quality, professionally oriented, and innovative educational progams which aligns with the existing accreditation standards. The core aim in these endeavors is to assist students in establishing their desired competencies (UMUC, 2015).

Driving forces affecting success for this Institution

Recognition and Credibility

The first driver for success for UMUC is the fact that it is accredited and certified by the regional accreditation body, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. This subsequently creates trust among customers who are assured of the credibility and recognition of their respective certificates. Another factor is its long stay in the education market (65 years) providing educational opportunities to learners across various parts in the world has a reputation. Consequently, this recognition has helped it to nurture trust among clients, as well as in getting referrals from its customers and other stakeholders.

Programs and Courses those are Career-Focused

Certificates, courses, diplomas and Degrees offered by UMUC are career-focused providing opportunities to professionals who may find themselves who find themselves too busy to attend regular classes. The institution has in place over 90 different degrees, certificates and specialties mainly in disciplines that are currently in high demand. All faculty and staff enrolled as lecturers or professors are people with real life experience. The programs offered by this institution are mostly oriented towards providing applicable, practical and knowledge which can be applied in the practical and real job setting.

Value and Convenience

The programs offered by UMUC are affordable rates as compared with a normal public university. This coupled with the convenience of internet classes creates value for its clients. There are more than 20 locations, premises and satellite campuses in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. Most of the clients for this University work fulltime and hence; they are unable to attend regular classes. Accordingly, they find the university programs and courses to be very much flexible and convenient as it helps them to align their schedule as well as in pursuing a higher level of their profession. Furthermore, there are also a range of student services that are specifically designed to enable students to succeed. This includes mentoring, tutoring, career center, student and tech support that operate on a 24 hour basis among others.

Commitment to Military servicemen, their families and veterans

With a number of departments in Europe and Asia as well as the presence of military installations in more than 20 nations and regions around the world, UMUC has been considered as a leader in providing educational service to the United States military. This is the first institution of higher learning that is allowed to educate the military personnel for the US overseas. This legacy has been proudly carried on, culminating into winning various awards that have confirmed their commitment to offering educational services for service members.

Innovation and Award Winning

UMUC has been considered a leader in online learning innovation. The university is a leading edge of research and innovation particular in the discipline of online education and success of students. This may explain why the University has been credited for academic performance, exemplary service to veteran and military and civilian students.

Environmental Scan

Indeed, there are various external and internal factors that influence the performance of Universities including, but not limited to UMUC. Among these is the policies instituted by the government, the demographics, shifting work patterns, outsourcing, and the existing employment laws (Dennis and Romano, 1998). Furthermore, there are also matters pertaining to competition, geography, secondary and post-secondary enrolments, economic conditions of the area and the political environment. For UMUC, politics plays a huge influence on the operation of the institution. In the current sphere, private institutions of higher learning are sprouting up on a consistent basis, subsequently creating intense competition to their public counterparts (Alaka and Kremer, 2008). For instance, according to the US act 34 CFR 602.16 all agencies that are involved in accreditation must institute and utilize standards that could effectively address the quality of all programs and institutions to facilitate student achievement in line with the mission and goals of the institution. These may include, but not limited to standardization and measurement criteria, considerations for completion of courses, the rates for job placement, and state licencing examination (U.S Department of Education, 2017).

Accordingly, a university such as the UMUC has to strictly adhere to the laid down standards and maintain the quality required. Furthermore, the heightened regulation by the government has made it hard for local students to access the best quality education while also increasing competition from foreign nations. Factors related to economy have also had a significant impact on the higher education in diverse ways. Many institutions of higher learning require a substantial investment on such aspects as stationery, staff, technology, and marketing in order to sustain itself within the intense competition (Orazio, Kugler Meghir, 2009). For instance, the funding decisions by the government may determine if there would be substantial resources for an institution to conduct its operations (Sarah, McIntosh and Ozler, 2010). Fortunately, UMUC is a government sponsored institution although a significant level of corruption has hindered its progression. Demographic changes have also a prospect of effecting student enrolment of specific institutions (Robert. 2010).

Conclusion

Looking at the current strategy and level of UMUC, it is apparent that the university is at a better position to sustain itself and even perform better than what it currently does. Despite some challenges, weaknesses and threats, the institution’s strength of being a reputable organization, provision of quality programs that consider value and convenience and affordable courses as well as creating a positive relationship with various entities including the government and the military will continue to facilitate it in working towards its mission and goals. The university is considered as an innovator, presenting flexible and compressed course schedules, curricular that is relevant to career and workforce and distance learning opportunity all provide unique needs to students. However, it is possible that UMUC can still achieve more that what it currently does. One important aspect that seems to have been ignored by this organization is the concept of marketing. If there is an extensive marketing initiative, it is certain that the performance in terms enrolment, reputation and popularity will shore up to its advantage.

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