With five of its 12 institutions located in the greater Baltimore region and a strong commitment to community service, the University System of Maryland (USM) has a long and rich history of working to enhance the region educationally, economically, and socially. Those five institutions are: Coppin State University (CSU); Towson University (TU); University of Baltimore (UB); University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB); and University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). USM institutions in other areas of the state also contribute to the quality of life in Baltimore.
Access to excellent academic opportunities, partnerships with the K-12 community and special programs for youth, help for the economy, and quality healthcare are a few examples of the many opportunities that USM make available throughout the region. In the wake of the spring 2015 unrest, USM community members stepped up to extend their expertise, resources, and reach even more to help the city recover and thrive in the years ahead.
Following are brief descriptions of some of the many ways that USM is partnering to enhance the quality of life for Baltimore-area residents. For more information about these initiatives, please contact the representatives from the respective institutions listed at the end.
IN DIRECT RESPONSE TO THE SPRING 2015 UNREST Coppin State University
CSU donated office space to the federal Small Business Administration to operate a “Disaster Loan Outreach Center” to assist area businesses and property owners who were adversely affected by the civil unrest.
The American Red Cross worked with the university to develop several programs aimed at providing ongoing services to the immediate community impacted by the civil unrest. Services include internship programs for area youth, emergency preparedness projects for elementary school-age children, programs dealing with psychological first-aid training for high-risk communities, and others.
University of Baltimore:
Hosted a series of meetings involving the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Baltimore faith leaders, and key elected officials (U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin and U.S. Representatives Elijah Cummings and John Sarbanes).
Assisted, through the School of Law, the Baltimore City Police Department in its training of officers on issues such as use of force and Fourth Amendment law.
Launched Be The Change, a campus-wide initiative to brainstorm how students, faculty, and staff can help bring about change in Baltimore.
Hosted “SPEAK: Baltimore Authors Respond to the Death of Freddie Gray,” which brought writers together to consider Baltimore’s recent turbulence.
Hosted a joint forum of the Congressional Black Caucus and the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee to analyze the conditions that gave rise to the events in Baltimore and other cities and discuss possible solutions.
Provided food to CUPs Coffeehouse in Southwest Baltimore to help bring 200 meals to community volunteers involved in city cleanup efforts.
Hosted training sessions for legal observers of bail hearings and enforcement activities.
More than 60 UB School of Law students, staff, faculty members, and friends helped clean up West Baltimore, loading more than 200 garbage bags.
Two TU students provided leadership for the peaceful Baltimore college rally that took place in downtown Baltimore the week of the unrest.
TU hosted two campus-wide Teach-in events to facilitate intergroup dialogue between faculty, staff, and students to bring greater understanding of the complexities and history that contributed to the civil unrest.
TU’s Center for Student Diversity hosted drop-in discussions throughout the week.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES Towson University
The Sharp Leadenhall Community Partnership unites non-profits, churches, and community groups in South Baltimore in community improvement efforts. Initiatives include fundraising, community cleanup and beautification, establishing historical status, and other sustainability and improvement projects involving TU faculty members and students.
TU students aid the work of The 6th Branch, a military veteran-led organization that adopts neglected public spaces in East Baltimore, such as a park, and works to improve them through volunteer-supported cleanup operations and community engagement.
Service-learning students from the Department of Family Studies and Community Development facilitate breakfast service for shelter residents, organize “drives” for needed items (such as toiletries), and participate in special projects and events, such as Hunger Awareness Week.
Through Project Serve, TU freshmen and transfer students volunteer in Baltimore City and County before student orientation begins. First Fridays gives students an opportunity to volunteer at various organizations on the first Friday of every month. The Big Event is Towson’s largest day of community service.
As a member of the Southwest Partnership, UMB is part of a coalition of neighborhood groups representing more than 10,000 people. The goals of Southwest Partnership are to set guiding principles for future physical development and develop plans to improve schools, public safety, and city services.
The Westside Revitalization—or UniverCity Partnership—aims to create a vibrant downtown neighborhood along the eastern edge of UMB in concert with the university’s service to the West Baltimore community. The focus is on improving Lexington Market and the surrounding area; bringing healthy food offerings to West Baltimore and Downtown residents; developing the Bromo Tower Arts District; reducing the amount of vacant, deteriorating buildings; and attracting new residents and business to the area.
ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT Coppin State University
As a member of the Mayor of Baltimore’s Anchor Institution Roundtable, CSU tracks and reports institutional economic inclusion outcomes. The following outcomes were reported at the May 2015 Roundtable meeting:
Achieved $1 million in procurement spending with local firms;
Employed 70 local residents (mix of skilled and unskilled labor) in construction of new Science & Technology building.
TU collaborates with the Friendship Outreach Center, which provides services to families in need in Baltimore City, on strategic planning, workforce development in computer training, and information technology resources.
During the fall and summer, TU provides a free two-day grant writing workshops for community organizations in Baltimore City. To date, 20 small community organizations have taken part.
TU is working with the Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Career and College Readiness and the Maryland Center for Construction Education and Innovation to establish a standardized, project-based curriculum for teachers and students in construction design and management.
UB strives to do business with local, small business owners. Almost $900,000—more than 11 percent of UB’s total FY15 procurement volume—was with small businesses, the majority of which are Baltimore-based.
University of Maryland, Baltimore
UMB unbundled a single large procurement package for landscaping and exterior trash removal to create multiple contracts open to certified sheltered workshops. St. Peter’s Adult Learning Center, a certified sheltered workshop located in the heart of the UMB community, was awarded a one-year contract valued at $92,637.
The university created hiring tiers—restructuring jobs and modifying requirements where applicable—to enable Baltimore City Community College students to move into UMB jobs with associate’s degrees.
Partnering with the Weinberg Foundation and the Center for Urban Families, UMB, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), and the UMB BioPark—which collectively hire more than 400 entry-level workers each year—are creating a workforce development project to train and hire local residents for positions at UMB and UMMC, with a majority of hires coming from Baltimore City.
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
bwtech@UMBC--UMBC’s Research and Technology Park—encourages the formation and growth of tech- and research-oriented businesses and entrepreneurial activity, especially among underrepresented groups, such as minorities and women. At least three companies that have graduated from the incubator have relocated or will soon relocate to Baltimore City.
UMBC’s Choice Jobs Program prepares youth for the work world. Choice operates three Flying Fruit Fantasy (FFF) stands to provide on-the-job training experience for Baltimore City youth. The program utilizes a supported employment model that delivers community-based vocational services that include a job readiness curriculum, paid on-the-job training, and supported job placement. Choice Jobs trains 200 youth annually, placing 80 in subsidized and unsubsidized jobs.
MPowering the State, the structured collaboration between the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the University of Maryland, College Park
UMCP’s Smith School of Business and UMB’s School of Social Work and Carey School of Law united for “The West Baltimore Community Wealth Building Practicum” through which graduate students launched a worker-owned cooperative to bolster the economy in Baltimore’s Westside communities.
OUTREACH TO YOUTH Coppin State University
Launched by Coppin in 2003, the Coppin Urban Education Corridor provides an educational continuum for students at Rosemont Elementary/Middle and Coppin Academy High School. This seamless approach provides Baltimore City school children with effective pre-kindergarten experience and ends with a successful college matriculation or a career path. Coppin Academy, located on the Coppin State campus, boasts a 100 percent graduation rate and a 100 percent passing rate on the High School Assessment. It has been able to support college attendance for more than 90 percent of its students.
AileyCamp gives high-risk youth, ages 11-14, a supportive environment to use dance as a vehicle for developing self-esteem, self-discipline, creative expression, and critical-thinking skills. AileyCamp Baltimore takes place in the university’s Department of Dance and empowers youth through an arts-based curriculum that builds participants’ confidence, self-awareness, communication skills, and ability to work collaboratively with others.
To help serve the children of Baltimore City, TU’s Early Childhood Education Department places students in two Baltimore City elementary schools as part of its Elementary Education Student Teaching Internships.
As the affiliate university for the Teacher Academy of Maryland, TU works directly with middle and high school students who are interested in careers in education, many through the Future Educators Association in Baltimore City Schools.
Urban Needs in Teacher Education (UNITE) is a student organization that aims to prepare in-service teachers to work in urban schools. Future projects will serve students in Baltimore City schools where many of the student members of UNITE are placed in their internships.
University of Baltimore
The Baltimore Renaissance Scholars Seed Fund supports community-based initiatives including cultural arts projects, a Prison Scholar Program, and the CityLit Kids reading program.
The HEROES (Higher Education Readiness and Orientation for Exceptional Students) Academy has welcomed more than 1,000 high school students from eight Baltimore high schools to UB, introducing them to college-level academic offerings and classroom culture through a series of sample courses taught by UB faculty and students.
The School of Law’s Truancy Court Program (TCP)—honored as a “Bright Idea” by Harvard University in 2012—addresses truancy in the city’s public schools. Since its inception in 2005, TCP has served approximately 2,000 students, with 75 percent of the participants graduating.
University of Maryland, Baltimore
UMB’s “Promise Heights” initiative has raised $1.7 million in grants to target the high-needs communities of Upton/Druid Heights, with the goal of improving educational outcomes for youth, and ensuring families are healthy and successful. The initiative has resulted in dramatically improved test scores at Furman L. Templeton Preparatory, a significant drop in chronic absenteeism at Samuel Coleridge Taylor Elementary, and free income-tax preparation services for more than 200 families in the community.
UMB’s Social Work Community Outreach Service operates four community schools throughout Baltimore City, based on a model in which local public schools become a hub for community life, offering a range of supports and services for the students, their families, and the community as a whole.
The President’s Outreach Council at UMB partners with four schools in West Baltimore to help meet identified needs of children and their families. Since the council’s inception in 2008, more than 400 UMB volunteers have donated in excess of 3,000 hours of service to local schools, and more than 300 students have participated in after-school and campus-based internship programs.
A Bridge to Academic Excellence—a collaborative community service project of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy—provides academic support to area middle and high school students through tutoring and mentoring, especially to those who wish to pursue health professional careers but may have difficulty in math, science, SAT preparations, or English classes.
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
The Choice Program at UMBC provides 50 AmeriCorps members the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of youth living in Maryland’s highest risk communities.
The Choice Department of Juvenile Services Intensive Advocacy Program provides a community-based alternative to incarceration through daily face-to-face contact, increasing family engagement, and supporting youth with probation/legal requirements.
The Choice Department of Social Services Intensive Advocacy Program provides a low-cost alternative to the removal of youth from their homes. More than 20,000 youth and families have been served by these elements of the Choice Program in the past 25 years.
UMBC’s Choice Education Program is in place at Lakeland Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore City. Choice Fellows support students who are struggling in more than one area, including behavior, academics, attendance, and/or social and emotional well-being. Through delivery of the Choice Model in an in-school environment, Fellows provide a community-based alternative to students being involved in the disciplinary process.
UMBC offers summer academic enrichment experiences in STEM and in the arts for middle school students. Several participants in these 1-2 week experiences are from Baltimore and are supported by scholarships from UMBC’s Education Department.
Other ongoing UMBC-Baltimore City Public Schools partnerships include after-school science programs for elementary and middle school students, and teachers-in-training placed in schools with support provided by UMBC.
IN SUPPORT OF TEACHER EXCELLENCE Towson University
Through its Professional Development School, TU provides professional development for current Baltimore City teachers.
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
As a participant in the Consortium for Urban Education, UMBC supports teacher excellence, with immediate focus on the hiring process; induction and support for first-year teachers; and work groups for college access, civic engagement, family engagement, and STEM.
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
UMES offers courses to Career and Technology education teachers leading to a professional-technical education (PTE) certification, work-based learning endorsement, and a master’s degree in Career and Technology Education at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.
The Consortium for Urban Education—which unites TU, UMBC, Loyola University Maryland; Notre Dame of Maryland University, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Institute College of Art, and Morgan State University—works with Baltimore City Schools to address teacher recruitment and school improvement. Future plans include creating a learning center for the Professional Development School, school leadership development, and encouraging more new teachers to work in Baltimore City Schools.
TARGETED COLLEGE READINESS PROGRAMS Towson University
Bridges to the Baccalaureate seeks to increase the number of underrepresented minorities who successfully complete the transition from Baltimore City Community College or the Community College of Baltimore County to Towson University.
Building STEPS is a non-profit organization that is housed at and works closely with TU to expose bright, underserved students in Baltimore to college and to STEM professions in which minorities are overwhelmingly underrepresented.
University of Baltimore
In partnership with the Community College of Baltimore County, UB launched the BridgeEdU program, which aims to help more city students make a successful transition from high school to college.
UB’s College Readiness Program, launched in spring 2009, works primarily for the benefit of Baltimore City Public Schools. The program includes:
The College Readiness Preparatory Academy, a noncredit college skills-development program embedded in a high-school course for a full term.
The College Readiness Summer Academy, a noncredit, five-week program providing 10th to 12th graders with opportunities to develop work skills.
College Courses for high school students.
“Bridge to UB,” which provides intensive summer study for conditionally admitted students to support successful matriculation to UB.
University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP)
UMCP’s Incentive Awards Program, launched in 2001, targets students who demonstrate academic ability, uncommon persistence, and maturity despite adverse life situations. Nine participating high schools in Baltimore City nominate senior students to compete for an Incentive Award. One student from each high school is selected to receive full financial support (tuition, fees, room and board) to UMCP.
University System of Maryland Office
For nearly seven years, USM’s Way2GoMaryland statewide outreach initiative has motivated students to work with their parents/guardians, teachers and guidance counselors, and others to begin preparing for college early. Way2GoMaryland regularly gives presentations at Baltimore-area schools and is developing ongoing partnerships with some of those schools to have an even greater impact on students’ college readiness.
HEALTH INITIATIVES University of Maryland, Baltimore
Offered as a public service by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Mini-Med School is a series of tuition-free classes designed to help Baltimore residents improve their health and well-being. Mini-Med School lectures, open to everyone, are presented by faculty physicians in medical school classrooms.
As a partner in the West Baltimore Health Enterprise Zone, UMB is part of a collaborative seeking to reduce health disparities, improve access to health care, reduce costs, expand the primary care and community health workforce, and improve overall health in West Baltimore.
The Governor’s Wellmobile Program—a fleet of mobile medical clinics administered by the School of Nursing—provides episodic care, chronic disease management, prevention, and referrals to uninsured and underserved populations in Baltimore and across the state who suffer from lack of access and other health care-disparities. The Wellmobile fleet served 1,189 patients in FY14 and referred more than 1,000 patients for other services.
The Breathmobile—a mobile clinic equipped with state-of-the-art technology and asthma specialists—makes stops at more than a dozen public schools in West Baltimore, offering ongoing care to children with asthma. In 2013, the Breathmobile saw more than 500 children in more than 1,000 visits.
Paul’s Place Nursing Clinic, open once a week during Paul’s Place Hot Lunch program, serves uninsured and homeless community members. Nurses from the University of Maryland School of Nursing offer basic health screenings and health counseling for community members. In FY13 alone, the clinic served more than 650 individuals.
The University of Maryland School of Dentistry, through its dental clinics, offers a full range of low-cost, high-quality dental care for patients, children and adults, with special needs. The Dental School also partners with the Maryland State Dental Association to provide dental exams and fluoride varnish applications to local students in West Baltimore.
The JACQUES Initiative provides comprehensive primary medical care to HIV-positive men and women that includes onsite case management, mental health and treatment support services, and referrals for substance abuse treatment and housing.
At the Cherry Hill People’s Garden, TU’s College of Health Professions has been working with the Cherry Hill Neighborhood to disburse National Institute of Food and Agriculture funds to start and sustain school, community, and urban gardens, promote nutrition education, and support urban agriculture workforce development.
Undergraduate nursing students provide residents of Bolton Hill North with health promotion and education and health screenings, partner with Roland Park Country School to provide health education, and provide nursing care to terminally ill patients in inpatient and outpatient hospice care in underserved communities in Baltimore City.
Through a partnership with the Helping Up Mission in Baltimore City, TU develops and implements programs to promote and maintain the health of the Mission's 500-member resident population. Efforts include health education and screening programs, treatment services, oral health programs, feeding those battling addiction, and semiannual Mission wide health fairs.
Faculty and students from the Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science provide health screenings and education for older adults who live independently at sites such as Stadium Place, Gallagher Mansion, Govans Senior Center, and Harford Road Senior Center.
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Through the No Wrong Door Project, UMBC provides capacity building and training for mental health, substance abuse, and HIV primary-care providers in the Baltimore metropolitan area.
In partnership with the Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore, UMBC’s Healthy First Saturday Program provides four health fairs annually for children ages 2-10.
IN SERVICE TO BALTIMORE CITY GOVERNMENT Salisbury University (SU)
The Gerald A. Elkins Award—an endowed internship—provides an SU student majoring in geography or geosciences with a $1,500 stipend and a summer position with the Baltimore City Planning Department.
University of Maryland, College Park
A series of maps developed by the UMCP’s National Center for Smart Growth that illustrate gaps in opportunity served as the basis for Baltimore’s first-ever comprehensive regional plan to create strong, sustainable communities and break the continuous cycle of poverty for many inner-city families.
University of Baltimore
The Jacob France Institute’s Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance at the Merrick School of Business assists Baltimore by providing meaningful, accurate, and open data at the community level.
UB participates in The Baltimore City Anchor Plan partnership to help Baltimore’s communities grow by focusing on innovative initiatives in four priority areas: public safety, local hiring, local purchasing, and quality of life.
LEGAL SERVICES University of Baltimore
The School of Law’s clinics represent, on average, 200 low-income clients annually.
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Each year, 25 faculty members from the Francis King Carey School of Law lead 250 students in providing 110,000 hours of free legal services to local communities.
For more information: Coppin State University
Joann Christopher Hicks, email@example.com