As I recently celebrated one year on the job as executive director of the Universities at Shady Grove, I found myself feeling so thankful and fortunate – fortunate to be able to come to work each day on a beautiful campus with wonderful colleagues and the chance to serve so many incredible and dedicated students.
USG is truly a special and unique place, bringing together an array of in-demand undergraduate and graduate academic programs from nine outstanding Maryland public universities, all on one well-positioned campus in Montgomery County. Working in collaboration with our pathway partners in Montgomery County — Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery College — and our university partners, we provide students with an accessible and affordable education, along with the support services and career-ready tools to ensure they will succeed and excel as part of our regional workforce, and as future leaders of business and industry.
Put simply, USG is a groundbreaking, innovative, 21st century model for higher education.
At a time when our industry is undergoing its most transformative changes ever – in part, due to impact of the pandemic, but mostly due to the rapidly changing makeup of today’s college students themselves – USG is ideally positioned to lead the way. That’s why I’ve been so laser-focused on engaging our entire community in the development of our first-ever strategic plan, as we work together to shape “USG 2.0” and the future growth and direction of our student-centered institution.
For decades, higher education’s recipe for success has been built around the concept of serving traditional college students – those who come to campus, live in a dorm, and seek to earn a four-year degree. But today, 74 percent of students nationally are already being described as non-traditional. They come from diverse backgrounds. They are the first in their families to go to college. They work while going to school. They have families or children to take care of.
Before coming to USG, I spent more than 20 years in higher education at more traditional university campuses, which are generally geared to resident students looking for an on-campus college experience. While very successful models of higher education, I am honored now to be leading a higher ed institution that focuses on the many students who are not seeking a four year experience, but rather flexibility, close proximity to home, small class sizes, and more to get them to where they want to go, in order to build or enhance their career plans.
They need a higher education system that truly meets them where they are in life – one that is centered more on the concept of lifelong learning.
These are exactly the students we are so proud to serve each day at USG. And these are the very students who deserve and need our support – all of our support.
For so many of the students we serve, their ability to pursue their studies and earn their degrees comes down to money. Scholarships and financial aid can make all the difference in whether or not they will be able to successfully achieve their goals. And for many of our students who are working and helping to support their own families, the health and economic hardships of the COVID-19 crisis over the past 20 months have been particularly devastating.
Thank you to those of you who helped us in the early months of the crisis to establish a USG Emergency Assistance Fund. This helped many students to offset the various challenges they were facing, including food insecurity and lost jobs or wages.
Today, our focus is on bolstering the USG General Scholarship Fund, which provides much-needed tuition and fee assistance to all eligible students.
We appreciate your past support of students at USG and we ask if you are able to help once again at this pivotal time in our history. USG is truly the right solution for our community and for so many deserving students at just the right time, but in order to fully realize our and their potential, we need your help.
Please consider today making the life-changing gift of a USG scholarship. To designate where your gift will go, please select from the scholarship fund options on the pulldown menu. I know that the students we serve will make you so proud, as they do for me each day. And thank you for always supporting our institution as we move forward into a bright future for “USG 2.0.” Thank you.
Anne Khademian, Ph.D.
Executive Director, USG, & Associate Vice Chancellor, University System of Maryland