Two Montgomery College satellite Community Engagement Centers are up and running and are already demonstrating a significant impact in increasing awareness of the College and the wide range of educational programs that are available to residents.
Since their inception, nearly 230 new students have taken an MC class directly in a community engagement center. More than 5,000 residents have visited one of the centers and staff have participated in nearly 40 community engagement and outreach events. The Montgomery College Foundation has provided $100,000 in scholarships and funds for books and materials to students taking classes at the centers. Nearly 200 people met with an advisor for one-one-one educational consultations and 300 attended information sessions about the College’s programs.
The goals of the centers are to reach low-income, under-represented households and attract first-generation students and new immigrants to Montgomery College.
In its ongoing effort to make more data-driven decisions, in the near future MC will measure whether the people who rely on the community engagement centers ultimately obtain a higher wage job as direct result of the educational and training classes offered at the centers, or enroll at the College for additional training.
Although staff is minimal at the centers, they are diverse and speak six different languages including: English, Spanish, Amharic, Arab, French, and Swahili.
One of the Community Engagement Centers is located in the recently renovated Gaithersburg Library; the other is located at the Eastern Montgomery County Regional Services Center in Burtonsville.
The Montgomery College Board of Trustees intends to request additional funding in their next budget request for additional community engagement centers and outreach events to increase enrollment and fuel the local economy with well trained, ready workers.