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University Priorities
True Grit

Students always come first at UMBC. Thatís why the university has chosen priorities that will strengthen the student experience by providing scholarships and research support, innovation in teaching and career exploration, and more.

We invite you to support the priority, program or initiative that means the most to you. We also appreciate support of UMBCís Exceptional by Example Fund, which provides unrestricted support to fulfill the ongoing needs of the university.

Students need the support of a solid foundation in communication, quantitative and interpersonal skills to succeed in college and prepare for successful careers. Our academic plan includes initiatives to deepen studentsí engagement in these areas through expanded writing and speaking requirements and innovative approaches to large introductory courses, including mathematics, English, chemistry and psychology.

The Fund for Teaching Innovation will provide support for faculty to develop innovative approaches to teaching writing, speaking and introductory courses, including support for developing new or enhanced courses and support for teaching assistants to complement large lectures with interactive learning opportunities.

Academic advising, tutoring and career development services are central to the culture of success at UMBC. We have demonstrated through a number of highly successful scholars programs that enriched student support services give students a critical edge as they work to make the most of their college experience.

The Fund for Academic and Career Success will enable us to extend the best practices developed in such Honors University signature programs as the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program and the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program to a broader array of students. The Fund will provide support for additional academic advisors, tutors and career counseling services.

In a region in which economic growth is driven by knowledge, graduate education is vital to meeting workforce needs and producing the next generation of researchers. UMBCís approach to graduate education is breaking new ground. Our graduate programs are increasingly interdisciplinary, enabling students to work at the intersection of fields where new approaches to problems are discovered. They encourage graduates to pursue careers within the academy and beyond. We have made an institutional commitment to be an inclusive, welcoming community for graduate students of all backgrounds.

Financial support for graduate students is a prime factor in pursuit and successful completion of masterís and doctoral degrees. The Graduate School Success Fund will provide scholarships for beginning graduate students, further develop support systems for current graduate students and award dissertation fellowships to ensure completion of the Ph.D.

As the number of students living on campus grows, residence hall communities sponsored by academic programs have emerged as a new environment for living and learning. From the Intercultural Learning Exchange to a new community for exploratory learners who have not declared a major, students in these communities benefit from increased informal interaction with faculty, easy availability of peer study groups and advice, and community social programming.

Funds raised through the Alumni Campaign will allow us to reach more students with these supportive environments, expanding from our current nine communities to 11 communities.

As higher education is increasingly viewed as a private investment rather than a public good, the combination of increasing tuition and declining financial aid is an obstacle to higher education for many talented low-to-middle income students.

More than ever before, merit scholarships and need-based aid are gateways to opportunity that allow students to pursue higher education. This support is also directly related to studentsí academic success. Too many students today find it necessary to sacrifice study time and campus involvement to long hours of part-time work needed to pay tuition bills and living expenses.

The Black and Gold Scholarship Fund provides an opportunity to help current students close this gap through a commitment of $2500 a year for four years toward one studentís expenses. These funds will be awarded to students based on merit and financial need.