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Collaborative Agreement reached with Allegany College of Maryland

November 6, 2012

Saint Francis University and Allegany College of Maryland sign collaborative agreement 

Allegany College signing agreement

PHOTO CAPTION: Allegany College of Maryland and Saint Francis University have entered into a 3-to-1 collaboration. The presidents of the two institutions, Father Gabriel Zeis of SFU and Dr. Cynthia Bambara of ACM, met recently at the latter’s Bedford County Campus in Everett to sign the new agreement. 

Earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration or computer science will now be easier for area residents thanks to a new collaborative agreement between Saint Francis University and Allegany College of Maryland.

Associate degree programs in business and computer science, long offered by ACM at its two-decades-old campuses in Bedford and Somerset counties, are typically completed in two years by full-time students.

The newly reached agreement between SFU and the Cumberland, Md.-based community college provides for a 3-to-1 collaboration that enables students to pursue a bachelor’s degree with three years of courses at ACM and a final year of coursework at Saint Francis.

Distance-learning opportunities will make degree completion more convenient, and traditional sections of needed courses are offered by SFU in Altoona and Johnstown in addition to its campus in Loretto.

To further support ACM transfers within the new collaborative agreement, the private university is substantially discounting its tuition and waiving customary fees for adult learners. SFU will discount its per-credit rate by more than 50 percent in this arrangement.

“It will be a partnership built to be a sustainable one to help each institution so that we can grow together,” said David Brant, assistant director of adult degree and continuing studies, the Saint Francis department that devised the agreement.

Although Saint Francis gears the effort to non-traditional age college students, those under 24 years may qualify for discounted tuition if they work full time. However, the 3-to-1 transfer opportunities are open to ACM students of all ages, and at all three campuses.

ACM business administration and computer science majors will be able to complete 98 credits over three years of full-time study at their home campus, then transfer for a fourth year of 30 credits.

Saint Francis is offering ACM students two bachelor’s degrees through the plan: organizational leadership for business majors and computer systems management for computer science majors.

“We want to create opportunities for students through the partnership,” said Brant. “We are committed to helping students wherever possible.”

To guide its future transfers, SFU has produced advising worksheets listing the courses that business administration and computer science majors will take at ACM and St. Francis toward their bachelor’s degree.

“We came into this committed to making it a long-term partnership,” said Brant, adding that similar arrangements with other St. Francis degree programs are possible after this pilot project is successful.

The presidents of ACM and Saint Francis – Dr. Cynthia Bambara and Fr. Gabriel Zeis, T.O.R. – recently met at ACM’s Bedford County Campus in Everett to formalize the agreement between their institutions.

“It is truly wonderful to join with Allegany College of Maryland in this partnership of engagement that will allow both institutions, Saint Francis University and ACM, to better serve the students of both Pennsylvania and Maryland and the region,” said Zeis.

“Through our articulation we will assist students to fulfill their academic hopes and dreams and move them in a timely and affordable path to employment,” he added.

Said Bambara, “Allegany College of Maryland is delighted to partner with Saint Francis University to enhance opportunities for our students to earn their advanced degrees in a most efficient and economical way.

“Collaborative efforts such as this articulation agreement will advance the national completion agenda and allow our students to obtain relevant education for 21st century employment needs,” she added.

For more information about Saint Francis bachelor’s degree programs visit: can be found at  francis.edu/undergraduate-degrees-and-programs/

For more information about ACM business and computer science programs consult the college Web site at www.allegany.edu or call the Bedford County Campus at 814-652-9528 or the Somerset County Campus 814-445-9848. For more information at the Cumberland campus contact the Admissions and Registration Office at 301-784-5199.