College of Southern Maryland Leonardtown campus. Photo courtesy of CSM.

Leonardtown, MD — The Leonardtown campus of the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) was the only one to experience enrollment growth in 2015. “The star is Leonardtown,” CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried told the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County during the annual State of the College presentation.

In 2015 credit enrollment gained 1.9 percent. Credit enrollment includes dual enrollment, career degree, transfer degree, part-time and full-time credit enrollment. Total of those five categories was 4,840 students.

The Leonardtown campus also showed a 2.9 percent increase in non-credit enrollment to 3.985 in 2015.The increase in Leonardtown helped pull the total student enrollment at CSM in 2015 to 25,169, a slight increase over the previous year. The Spring 2015 Commencement was the largest graduation class in school history.

CSM Vice President and Leonardtown Dean Dr. Tracy Harris touted the support that the college gives to its students including a new mentoring program. A new part -time position was added to the Leonardtown campus to provide mental health counseling sessions and 338 students took advantage of the service.

At CSM there was a 15 percent increase in 2015 in in-person advising sessions and a 50 percent increase in email advising sessions.

Dr. Gottfried also said the college is proud of its support for veterans The college is the fourth largest in Maryland serving current and former military service members and their families. Amenities for veterans include a Veterans Resource Center and a lounge.

Ground was broken Oct. 27 last year for the first building on the new Hughesville regional campus, which will be the Center for Trades and Energy Training. Dr. Gottfried said the building would be ready this fall.

Next up on the Hughesville regional campus is the Health Services building, which Gottfried hopes will begin construction next year. That will allow St. Mary’s County students to have a closer facility than the current health services building on the La Plata campus. He said that will be a good deal for St. Mary’s because the state will pay 75 percent and Charles County 25 percent, since it will be physically located in their county.

To assist the nursing program, which is so important for training for MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital nursing staff, Dr. Gottfried said the University of Maryland has assigned a full-time faculty member to CSM’s nursing program.

The college officials also touted the institution’s workforce development program. The college has 245 contracts for workforce development, with the top 10 being NAVAIR, Charles County Government, NWSC-IHD, Booz, Allen, & Hamilton, SMECO, Wills Group, St. Mary’s County Government, St. Mary’s County Public Schools, Honeywell and MILL Corporation.

The college is also home to the Non-Profit Institute which is presenting a forum Friday, April 29 at the La Plata campus.

College of Southern Maryland entered into 16 new articulation agreements for guaranteed admissions bringing the total to more than 50. New agreements are with Virginia Tech, University of Baltimore, George Washington University, Mount St. Mary’s, Notre Dame of Maryland and American Public University.

The Leonardtown campus hosts partnerships with a number of community organizations, including a swimming program for firth grade students. Coming up at the pool May 7 with be the fundraising “Splash for Scholarships.” That swimming program is funded in part by the commissioners.

The commissioners also heard praise for the college from two of their students, Chad Baker and Courtney Coltrane. Baker is an engineering student whose family, including his grandmother, has a history with the institution. Baker hopes to stay in the county and work on the base.

Coltrane, an elementary education student, was a recipient of one of the scholarships provided by the county. She too hopes to stay in the county as a teacher. Commissioner John O’Connor [R – 3rd District] praised her for her commitment to the community.

Contact Dick Myers at