I originally heard about the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) from my Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) coach at Northwood High School, where I also had learned about the “2+2 pathway” that exists for students. Through this special pathway, students can save a lot of money by completing their first two years of undergraduate requirements at a community college (or in some cases, another university), and then transfer to a program offered by one of the nine Maryland universities on the USG campus.
While I was aware of this option, after high school I actually decided to study Computer Science in Iowa for about two years before I realized I really wanted to return back home to complete my degree. I remembered the “2+2 pathway” and went on to attend Montgomery College’s (MC) Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus for a period of time before transferring to the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) at USG, where I am now studying Cybersecurity.
During my time at MC, I got heavily involved in different aspects of student life, spending a lot of my time outside of my classes participating in the Student Council and running a club on campus. At USG, I planned on doing similar things and being part of various campus activities and organizations.
Through MC, I learned more about all the programs and majors available at USG through its nine partner universities. I’ve always had a strong interest in Information Technology and in recent years, I was particularly drawn to the field of cybersecurity. Learning that there were several IT-related majors offered at USG, including the UMGC program I am in now, I knew I could complete my bachelor’s degree there. UMGC offered both the major I wanted to study, along with an amazing scholarship opportunity called the Completion Scholarship for Maryland community college graduates. Outside of my program, I participate in student life on campus and serve as a member of the USG Student Ambassador program, in addition to continuing my participation in the ACES program.
USG gave me a lot of reasons to want to attend the campus. I was interested in the smaller class sizes, which allows for more opportunities to connect with professors. I also liked the abundance of student services on campus, and of course, the ability to stay local to complete my degree. These are just some of the many appeals of attending college on the USG campus. Upon graduation, my goal is to become a network administrator and my ultimate career goal is to one day work at the Pentagon.