Maryland Labor Secretary Welcomes Ana Mendez University System to Maryland


Bilingual higher education center opens in Wheaton

WHEATON, MD (November 16, 2011) – Maryland Labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez participated this afternoon in the official opening of the Ana G. Mendez University System Capital Area Campus. Founded in 1949, the Ana G. Mendez University System is a fully accredited institution serving some 42,000 students in Puerto Rico and three branch campuses in Florida. They offer degrees in various disciplines, ranging from Associates degrees to Masters and Ph.D. programs. Classes will begin in mid-January 2012.

“I am proud to welcome the Ana G. Mendez University System to Maryland,” said Sanchez. “During challenging economic times, we must provide better access to higher education for a larger community of Marylanders. Ana G. Mendez will play a unique role to help equip Maryland’s Spanish-speaking population with the skills necessary to compete in the New Economy.”

Sanchez coordinated efforts to establish the Capital Area Campus and worked closely with other state agencies to ensure that Ana G. Mendez’s curriculum met the needs of the state’s high demand industries. The new campus fills a void for those who may have some level of university education from their home countries, but are not able to take full advantage of opportunities here due to lack of a U.S.-accredited degree or sufficient English language proficiency. The new campus will also boost Wheaton’s redevelopment efforts, providing a new focal point for higher education in the region.

The addition of the Capital Area Campus will help the state make progress toward Governor O’Malley’s Strategic Education Policy Goal. That goal sets three specific ambitious goals that will improve the state’s commitment to adult education:

  • Increase the number of associate and bachelor’s degrees awarded by colleges and universities in Maryland by 6,500 degrees (17 percent) by 2015;
  • Increase student achievement and school, college and career readiness by 25 percent by 2015; and
  • Narrow the gap in attainment rates between underrepresented minority groups and others by 50 percent by 2015.

During the ribbon cutting ceremony on the grounds of the Westfield at Wheaton Plaza, Sanchez presented a proclamation on behalf of Governor Martin O’Malley. Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and Councilmember Nancy Navarro also attended the ribbon cutting.

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation protects and empowers Marylanders by safeguarding workers, protecting consumers, providing a safety net and cultivating a thriving workforce that can meet the demands of Maryland’s dynamic economy. Follow DLLR on Twitter (@MD_DLLR) and Facebook.