Oct 5, 2009

Baltimore as a College Destination

According to the Baltimore Collegetown Network (BCN), the City of Baltimore is a fabulous place to go to college. With 16 post-secondary institutions and more than 120,000 students, Baltimore is basking in the success of a multi-billion dollar renaissance begun in the late 1970’s with the construction of Harborplace, the National Aquarium, the Raven's football stadium, and Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Go O's!

Located along an arm of the Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore—or Charm City—offers a lively arts scene, big time sports, large-scale business, thriving research organizations, and a variety of colleges and universities deserving of close investigation by students seeking easy access to the amenities of a busy east coast city with the advantages of a small town community. As a key resource, BCN wants to make it easy for visitors to discover what’s special about Baltimore and upgrade the city’s image as a college destination.

On its award-winning website, the Baltimore Collegetown Network provides a nifty planning device designed to facilitate college touring. Each of the 16 participating colleges and universities is profiled with links to college web pages outlining everything from admissions information and academics to parent resources and special events. In addition to basic college planning tools, the site offers a number of supplementary services including a listing of area internships, a roommate board, ticket discounts to area attractions, community volunteer opportunities, and a ride board. A variety of publications, including a glossy guide to Baltimore and its colleges and universities, is also offered free of charge on the website.

Through partnerships and marketing initiatives, BCN works to enhance the academic and social lives of Baltimore’s students as well as to increase professional development at the colleges located in and around the city. As part of its mission, BCN funds and operates the free Collegetown Shuttle which runs 7 days per week ferrying students to stops at 6 BCN member colleges and popular destinations like the Inner Harbor, Penn Station, and the Towson Town Center. BCN partner institutions open their libraries and classrooms to students in the network through such programs as the Baltimore Academic Libraries Consortium and the Baltimore Student Exchange Program. Twelve of the BCN colleges and universities allow students to cross-register for courses at other member institutions for up to two classes per year. Among the schools participating in the exchange are Goucher College, Loyola of Maryland, Johns Hopkins, Towson University, UMBC, and the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Check out the crab cakes or visit the Inner Harbor, but be sure to take the time learn what Baltimore has to offer as a college destination. If you haven’t visited for awhile, you may be surprised at what you find!

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