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Higher Education Opportunity Act

Realize your Potential

Contact Us

College of Southern Maryland
8730 Mitchell Rd
PO Box 910
La Plata, MD 20646-0910

The Higher Education Opportunity Act

Student Right to Know

In accordance with federal regulations, the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) provides prospective and current students as well as the general public with a variety of academic, institutional, and financial assistance information.

Listed below is contact information for college offices designated to assist individuals in obtaining the institutional or financial information required to be disclosed. Paper copies will be provided upon request to the appropriate college office listed for each area.



Office of the President 

The College of Southern Maryland (formerly Charles County Community College) is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 267-284-5000, and the Maryland Higher Education Commission, 16 Francis Street, Annapolis, MD 21401, 410-974-2971. The Practical Nursing and Associate Degree Nursing programs are approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3343 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-975-5000. The Physical Therapist Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, 703-684-2782. Business degree programs in Accounting, Business Administration, and Management Development are accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, 7007 College Boulevard, Suite 420, Overland Park, KS 66211, 913-339-9356. The Commercial Vehicle Operators certificate is approved by the Professional Truck Driving Institute, 2200 Mill Road, Alexandria, VA 22314, 703-838-8842.

A copy of the college’s accreditation documentation is available from the President’s Office. The college is certified for the education and training of veterans enabling them to receive VA benefits while attending classes.


Authority to Operate in Maryland

Office of the President

The October 29, 2010 U.S. Department of Education Regulations on Program Integrity Issues (75 FR 66831 - 66975) require educational institutions to be "established by name as an educational institution by a State through a charter, statute, constitutional provision, or other action by an appropriate State agency or State entity." and be "authorized to operate educational programs beyond secondary education, including programs leading t a degree or certificate." The College of Southern Maryland fully meets this requirement as attested by the following Resolution from the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

MHEC Resolution - Authority to Operate in Maryland


General Institutional Information

Student and Instructional Support Services

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) is a public, regional community college with a far-reaching mission-to help our students and community meet the challenges of individual, social, and global changes.

CSM is a thriving, progressive, and technologically advanced college that delivers quality higher education programs and services. The college is committed to offering a wide variety of learning options, student services, and high-quality workforce development training and support. That commitment is reflected in those we serve. More than 60 percent of tri-county residents who attend higher education institutions come to CSM.

The staff and faculty at CSM work closely with a diverse student population to provide a rich variety of educational options. CSM is a leader among Maryland community colleges in offering courses which meet the busy schedules of our students, including weekend and evening online classes, and Web-hybrid courses which offer a mix of online and traditional classroom face-to-face instruction. CSM strives to create a global education program, yet remains a local college that has a real stake in supporting our community’s academic, professional, and self-enrichment pursuits.

The following links will provide you with more information about CSM and our policies, procedures and services.

Degree Programs, Training and Other Educational Offerings

Academic Affairs

CSM offers a variety of educational opportunities including individual courses, certificate programs and Associate degrees in a wide range of subjects. Information about our educational programs is published in our Catalog, Schedule of Classes and through our web site. Instruction is supported by modern, state-of-the-art instructional facilities.

The following links will provide you with more information regarding Academic Affairs and CSM’s educational offerings:


Privacy of Student Records - FERPA Policy

Registrars Office

CSM complies with all federal regulations regarding privacy of student records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. FERPA provides students with the right to inspect and review their educational records, to consent to disclosure of the student’s education records to third parties, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent, to request amendment of the student’s records and to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The following categories of student information are designated as public or directory information. The institution may disclose such information for any purpose, at its discretion.

Category I: name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, date and place of birth, photograph, major field(s) of study, dates of attendance, campus location, degrees, certificates, letter of recognition, and awards received (includes deans’ list), class standing, most recent previous educational institution attended

Category II: participation in officially recognized activities, and sports, weight, and height of members of athletic teams

Students may prevent disclosure of Category I and Category II information. Forms to prevent disclosure of this directory information can be obtained at the Registrar’s Office for Category I and at the Student Life and Athletics Department for Category II information.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. For a complete description of a student’s FERPA rights consult the College Catalog.


Student Financial Assistance Information

Financial Assistance Department

CSM offers a wide range of assistance available from federal, state, local and institutional programs including grants, loans, employment and scholarships. The Financial Assistance web pages provide information on eligibility requirements, application forms and procedures, satisfactory academic progress standards, disbursement of funds, refund policy and requirements for return of federal financial aid as well as information on federal student financial aid penalties for drug law violations. Information is also available regarding the official refund policy as well as the requirements and procedures for official withdrawal from the college. Students are also advised to review procedures related to the requirements for the return of federal financial aid.

Additional information can be found by clicking on the following topics:


Health and Safety

Public Safety and Preparedness

Student Outcomes

Planning, Institutional Effectiveness and Research Department

Athletic Information

Student Life and Athletics

CSM athletic teams compete in two conferences, Maryland Junior College Conference (MD JUCO) and Region XX Conference of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). A variety of information is available including intercollegiate athletic program participation rates and financial support data and graduation and transfer-out rates for students receiving athletically related student aid.

Intercollegiate Athletic Program Participation Rates and Financial Support Data (Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act)

Voter Registration

Student Life and Athletics

Voter registration information and forms are available at each CSM campus. Voter registration forms can be found at the following CSM office locations:

La Plata Campus:

Leonardtown Campus:

Prince Frederick Campus:

Waldorf Center:


Computer Use and File Sharing

Information Management

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 requires colleges and universities to take steps to control unauthorized file sharing and copyright infringement. Students should read and be familiar with the following:

Copyright Infringement - Policies and Sanctions

Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects an owner’s right to control the reproduction, distribution, performance, display and transmission of original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Activity that violates these protections, including downloading and/or sharing copyrighted works without the owners' permission is a violation of copyright law and also of the College’s Copyright Policy.

Computer Use and File Sharing

Users of the college’s technology resources may:

  1. Make minor modifications or add minor software (e.g., plug-ins, “wallpaper”) to computers, except as may be specifically prohibited below. Such modifications or additions must not interfere with the integrity or functionality of the hardware or software configurations set by the college. Modifications or additions are made at the sole risk of the user; should it become necessary or advisable for the college to remove, delete or alter such modifications or additions, the college may do so without advance notice and without any compensation to the user. Users who wish to add more substantial software or who are uncertain whether software is “minor,” should consult the Software Purchasing Specialist.
  2. Connect their own personal digital assistants to their assigned college computer. Connection of a personal digital assistant to a college computer is at the sole risk of the user; the college is not responsible for damage to the personal digital assistant or for the corruption or loss of data stored on or through the personal digital assistant. The college may remove the personal digital assistant from the computer without advance notice and without compensation to the user. Users who wish to add other personal hardware or other peripheral devices to the college’s computers must receive advance approval from the College Technology Council.

Users of the college’s technology resources must:

  1. Comply with all federal, state and local laws, all applicable contracts and licenses and all generally applicable college policies. These laws, rules, policies, contracts and licenses include those related to discrimination, harassment and retaliation, copyright, trademark, obscenity, child pornography, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (which prohibits “hacking,” “cracking” and similar actions) and software licenses.
  2. Use only those technology resources that they are authorized to use and use them only in the manner and to the extent authorized. The ability to access technology resources does not, by itself, imply authorization to do so.
  3. Respect the privacy of other users and their accounts, regardless of whether those accounts are securely protected.
  4. Respect the finite capacity of the college’s technology resources and limit use so as not to consume an unreasonable amount of those resources or to interfere unreasonably with the activity of other users. The reasonableness of any particular use will be evaluated in the context of the relevant circumstances.

Users of the college’s technology resources must not:

  1. “Broadcast” e-mail messages to the entire college e-mail community. Requests for broadcast e-mail should be sent to Mail, Distribution and Fulfillment.
  2. Use the college’s technology resources to intentionally or knowingly create or disseminate denial of service attacks, viruses, worms, Trojan horses or any computer code that will self-replicate, damage, hinder or alter the performance of any technology device or network activity.
  3. Use the college’s technology resources to defeat, interfere with or circumvent any security measures, controls, accounts, record keeping systems or other “standard technical measures” used by copyright holders to identify and protect their rights.
  4. Download, upload, install or use any peer to peer file sharing programs (examples include, but are not limited to, Kazaa and Napster).
  5. Use any computer connected to any of the college’s networks as a server, hub, router or other network sharing device without the written permission of the Director of the Technology Services Department.
Alternatives to Illegal Downloading