Educating rural Maryland: A historical and anecdotal record of Hagerstown Junior College, 1946-1987
The historical record of Hagerstown Junior College is presented in the context of a pioneering effort in rural Maryland's venture into community college education. The study begins with an examination of National, State and local philosophical and attitudinal underpinnings in the founding of the College. A "systems" analysis of the Washington County Board of Education's mode of operation, from which the Junior College emerged, is presented as a theoretical construct through which political and sociological events in the College's history may be viewed for interpretation. Within this framework, a detailed account of the systematic evolution of Hagerstown Junior College from 1940 to its founding in 1946 is presented. This account takes direction from living historical resources as primary components in revealing the story of the College. It uses the personal interview as the primary analytical device for determining the causal factors preceding historical events. From these individual accounts, the theme of trial and struggle pervade the initial ten years of the College operation from 1946-1956. The identity of the College takes form from 1956-1966 as the College relocates to separate facilities on a high school campus. The "family" atmosphere of the College environment assumes prominence as a thematic role of the Junior College experience during this decade. This attribute was threaded through the fabric of the institution for the entirety of its forty-one year history. In 1966, the College reaches a turning point in its historical development as it moves onto its own separate campus. It achieves regional accreditation while expanding its traditional university parallel functions to include occupational programs. The predominate feature of keeping the College's traditions intact through a period of rapid change surfaces in the examination of governance and funding structures of the College. Student life and student services identify new student populations to be served. The changing mission of the College is interpreted through its historical development, as new goals and ideals are assimilated into the patterns of human experience which built and sustained the College through the fortieth graduating class.