Johns Hopkins University Announces Frederick CREST Classes for Fall 2016

By Brian O’Shea, Staff Writer
Frederick CREST logo.

Johns Hopkins University’s (JHU) Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) division recently announced two classes that will be hosted at the Frederick Center for Research and Education in Science and Technology (CREST) this fall.

According to a JHU press release, the classes are Biochemistry, which is part of the M.S. in Biotechnology program at JHU AAP, and Molecular Biology, a part of the M.S. in Bioinformatics program at JHU AAP.

In June 2014, the state of Maryland issued the results of a formal quantitative needs assessment study that determined existing and future program demand in Frederick County, according to Sue Houghton, Planning Director for Frederick CREST. The results pointed to numerous unmet higher educational needs in the Frederick area—most notably in STEM-related disciplines at the graduate level.

Houghton added that there are more than 90 STEM employers in the Frederick area, and in order to compete globally and foster economic growth, those businesses require a dedicated and sustainable pool of well-educated, well-trained workers.

“CREST will allow Frederick County and the extended region to retain their local talent pool of knowledge-based workers,” Houghton said. “By offering a strong pipeline of quality STEM education, students can stay in the area for much of their academic careers, thus helping to preserve community stability and counter the aging demographic of the region.”

Both of the CREST-hosted classes will combine onsite and online learning, allowing students greater flexibility and further academic opportunities. The onsite component comprises one class per week at Frederick Community College (FCC), which is one of CREST’s local higher education partners.

“FCC is delighted to serve as the inaugural location for the first graduate-level STEM courses to be offered by Johns Hopkins University through CREST,” said FCC President Elizabeth Burmaster, a member of CREST’s Governing Board. “CREST empowers all levels of education to work together to promote STEM education for our Frederick County residents and our STEM employers.”

By hosting JHU AAP classes, CREST will provide a local alternative to students who would otherwise have to travel to distant JHU AAP locations or take courses entirely online. CREST will also provide local students the opportunity to interact and collaborate, thereby offering a learning environment focused on area STEM activities.

“These classes will continue to put advanced learning at the fingertips of Frederick residents, and AAP is happy to be a part of this great community,” said Brandon Boulter, Assistant Dean of AAP at JHU. “Our hope is to enhance local learning, and we look forward to working with some of the world’s brightest students located right here in Frederick.”

The Biochemistry class is scheduled to begin Aug. 31, and the Molecular Biology class is expected to begin Sept. 1. Prospective students interested in either, or both, of these courses must be accepted into one of the master’s programs listed above and can apply to the programs year-round.

To apply or to learn more, go to Frederick CREST’s website. Once an application is completed, prospective students can expect an admissions response in approximately 30 days.

In order for CREST to host the onsite portions of these classes, there must be at least 15 students in each class. If the enrollment threshold is not met, students who have registered will be able to take the class online or at one of the other campuses, if available.