Over the years, one of the most enjoyable interviews the Spy has every year around this time is our check-in with the president of Chesapeake College, Cliff Coppersmith.
There are several reasons for that. As the community college for the Mid-Shore, Chesapeake is one of those notable local institutions that genuinely change lives every day. Over the years, the college has been our most significant provider of a well-trained, professional workforce for the counties of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot since it opened its doors. Still, it has grown into so much more than that mission.
With its increasingly broad scope of educational opportunities, Chesapeake has opened the door to affordable higher education to literally thousands of young adults in Mid-Shore since the college was founded in 1965.
In our interview, President Coppersmith discusses the college navigating through two significant developments: its reaccreditation process and formulating a new strategic plan. The reaccreditation is a critical process that ensures the college meets specific quality standards, a requirement for receiving federal aid.
Simultaneously, the college is shaping its strategic plan, initiated five years ago, as it nears its conclusion. This plan addresses the college’s financial stability, enrollment numbers, and overall sustainability. The focus on these areas is particularly vital in light of the nationwide challenges higher education institutions face, such as demographic shifts leading to reduced high school graduate numbers.
Highlighting the college’s recent achievements, Coppersmith proudly mentions the construction of the Health Professions and Allied Programs (HPAP) facility, a significant contribution to both the campus and the region. This facility underscores the college’s commitment to healthcare and skilled trades education.
Looking ahead, there is a healthy optimism on Cliff’s part with an 8% projected enrollment increase this fall. The college has also seen improvements in student retention and successful transfers to four-year institutions. Furthermore, the college is undergoing a branding refresh, including a new logo and website, to represent its identity and values better.
This video is approximately 12 minutes in length. For more information about Chesapeake College please go here.