Clark Keehner heard all about Howard Community College (HCC) as he moved closer to graduation from Marriotts Ridge High School. He heard from his neighbors, his counselors, and his teachers.
But an unlikely source provided unexpected confirmation that HCC was the school for Keehner.
“One day, my mother pulled out a transcript,” says Keehner, who earned an associate degree in business administration and transferred to study accounting at the University of Maryland. “It said she took accounting at HCC; I was at HCC for accounting. That’s crazy. I didn’t know she went there and went through the same track, at least briefly.”
Keehner didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do after high school. But he knew he wanted to stay in the area and he wasn’t ready for a big college. “I figured the best way to figure things out and have a good time was go to community college,” he says. “I had heard wonderful things and felt it was a great fit.”
Nothing about the experience changed that feeling. He joined the James W. Rouse Scholars and Phi Theta Kappa. He earned scholarships and landed an internship at an accounting firm in Towson. He arrived on Maryland’s campus as a well-prepared student and “the best version of myself."
“I credit that completely to HCC,” he says. “It’s probably one of the best decisions I ever made. I’m very thankful for my ability to go there. I feel blessed and honored to have attended HCC. I tried to make the most of my time and it really paid off. I’m doing good.”
Now, he’s like the chorus of folks who were singing HCC’s praises while he tried to figure out his future. Even though he applied to bigger universities, they didn’t seem right. “It’s hard to pay full university tuition when you don’t know what you’ll be doing, for classes that can transfer over anyway,” he says.
“A lot of people I talk to say they wish they had made my decision.”
Wherever you want to go, you can get there from here.