Howard Community College has something to offer a wide range of students, from teenagers straight out of high school to senior citizens fresh off retirement – and everyone in between.
In fact, there’s no limit on the types that HCC appeals to, even students like Evelyn Kwakye. She enrolled recently after receiving a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree in business administration.
“I’m a lifelong learner and can’t decide on one field,” Evelyn says. “Why should I?”
Evelyn’s HCC experience began in January 2020 with a certificate in early childhood development, training to help her better serve the children’s ministry at her church. That exposure was followed by a class to brush up on Excel. “I had just finished my MBA and was trying to make myself more marketable,” she says. “I know having strong Excel skills can help you find a job in any industry.”
After a conversation with Professor Cindy Garnsey, chair of the Office Technology program, Evelyn decided to not stop at Excel. She learned that HCC was offering a new program that leads to a certificate in data business analytics. “She asked if I was aware of the offering and I wasn’t,” Evelyn says. “I said, ‘I’m doing it.’ I was already thinking about it in the back of my mind, about doing it at the University of Baltimore, but it was too expensive.”
The certificate will help as Evelyn seeks to change careers. As a human services assistant with the Baltimore County Health Department, she educates people on health insurance needs and collects a lot of data. Her background made her fully aware of data’s growing role across all fields.
“I knew that big data can be used for actionable intelligence and I could be a data analyst,” she says. “Why are we collecting all this data and what can we do with it? I want to use it to be of better service to constituents, to help with public policy to serve the community. It’s all about the community and making an impact.”
An impactful program that has helped her at HCC is Career Links, a support and networking platform for working parents who must juggle school with family life. Evelyn is a mother of four - the youngest in kindergarten and the oldest a junior in high school – and she marvels at HCC’s ability to meet the needs of “parents and young, young adults.
“It feels like endless opportunities are offered here,” she says. “There’s access to a great education and additional support.”
Evelyn’s had enough prior experience to know.