.26 Health Occupation Shortage and Statewide Programs.

A. Health Occupation Shortage Programs.

(1) Any student who is a resident of this State and enrolls at a community college in a program that the Commission has designated as a health occupation shortage program, shall pay only the student tuition and fees payable by a resident of a county that supports the community college, and the Commission shall pay any applicable out-of-county fee.

(2) The Maryland Department of Health shall determine which health occupations are in short supply in the State and report the determinations to the Commission. The Commission shall designate the eligible health occupation shortage programs determined to be in short supply annually to the community colleges.

B. Statewide Programs.

(1) Community colleges have developed increasing numbers of specialized technical programs designed to prepare students for immediate employment. Many of these technical programs are offered at several community colleges because of large student enrollment and high employment availability. With the development of an increasing number of highly specialized technical programs, however, the duplication of certain programs by neighboring colleges, or colleges within a geographical region, may be prohibitively expensive to both the local political subdivision and the State.

(2) Statewide designation includes:

(a) Programs not available at the community college in the student's county of residence; or

(b) Programs at the community college in the student's county of residence that have reached the program's enrollment capacity and cannot enroll additional students meeting the program's academic requirements.

(3) The Statewide designation process applies to both existing programs and new programs. Upon endorsement by the local board of trustees, the requesting institution shall petition the Secretary to designate the program as Statewide by responding to the general criteria listed in §B(4) of this regulation. The program, if so designated, is eligible for out-of-county tuition reimbursement by the State.

(4) The general criteria for Statewide designation are:

(a) Maximization of student access to programs;

(b) The ability of the college to accommodate additional students;

(c) The need for additional students to sustain the program;

(d) The unit cost of the program;

(e) Uniqueness of the program; and

(f) Current labor market demand for graduates of the program in the region.

C. When limited funds are available, priority shall be given to programs that:

(1) Address designated health occupation shortage areas;

(2) Are unique;

(3) Address employment shortage areas determined by appropriate State agencies; and

(4) Are designed to meet the requirements of new technology-oriented State or regional industries.

D. The designation of a program as Statewide does not preclude a community college from proposing the same program for its political subdivision. While the existence of the Statewide program shall be taken into account, the proposed program shall be evaluated on its merits, considering the number of job openings, student demand, and cost.

E. If the Secretary determines there is no longer a need for a program to be designated as health occupation shortage or Statewide, the health occupation shortage or Statewide program designation may be discontinued. In these cases, a community college shall continue to receive reimbursement for the out-of-county differential for students already enrolled in the program.