The Frederick Center for Research and Education in Science and Technology — or CREST — held its monthly governing board meeting Thursday as the regional higher ed center works to navigate its murky future.

Joanne Horn, executive director of CREST, gave a financial update, reviewing three options available for continuation of the organization based on the remaining money after the state cut its funding.

  • Option one: Continue programming through Sept. 1.
  • Option two: Continue through the end of the calendar year.
  • Option three: Continue through the end of June 2020.

Each option includes different staffing models and ending balances of funds that would have to be returned to the state upon closing the organization.

The program has seen a dramatic increase in enrollment since last year, according to Horn and CREST documents. It has 23 students enrolled, with more projected by the end of the year. Last year the program had six students enrolled. It is unclear how this increase will affect the continuation of the organization or funding.

The board also discussed how and if the vision and mission of CREST should be shifted going forward. While there weren’t enough members present to take action, some members recommended placing more emphasis on internships and marketing to businesses in the biotechnology industry that need interns or other positions filled.

There was also discussion of CREST possibly becoming a program under the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce instead of the state.

The next board meeting is scheduled for July 18.

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@katrynajill.

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