Montgomery College First Community Engagement Center to Open in Gaithersburg

A partnership between Montgomery College and the Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity at the Gaithersburg Library resulted in the first Montgomery College Community Engagement Center.

Library 3The grand opening is scheduled to take place on Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. at the brand new Gaithersburg Library. Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard will be at the event.

“As a part of the college strategic plan we want to be more present in the community, more engaged, more available,” said¬†Karla Silvestre, director of community engagement for the Montgomery College’s Office of Advancement and Community Engagement.

According to Silvestre, the center will offer a computer lab training class, certificate programs, GED, ESOL and college staff will be on location to answer questions about job training, college enrollment, services and more.

“Our strategic plan calls for two centers but there’s already talks for maybe a third,” she said.

Silvestre added East County region and Wheaton may be the next places to have a community engagement center.

The place will also offer workshops to help residents learn skills for career development.

“I would say that there’s a lot of interest in GED, lot of interest in computer literacy ¬†[and] foreign credential on how do they get restarted here in the U.S. … There’s a lot of interest in accounting,” Silvestre added.

The center, however, is still a pilot program and must secure funds for upcoming years. As of now, funding comes from the county and the Montgomery College Foundation.

Classes in the new center are free. Residents must only pay $15 for material fee.


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Aline Barros

About Aline Barros

Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at and on Twitter at @AlineBarros2.


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