$1.2 million donation funds new finance lab at Montgomery College

$1.2 million donation funds new finance lab at Montgomery College

Education center billed as first of its kind at a Maryland community college

| Published:
Untitled design (29)

A rendering of the finance lab.

Via Montgomery College

A $1.2 million donation will fund a unique education center for students to learn about finance at Montgomery College.

The donation will fund the construction of an “educational finance lab” on the college’s Rockville campus, the first of its kind at a two-year college in Maryland, according to school officials.

The donation was made by The Macklin Foundation, established by the late Gordon Macklin, who is known as the founder of the Nasdaq Stock Market, and his wife, Marilyn.

The lab will provide hands-on experience for students to learn about the stock market, business and accounting.

The finance lab will be in the Montgomery College Macklin Business Institute, which also is named after the couple. It will feature stock market “tickers” inside and outside the building, flat-screen TV monitors and computers with access to financial software, according to Steve Lang, the director of the business institute.

The lab is expected to open in the fall.

“(Students) will have better access to technology and research tools, and at the same time, they’re getting experience utilizing industry-recognized financial software,” Lang said. “They’ll have the academic tools and hands-on experience using industry tools that will hopefully help them get jobs and internships.”

Along with class lessons, the space will be used for “simulation experiences,” Lang said, in which students will participate in mock scenarios that test their financial competency.

After mastering skills, students will earn “badges” for their LinkedIn profiles that show employers “what they can do,” Lang said.

They also can earn industry certifications, he said.

“Ultimately, this gives students access to different disciplines where we currently don’t have programs which will allow them to make better decisions about potential transfer opportunities and majors,” Lang said. “It will give them access to the technology and learning opportunities that students at larger four-year colleges have, in turn evening the playing field when they’re looking for internships and jobs.”

The college has been exploring the idea of a finance lab for more than a decade, Lang said, but it was waiting for funding. When the college pitched its concept to The Macklin Foundation, its leaders were “completely on board,” Lang said.

Donald Dawn, president of the Macklin Foundation and nephew of Gordon Macklin, said in a statement he is proud to partner with the college.

“While finance labs are exceedingly common at four-year universities, they are almost nonexistent up to this point at the community college level,” the statement said. “Gordon and Marilyn would be very proud to see how MBI has continued to improve student business readiness by the incorporation of key technology into its experiential learning curriculum.”

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

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