Biology Major Abbey Battaglia On Her Way to UMD via the Maryland Transfer Advantage Program
Harford Community College student Abbey Battaglia is a biology major and a member of the College’s Honors Program. Her goal is to one day become a registered dietitian who works with athletes.
A huge athletics enthusiast, Abbey works five days a week as an instructor at KickHouse, a kickboxing studio in Bel Air. “Being able to work full-time with full-time school allowed me to make money to help pay for tuition and taught me skills in time management, which I think I handled fairly well as I was able to sustain my 4.0 GPA average at the time.”
Starting her college education at Harford has worked well for Abbey, and she’s been pleased with all the College offers. “It’s a great way to get introduced to college classes while also getting to save a little money before transferring to a four-year college,” she said.
Being part of the Honors Program provides Abbey with more challenging classes that allow her to gain more knowledge and grow as a student. “I was also able to meet many fantastic professors who have guided me in the best way possible to a better education, especially when it came to teaching me important skills for my future.” The Honors Program is designed to nurture and challenge academically talented and curious students. Students must meet eligibility requirements for admission into the program. An exceptional student, Abbey was awarded Honors Program scholarships and an Aberdeen Hall scholarship that helped with the cost of her education.
After she graduates from Harford in May 2022, Abbey plans to attend University of Maryland College Park (UMD) and major in dietetics. “I was especially lucky and had excellent guidance from my academic advisor Elaine Gisriel, so figuring out what classes to take and making sure they would transfer was easy!” Gisriel recommended that Abbey utilize the Maryland Transfer Advantage Program (MTAP) that allowed Abbey to gain access to summer classes and advising at UMD.
In addition to a future career as a dietitian, Abbey hopes to continue doing fitness on the side, possibly as a personal trainer. "A dream job would definitely be working for a sports team as their dietitian, especially for my favorite, the Baltimore Ravens, since I am a huge football fan."
Abbey has many interests, most of which are centered on her active lifestyle. Her interest in sports began when she was very young. Although soccer was her main focus, especially throughout high school, she played a wide variety of sports. As she has gotten older, she has grown to love kickboxing and lifting. Abbey works out regularly and says learning how to grow her muscles with exercise and eating right is definitely something she enjoys doing. "I just love getting to hang out with my family, friends, and pets, especially playing games and going on adventures. Tubing at the lake, ziplining, snorkeling, and whitewater rafting are all things I’ve done and like to do!”
Over the summer she plans to volunteer at a food bank and other places where she can get hours and experience related to work with food and people.
Abbey’s advice to other students? “I would definitely say to consider all your options. College is a big decision and investment, not only your money, but also your time. You want to choose somewhere that’s right for you and gives you the best opportunities for the future. Harford, or other community colleges, are definitely places to consider starting at just as I did. They provide you with an excellent education and allow you to get a feel for college, stay at home a bit longer to save money and spend time with family or work, and you’re able to transfer to great in-state colleges with ease.”
More About the Maryland Transfer Advantage Program (MTAP) at Harford
Harford Community College (HCC) and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) recently entered into the Maryland Transfer Advantage Program (MTAP) Agreement to provide a pathway for Harford’s students to earn an undergraduate degree at UMD after graduating from Harford or earning 30 credits.
Students who participate in MTAP have access to transfer advising resources, can take discounted courses at UMD, and are guaranteed admission to the university upon successful completion of the program and submission of a transfer application by the early action application deadline. To be eligible for MTAP, students should have graduated from high school and must be enrolled at one of the program’s eight partner community colleges (of which Harford is one). The program is geared toward students who intend to complete 30 credits or an associate degree at their community college and then transfer to the University of Maryland, College Park to complete a bachelor’s degree.
Students who are interested in MTAP must submit the online application by the appropriate deadline, June 1 or November 15 (the application is available in mid-September.)
Once a student’s application is submitted, their community college will be informed and will submit the student’s academic transcript or enrollment verification form. After these items are received, UMD’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions will review the application. Students will be notified via email of their MTAP admission decision 4-6 weeks after the application deadline, contingent upon the enrollment verification by the community college.
Learn more about the Maryland Transfer Advantage Program
Click here to visit the MTAP webpage, or If you’re interested in the MTAP program at Harford, contact Academic Advisor George Budelis in Advising & Career Services in the Student Center, call him at 443.412.2185, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.