Blended, or hybrid, learning is a mix of traditional classroom interaction and electronic communication, he said.
Students work more on their own on course material, then use classroom time to talk and build upon lessons, rather than always hearing a lecture.
Halsey comes to USMH from Virginia Tech University, where he was the director of finance and administration for distance learning.
He was hired about six weeks ago as USMH’s second executive director.
C. David Warner III held the position from 2005, when the campus opened, until 2011, when he became the vice president for academic affairs at Hagerstown Community College.
John L. Stoothoff filled in as interim executive director between Warner and Halsey.
Halsey said Hagerstown was a personally appealing choice for his family. He is from southwest Virginia and his wife is from Philadelphia.
“Hagerstown is almost smack in the middle,” he said.
Washington County, with its agriculture and small-industry base, also has a similar feel to where he lived in Virginia, he said.
“Hagerstown very clearly is in the midst of economic development” and education is an “absolutely critical” component of that, Halsey said.
Professionally, Halsey was glad to take a position working with higher education happening away from the school’s home campus, he said.
“This seemed to be just an ideal connection with my background,” he said.
Halsey is on the board of the National University Telecommunications Network.
Before working at Virginia Tech, he was a regional director of distance learning at Old Dominion University. He said he also taught business strategy and organizational behavior.
On a shelf in his office, he has the flags of 19 countries where he said he has taught, been a consultant, had meetings or otherwise worked, including China, Vietnam, Lithuania, Guatemala, Bolivia and South Africa.
When considering the USMH job, he told the center’s advisory board that he can help increase access to higher education for people who can’t “drop what they’re doing and move to a traditional campus and be a traditional student,” he said.
Through distance learning, he said, “we are democratizing, in a way, higher education.”
USMH is a regional higher-education center for five University System of Maryland schools based elsewhere. A sixth school, Coppin State University, is scheduled to start a bachelor’s program in Hagerstown in the fall.