University Profile Baker College is a private not-for-profit American college in Michigan, founded in 1911. Its campuses are located throughout the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.
Baker is a career college, featuring more than 140 career programs within its system (though not all programs are available through all campuses). Baker offers certifications, Associate, Bachelor, Master and Doctoral degree programs in business, nursing, education, interior design, architecture, automotive service technology, and computer and internet technologies. It maintains a "right to try" admissions policy, and couples that policy with an extensive financial aid office to allow for a very broad base of traditional and nontraditional students.
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University HistoryWithin a few years on either side of the turn of the twentieth century, two proprietary institutions of higher education were founded. Though completely independent of each other, both shared a common mission-to provide students with the skills needed for employment in the great industries of their times. In 1965, after half a century of separate but parallel existence, the two institutions came together under a single management group headed by Robert Jewell of Muskegon.
The college has flourished in the years following that initial union. Now known as the Baker College System, it is the largest independent college in Michigan, with over 33,000 students in more than 140 programs on 12 campuses and five branch locations. Throughout years of tremendous growth and success, Baker College has maintained its original mission: to provide quality higher education and training which enables graduates to be successful throughout challenging and rewarding careers.
Following are some highlights in the history of the Baker College System:
1888 - Inspired by a "boom" in lumbering and Great Lakes shipping, entrepreneur Woodbridge Ferris founded Muskegon College.
1911 - In a similar venture, motivated by the growth of the great automotive factories in Flint, Eldon E. Baker founded Baker Business University.
1965 - Representing a group of Muskegon businessmen, Robert Jewell purchased Flint's Baker Business University and brought both schools under a single management group.
1969 - Muskegon Business College became a non-profit corporation.
1974 - The two colleges received authorization to grant the associate of business degree. Baker Business University became Baker Junior College.
1977 - Baker Junior College became a non-profit corporation.
1981 - The colleges were approved to grant the associate of science degree.
1983 - An Owosso branch of Baker Junior College was established on the recently-acquired property of the former John Wesley College.
1985 - After each receiving regional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the three campuses merged to form the Baker College System. Muskegon College began offering extension classes in Cadillac.
1986 - The Baker College System was authorized to grant the bachelor of business administration degree. Baker Junior College became Baker College of Flint.
1988 - Following an $11 million construction and renovation project at the former Mandeville School property, Baker College of Flint was moved to its current site.
1990 - Baker College acquired locations in Pontiac, Mount Clemens, and Port Huron, forming Baker College of Eastern Michigan. Muskegon College changed its name to Baker College of Muskegon. The Corporate Services division was formed in Flint to deliver courses and degree programs to off-campus locations.
1991 - The Cadillac extension of Baker College of Muskegon opened a new, 40-acre (160,000 m2) campus site.
1992 - The Pontiac campus relocated and became Baker College of Auburn Hills.
1994 - The Center for Graduate Studies opened in Flint, launching the System's first graduate degree program, the executive master of business administration with a concentration in leadership studies. Jackson Business Institute was acquired to create Baker College of Jackson.
1995 - Baker College of Flint added its Cass City extension.
1996 - A "college without walls" was created when the development of Baker College Online enabled delivery of courses to students entirely via computer.
1997 - Baker College of Muskegon moved to a new 40-acre (160,000 m2) site, with facilities to accommodate new programs, including culinary arts and food and beverage management. Baker College of Flint opened its West Branch extension.
2000 - Baker College of Mount Clemens became Baker College of Clinton Township and began offering an associate degree in nursing.
2001 - All campuses achieved record-high enrollment, with more than 21,000 students across the System. Baker College Online enrollment topped 4,000, reinforcing its position as a leader in distance education. The Center for Graduate Studies was granted full accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.
2002 - Baker College entered a new realm in the field of education, gaining preliminary approval to offer elementary and secondary teacher preparation programs. The nursing program was expanded to the Flint and Owosso campuses. System-wide enrollment continued to grow. Baker College now boasted over 25,000 students and more than 2,000 employees, making it the largest private college in Michigan.
2003 - In September, Baker College of Allen Park became the newest addition to the Baker College System. The "downriver" campus offers a bachelor's degree program, as well as a variety of certificates and associate's degrees.
2007 - In September, Baker College of Muskegon trustees approved an $11 million plan to build a new culinary arts facility in downtown Muskegon. The 3-story, 39,000-square-foot (3,600 m2) building is planned to start construction in the spring of 2008 and be completed by the fall of 2009. This will allow Baker to grow the program to include up to 390 students.
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