Baker College

Baker College

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, health care, human services and technology. These categories include programs such as: 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.



Within 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 38,000 students in more than 140 programs on 12 campuses and five branch locations. [1] 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 Nathan Ferris founded the Ferris Business College, which would later become known as Muskegon College. Ferris also founded what is now known as Ferris State University in Big Rapids three years earlier. Since its founding, it has been owned by various individuals and undergone several name changes. Since 1926, the college's prominent owners and managers have been the Jewell family.

1911 - In a similar venture, motivated by the growth of the great automotive factories in Flint, Michigan, Eldon E. Baker founded Baker Business University.

1926 - The Jewell family takes control of what will become Muskegon College.

1965 - Representing a group of Muskegon businessmen, Robert Jewell purchased Flint's Baker Business University and brought both schools under a single management group. Muskegon Business College began granting associate degrees.

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, Michigan.

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, Michigan, 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 - Baker College of Muskegon opened a new, 40-acre (160,000 m2) campus site for their Cadillac extension.

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 in Jackson, Michigan was acquired and renamed 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 an extension in West Branch, Michigan.

2000 - Baker College of Mount Clemens moved to Clinton Township, Macomb County, Michigan, was renamed 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.[1]


Baker College has grown through two primary methods: establishing new campuses, and purchasing/rebranding existing small schools (for example, their Auburn Hills campus was once the Pontiac School of Business). They currently maintain 14 ground campuses, as well as an online college. Each campus is its own business entity, while an overarching Baker College System coordinates campuses and services. Current campuses include:


  1. ^ Baker College OKs $11 million downtown facility - Muskegon Chronicle -

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