History of Baker College
History of Baker College
Within a few years on either side of the turn of the twentieth century, two proprietary institutions of higher education were founded, sharing 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 organization has flourished and is now known as the Baker College System, the largest independent college in Michigan, with over 35,000 students in more than 150 programs at 17 on-ground locations and an online college. Throughout the years Baker College has maintained its original mission: to provide quality higher education and training which enable 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 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 Applied 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.
1991 - The Cadillac extension of Baker College of Muskegon opened a new, 40 acre 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. 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 site. Baker College of Flint opened its West Branch extension.
2000 - Having relocated, Baker College of Mount Clemens became Baker College of Clinton Township and began offering an Associate of Nursing degree.
2001 - Record enrollment achieved 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. Baker College now enrolled over 25,000 students, making it the largest private college in Michigan.
2003 - 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.
2005 - Baker College of Jackson added the Coldwater extension. Baker College reaches record enrollment of nearly 34,000.
2006 - Baker College is accepted by the Higher Learning Commission as a participant in the highly innovative AQIP accreditation process. Baker College of Port Huron signed a memorandum of understanding with Lambton College of Sarnia, Ontario, after receiving written consent from the Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities, to deliver the accelerated Bachelor of Business Administration degree onsite in Canada.
2007 - The Baker College Center for Graduate Studies received approval from the Higher Learning
Commission to offer the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree, becoming the fourth graduate program at Baker College. The other three are the MBA, the Master of Occupational Therapy and the Master of Science in Information Systems. Baker College of Owosso opened the state-of-the-art Auto/Diesel Institute of Michigan.
2008 - Baker College of Muskegon broke ground on the 40,000 square foot, state-of-the-art, Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM). System enrollment grows to over 38,000. Baker College of Flint students dethrone Texas A&M to win first place in the National Cyber Defense competition. Baker College of Flint purchased a closed auto dealership to transform into the Center for Transportation Technologies.
2009 - Fall enrollment surpasses 43,000 students. Baker College of Flint successfully defends its Cyber Defense National Championship.
2010 - Baker College of Cadillac opened a Center for Transportation Technology in Lake City.
2011 - The Baker College Center for Graduate Studies awarded the first Doctor of Business Administration degree at its June ceremony.