ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – For the last few years, Michigan has been working toward its Sixty by 30 initiative, designed to raise the percentage of adults with a college credential to 60% by 2030. Bay College has announced a program that will push the state closer toward that goal.
Bay College is helping adult learners earn college credits through its BayFlex Program.
“We know that students are in the workplace,” said Cindy Carter, Vice President of Business, Technology, Allied Health, and Workforce Training at Bay College. “They are bringing skill sets, life experience, work experience into the classroom. We set out to incorporate all of that experience to help students get their college certificate and college degree.”
Bay is one of just two community colleges in Michigan approved for competency-based education, the first being Jackson Community College.
Carter says Bay College is working to get several courses accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The Water Technology Certificate program is the first to be approved by the commission, with classes beginning this fall.
“We’re going to look at what a water operator maybe has been doing in the field and bringing that in for college credit and then changing the way that they can earn their degree,” said Carter.
By demonstrating their skills and knowledge, BayFlex students can move through the program at their own pace.
“A lot of our students are coming to school part-time because they are working full-time jobs,” Carter said. “If it’s through an online class or a hybrid where they can do both, it’s really giving them more flexibility.”
The BayFlex Program also furthers the college’s mission to strengthen the local business community.
“We’re all working really hard making sure we can sustain our workforce needs, and the Flex programs really give us a chance to do that even more than we have been doing,” said Carter.
Carter says the college is excited to provide adult students with learning opportunities that work for them.
“Oftentimes, adults think that they can’t do college,” she said. “Working, having kids and families and life happening, sometimes they think it’s out of their reach and it’s really not, especially at Bay. Looking at what skill sets they have, what do they need to be successful in the classroom? We have tutoring and all kinds of support services to help them.”
Click here for more information on the BayFlex Program.