How Bay College is Fulfilling its Mission to Serve the Community

It’s been that way since we opened our doors 50 years ago. It’s our mission to educate, enrich and empower students. We believe in the transforming power of education for each of our students. We know education is the key to success for students and, in turn, our community.

Making Dreams a Reality

We’ve all heard about America’s shrinking middle class. These days, how can an average person reach his or her dream? Statistics show that education is the route to a viable economic future.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that as education levels increase, so do median weekly earnings, and the likelihood of being unemployed decreases. According to Census Bureau data published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, almost 28 percent of Americans 25 years and older have a bachelor’s degree. For the central Upper Peninsula region of Michigan, data shows that approximately 19 percent hold a bachelor’s degree.


Where Dreams Meet the Real World

Bay College is here to serve the community. We’re here to provide opportunities for students to reach their goals and to answer the needs of local businesses with an exceptionally qualified workforce.

How do we do that? We bring together advisory committees made up of area leaders who advise us on what they’re seeing in their businesses every day, what employees need to know to excel, and what the future holds for students to be competitive. We know what’s happening in the real world of business and industry by maintaining these connections. Thus, we use this information to create a better fit between skill sets and jobs.

Additionally, Bay College partners with local high schools to promote early college success and pathways to higher education.

Building Partnerships with Innovation and Flexibility

Bay College’s ability to adapt to a changing work place has opened doors for local people to train for emerging industry. This has been especially true through the initiative of Bay’s Michigan Technical Education Center (M-TEC) and partners like MichiganWorks!. Training programs are put in place to excel products, programs and personal productivity in areas such as technology, critical thinking, team work, communication skills and overall workforce development.

Community Benefit of Student Success

Bay College students stay and work in our community, rebuilding the local economy one day and one job at a time. Their education enriches their lives and adds to the quality of the community. Of our more than 10,500 graduates, 79% live and work in the Central UP.

In 2010, Bay College commissioned a study through Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. (EMSI) in which we confirmed that students have a great rate of return on their Bay College educational investment. Getting a degree pays. The average career midpoint income of someone in our area with an associate’s degree is over $41,000, 35% more than a worker with a high school diploma.

It’s not just students who reap the benefits of Bay College. Altogether, the average annual added income due to activities, employees, and students is more than $100 million. In addition, state and local governments see a rate of return on their support for Bay College, primarily due to lower social program costs and reduced crime rates. Together this positively impacts our community and local economy.

Education is Key

Bay College gives students permission to dream, and then prepares them to achieve those dreams. By helping students develop a taste for learning and by providing experiences that will lead to opportunities, we’re helping prepare the nurses, welders and scientists that this region needs. At Bay College, we know education is the key to success.


Kim Carne

V.P. of Advancement