Baker College of Auburn Hills and Ferndale Schools offer college education at no cost to students

Baker College of Auburn Hills and Ferndale Schools have partnered to provide the opportunity for students to graduate from high school with up to 60 transferable college credits, a college associate degree or a technical certificate at no cost to the students or their families. The Ferndale Early/Middle College program pays for all tuition, books and fees.

Students at Ferndale High School and University High School are eligible for the program that begins fall 2015. It allows students to earn high school and college credit at the same time and includes a fifth year of high school, with courses held at Baker College of Auburn Hills during the 13th year.

“Being able to secure a higher education at no cost to the students or their parents is a great option for Ferndale high school students,” said Peter W. Karsten, Ph.D., CPA, Baker College of Auburn Hills president. “This opportunity will extend their education and give them a jump on their future. Given our long history of successfully preparing students for rewarding careers, Baker College is pleased to partner with Ferndale Schools to make this possible for their students.” 

The Ferndale Early/Middle College program offers four career concentrations: computer programming, marketing, medical assistant and criminal justice, which is in partnership with the Ferndale Police Department and includes a police academy option after the 13th year.

Students are required to identify their concentration prior to the start of the formal program beginning in 11th grade. However, they can earn college credit as early as ninth grade.

Jim O’Donnell, Ferndale Schools Board of Education president, said “Research shows that students who participate in Early College programs are significantly more likely to graduate from high school and earn a college degree than their peers. This program will benefit many of our district’s families.”

Blake Prewitt, Ed.S., Ferndale Schools superintendent, said, “To thrive in today’s job market, it’s crucial to achieve some form of higher education. By providing students free access to the quality education and career services offered by Baker College, we’re setting them up to be more competitive in the job market right out of high school or to fast-track a bachelor’s degree. We worked with Baker College to select career pathways that work toward employment or transferable credits for bachelor’s degrees. This is a great example of our commitment to all our students.”

Ferndale Early/Middle College students remain eligible to participate in high school sports and other extracurricular activities through 12th grade. Those who elect to take fifth-year coursework may walk with their class at graduation but will receive their high school diploma upon completion of the program.

The program is approved by the Michigan Department of Education.

Enrollment for the 2015-2016 school year is now open for sophomores who attend Ferndale Schools. There is a limit of 30 schools-of-choice students. They can apply beginning March 1.

For more information about the Ferndale Early/Middle College program, students should contact their high school counselor.
For information about Baker College programs, contact Nicole Chirco in the admissions office at nicole.chirco@baker.edu or 248.340.0600, or visit www.baker.edu.

About Ferndale Schools:
Ferndale School is four square miles located in southeast Michigan that includes the cities of Oak Park, Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge, and the Charter Township of Royal Oak. The school district educates more than 3,000 students each year and currently operates two early childcare centers, two elementary schools, one intermediate school, two middle schools, two high schools, one alternative education program and one adult education school.

About Baker College:
The largest private college in Michigan, Baker College is a not-for-profit higher education institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It serves more than 28,000 students on multiple campuses and online. Baker grants certificates and associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in more than 150 programs across diverse academic fields, including business, health sciences, engineering, information technology, education and human services. An impressive 97 percent of available graduates are employed. Every Baker graduate receives Lifetime Employment Assistance—free and forever. Baker is a pioneer in online education and offers students the option of completing a degree 100 percent online, without ever visiting a campus. For information, visit www.baker.edu or follow Baker College on Twitter, @bakercollege, or on Facebook, www.facebook.com/bakercollege.