Baker College of Auburn Hills announces new bachelor’s degree program

Baker College of Auburn Hills will offer a new legal studies bachelor’s degree program beginning 2009 fall quarter. In May, the American Bar Association (ABA) granted approval to Baker’s Auburn Hills campus to add the Bachelor of Science degree option to its paralegal program.

“It is through the untiring efforts of department chair Melissa Manela and her staff and faculty that we have the ABA’s approval to offer a legal studies program this fall,” said Jeff Love, Baker College of Auburn Hills president. “Congratulations for a job well done!”

In addition to the new legal studies bachelor’s degree program, Baker College of Auburn Hills also offers a paralegal associate degree program, which received ABA approval in February 2008. Baker College of Auburn Hills is one of approximately 260 ABA-approved programs nationwide and one of 13 in Michigan. There are more than 1,000 paralegal training programs in the United States. ABA approval ensures that the program meets stringent standards and delivers the highest quality education.

As the only ABA-approved bachelor’s degree program in Oakland County, Baker College of Auburn Hills hopes to attract three distinct groups of students, said Melissa Manela, J.D., Baker College of Auburn Hills department chair — paralegal and legal studies.

“This will provide an opportunity for graduates of a paralegal associate degree program to work toward their bachelor’s degree,” said Manela. “Second, professionals currently working in the paralegal field will be able to enhance their degree and/or personal knowledge through specialized courses offered within the new program option. Third, we hope to attract new students who are interested in earning a bachelor’s degree in legal studies.”

Manela also states that a degree from an ABA-approved school may make graduates more competitive and desirable in the job market.

“Employers know that prospective employees who have graduated from an ABA-approved program have been trained under nationally established, high-level standards,” said Manela.  

Graduates of the new Baker College of Auburn Hills legal studies bachelor’s degree program may find employment in private law firms, corporations, nonprofit organizations, court systems, real estate title companies, banks, insurance companies, health care organizations, and local, state and federal government agencies. Paralegals work under the supervision of attorneys and perform a variety of essential tasks.

For more information about the paralegal program degree options at Baker College of Auburn Hills, contact Melissa Manela at, or 248.276.8783.

The largest private college in Michigan, Baker College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It is a non-profit higher education institution, serving more than 38,000 students on 12 campuses and in four satellite locations. Baker grants certificates and associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business, health sciences, education and human services, and various technical fields, as well as a doctorate of business administration. As a career college, the Baker College system is proud to have achieved a graduate employment rate of 98 percent. For more information about Baker College, please check out our Web site at