Taeler Smith, 18, thought she had her college plans in place while pursuing her dream of becoming a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conservation officer.
A freshman at Baker College in Flint Township, she was surprised by last Friday’s announcement that the Flint campus would be closing in August 2020 and moving its operations to the Owosso campus.
“I’m a criminal justice major,” said Smith of Fenton. “Owosso is a 45-minute drive. I’ll either transfer there, or possibly another college. I’m going to try to do online (classes) as much as I can.”
Smith’s career goal is to work at a Michigan State Park as a DNR conservation officer, first attending a law enforcement academy, then the Michigan State Police Academy’s DNR program.
In addition to the Flint campus closing, Baker College will also be consolidating its Clinton Township, Auburn Hills and Allen Park campuses to a new state-of-the-art flagship campus proposed in Ferndale, a metro Detroit suburb.
According to a statement from Baker College, brick-and-mortar campuses are not obsolete but evolving, and “The school will be able to combine resources and student bodies, resulting in a more focused, streamlined enterprise for the next century.”
These consolidated Baker locations plan to offer classes through August 2020, with scholarship packages available to affected students.
A 2018 graduate of Linden High School, Smith said she plans to “roll with it,” when it comes to changing her educational plans with this news from Baker College. “Financially, I have help from my grandparents, so it will work out,” she said.
Facts about Baker College
• Founded in 1911
• Started out as Baker Business School founded by Eldon Baker, then merged with Muskegon College
• Current campuses and programs include:
- Allen Park
- Auburn Hills
- Clinton Township
- Flint Township
- Center for Graduate Studies
- The Culinary Institute of Michigan
- The Auto/Diesel Institute of Michigan
• Offers 150 degree programs