Baker College, Avondale District Set Early College Program

AUBURN HILLS – Baker College of Auburn Hills and the Avondale School District announced a partnership 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 Avondale Early/Middle College program pays for all tuition, books and fees and will begin this fall.

The agreement is part of the Baker College Running Start initiative. It bundles state-sanctioned programs — early/middle college, direct credit, dual enrollment and articulation — under one umbrella to make it easy for secondary school districts to offer college credit to students.

Enrollment is open to current high school sophomores and juniors in the Avondale School District and schools-of-choice students. They can earn high school and college credit at the same time — primarily at the high school — and continue to earn college credit during a fifth year of high school with courses held at Baker College of Auburn Hills.

The enrollment deadline for schools-of-choice students is Sunday, May 15; enrollment for Avondale School District residents is ongoing.

“This partnership is providing high school students in the Avondale School District with a unique advantage as they prepare to enter the workforce,” said Peter W. Karsten, Baker College of Auburn Hills president. “Baker College has been preparing students for employment or career advancement for more than 100 years. Avondale students will get training that’s focused on meeting today’s employment needs without having to dip into their financial resources or incur debt. It’s a great running start on their higher education.”

Added Avondale High School Principal Sharon Hyde: “The early/middle college program is a solid career pathway for students anxious to embark on a productive professional life. Imagine graduating from high school with an associate degree—ready to enter the workforce or continue post-high school education with a two-year springboard.”

Courses that will be initially offered support the associate degree programs of business administration and digital media design. The first half of both programs includes general education courses that are requirements for many associate and bachelor’s degrees.

“We’ll consider additional offerings in the near future based upon student interest, employment trends and reported shortages of workforce talent,” Hyde said.

Avondale High School students who participate in the early/middle college 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.

Current Avondale students should contact their high school counselor for additional information.

Schools-of-choice students should contact Annette McAvoy in the district communications office at (248) 537-6025 or

For information about Baker College programs, contact Nicole Chirco in the admissions office at or (248) 340-0600, or visit

More about Avondale schools at

Baker College serves more than 23,000 students online and on campuses in Allen Park, Auburn Hills, Cadillac, Cass City, Clinton Township, Coldwater, Flint, Fremont, Jackson, Muskegon, Owosso, and Port Huron, Michigan, and Reading, Pa.

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