Bay College Offering Water Tech 'BayFlex' Program For Older … – Radioresultsnetwork.com

Designed for adult learners who have real-world, life experiences and skillsets, BayFlex™ Programs are awarding credit for industry credentials.

This program recognizes the knowledge and skills that individuals have and the industry credentials they may have already earned that can now be applied towards earning a college certificate or degree.  This is a more flexible and responsive option for adult learners, and incredibly valuable for both the learner and employer.  Bay College has received official approval by their accreditor, The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), to deliver their first Competency Based Education (CBE) approved program starting in Fall 2023.  CBE is changing the way colleges across the country deliver academic coursework and learning outcomes within higher education, and Bay College is leading the way in the State of Michigan with their new Flex Program options.

Bay College embarked on the journey to receive approval from the Higher Learning Commission last year, attending trainings, webinars, and networking with other colleges across the county to learn best practices involved with CBE.

The first BayFlex™ Program is the Water Technology Certificate which is now available and starting this Fall 2023 semester to support the needs of water professionals. Bay College’s Water Technology Certificate program was well positioned to prepare and present the Water Technology Certificate to the HLC for consideration.

Troy Gallagher, lead Water Technology Instructor at Bay College, has been working with industry partners for several years to support the needs of water professionals.  “People working in the field with experience need a more flexible option to utilize that experience towards earning college credits and ultimately their college degree,” states Gallagher.  “The new BayFlex™ Water Program will allow current water professionals to move through coursework at a faster rate while applying what they already know using a modular approach.”  People who are already in the workforce have the ability to enter into college courses and move through courses at a pace that supports what they already know.

Bay College is one of only two community colleges in the State of Michigan now approved for CBE.   Jackson Community College was the first community college in the State of Michigan to receive HLC approval.  Bay College is the now the second institution.

The landscape of higher education continues to be studied and aligned to meet the ever-changing needs of our workforce.

Cindy Carter, Vice President of Business, Technology, Allied Health and Workforce Training at Bay College shared, “Bay College has always been a leader in providing students with access and support to help them reach their educational goals. CBE is a game-changer in providing students with a new way to earn their college credential.  We started the work of preparing our HLC application just over a year ago in May of 2022.  It took nearly a year of research, meetings, writing and re-writing to finally receive the official approval from the HLC to deliver our first CBE program,” Carter added.  “It has been a long process but this approval shows Bay College is once again a leader in moving higher education opportunities forward for students across our region.”

The opportunity to deliver a Water Technology Flex Program also provided Bay College with the opportunity to expand how industry credentials can be applied towards a student’s college transcript and time to completion.

“As Bay College was working to receive HLC approval, the Michigan Community College Association (MCCA) was enhancing the States online system to support individuals who have earned industry credentials and applying them towards college credits,” said Carter.

The Michigan Transfer Network has existed in Michigan for many years.  Through their online system, students can easily see how credits transfer between colleges and universities within the State of Michigan.  MCCA has been working the past year to expand the service of the Michigan Transfer Network website to include Industry Credentials.  With just a few clicks, people can now see how community colleges in Michigan will recognize and award credit for nationally recognized credentials.  There are hundreds of professional certifications and credentials that exist that people have obtained either on their own or through their places of employment.  Bay College is now scaling up their efforts to recognize those credentials to support students earning a degree.


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