Located in the heart of Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula, Bay de Noc Community College (commonly known as Bay College) has provided quality higher education for more than 40 years. Founded in 1962, Bay College is known in the region for its superior teaching and abundant learning. The campus is situated on 150 acres and serves over 5,000 credit students each year, including those completing baccalaureate and master degree programs sponsored by partnering universities. From its modest beginning with a limited curriculum, Bay College has expanded its offerings in response to the needs of the local communities served. The College continues its tradition of providing occupational programs aimed at giving students the skills to enter the work force, community service, and transfer programs, which are designed to allow students to begin their postsecondary education and explore career interests at Bay College, later applying their degree at a major college or university. Home of the first Michigan Technical Education Center to open its doors in the State of Michigan, the Center provides a variety of customized and technical skill training and professional development opportunities for working age adults across the Upper Peninsula. The College and MTEC together host more than 40,000 visits each year in a variety of conference, training and meeting activities. Co-located on the College's campus, the local YMCA provides recreational and wellness opportunities, as well as child care for local residents, college employees and students.
Since the early 1970's, Bay College has had a presence in Dickinson County, where in those early years courses were offered to assist students enrolled in nursing degree programs. Facility limitations have severely restricted course offerings through the early years. However, enrollment increases supported the notion that interest in higher education in Dickinson County remained strong. In 2003, the College leased a 20,000 sq. foot facility on Carpenter Avenue with eight traditional classrooms, a computer lab and office space for personnel. At the same time, Dr. Theodore and Eleanor Fornetti donated a 25-acre parcel on the north side of Iron Mountain. The voters in Dickinson County approved a one mill tax increase to support the construction, maintenance and operation of a new 67,000 sq. ft. facility, matching the State of Michigan's construction funds of $6 million. Groundbreaking was held in the spring of 2006 and the facility opened in the fall of 2007. Through a unique contractual relationship with the Dickinson County Board of Commissioners, the College has been able to move forward in offering a strong core of transfer degrees and occupational programs to support the local workforce. An important partner in the quest for resources for Bay College is the College's Foundation. Established in 1972, it is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation which exists solely to support educational programs for Bay College, its students, and the community. In fulfilling its mission to improve access and opportunities for students, the Foundation manages over $7 million in endowment funds for scholarships and program support. Annually, donors throughout the service area make contributions to support annual scholarships and projects designed to enhance the margin of excellence at Bay College. Bay College has a strong history of dedicating itself to offering academically excellent and affordable public education in our region. The College prepares students to be continuous learners who succeed upon transfer, work effectively in the contemporary workplace, and function as citizens and leaders in their communities.