Located on a reservation in Brimley, Bay Mills Community College (BMCC) is Michigan’s first fully accredited, tribally controlled college. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
As the only community college in Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula, BMCC is one of only three tribally controlled colleges in the state. One of its goals is to provide high quality educational opportunities to all tribal communities in Michigan and their neighbors.
The college was initially a vocational program funded by the Department of Education in 1981, to service the local Native American communities. Since that time, the school has grown to currently serve over seven hundred students annually through on campus, off campus, and virtual college programming. Although the college specializes in programs for American Indians, their cutting edge technological infrastructure has allowed them to reach beyond the borders of Michigan and offer on-line instruction throughout North America.
BMCC meets the educational needs of a wide variety of students, from its remote, rural Main Campus, West Campus, off-campus sites, and online courses. Currently, students can earn an Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, a certificate, or a diploma in a wide range of fields.
Online learning offers convenience and flexibility and students can study from their own location and on their own schedule. Students have the options of completing individual online courses or completing their Associate of Arts degrees in Early Childhood Education or Business Administration.
Dual Enrollment Program
While still attending high school, juniors and seniors can earn college credits in the dual enrollment program. Eligibility guidelines and dual enrollment information for students who would like to pursue dual enrollment must check with their high school principal or guidance counselor.
An excellent opportunity to gain child care credentials by offering free courses is available, leading to a Child Development Associate (CDA) to students who are members of U.S. Federally Recognized Tribes. Completed CDA course credits can be applied to a full associate degree in one of three early childhood education tracks if the student desires to continue.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The admissions policy is liberal. High school graduates and non-graduate adults who have passed the General Education Development (GED) test are eligible for admission. In order to qualify for admission, those students not possessing a diploma or GED, must sign up for and complete the GED by the end of their first academic year, or they are evaluated by the Office of Student Services and are determined to have the ability to benefit from the program, to which they seek admission. Please note all students must apply every semester.
Additionally, there are several steps to follow in order to complete your admissions file:
1. Complete the Admissions Application.
2. High school graduates or GED recipients must have official transcripts/official Score Report submitted to admission office.
3. If a prospective student is an enrolled Tribal/Band Member: A copy of their Tribal I.D. or verification of Tribal membership from the Tribal Enrollment Clerk or Canadian Certificate of Indian Status.
4. If a prospective students is not an enrolled Tribal/Band member but one of their biological parents is a Tribal/Band member, please submit: a copy of the parents Tribal I.D. or verification of Tribal Membership from the Tribal Enrollment Clerk or a Canadian Certificate of Indian Status, and a copy of the students’ birth certificate and the parents’ marriage license or other documentation if the tribal I.D. and birth certificate have different names.
5. Schedule and complete the placement test.
Both full-time and part-time students may be eligible for financial aid and are encouraged to apply. To apply for financial aid, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which is available online. There are deadlines for filing your applications for financial aid and better opportunities may be afforded to those who complete their applications early.
A variety of scholarships are available from federal and private sources. These include various donors, religious, and service organizations. The following are some scholarships that may be available: Federal Pell Grant Program, Tribal Support Programs and the Indian Higher Education Program, Work Study Program, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Michigan Works, Board of Regents Scholarship, American Indian College Fund (AICF). Deadlines apply so be sure to investigate these sources of aid to help offset the cost of tuition.
A wide range of student services were designed to assist students in succeeding in a college environment. Programs encourage students in achieving their academic goals and personal/cultural development. Additionally, extra-curricular activities are an integral part of student life.
Some of the available services, activities, and referrals include personal/family/group counseling referrals, peer tutoring assistance, advocacy, student/health care agency liaison, career development/assistance, GED scheduling/assistance, college transfer information/assistance and disability student services.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Additional School Information
TRIO is one of several Student Support Services programs designed to assist students successfully complete their educational program. Some services available to TRIO-SSS participants are professional tutoring, transfer assistance, grant aid, career counseling and career and learning style testing.
Academic assistance is also offered through the Learning Center. Designed to help students succeed in college, at the Learning Center students are offered a variety of educational services like teaching, tutoring, and assessment services. Another goal is to support and expand the students’ classroom experiences. Therefore, tutoring services are provided through peer tutors and professional tutors. In addition to the academic enrichment courses, another reason students are encouraged to use the Learning Center is to develop their reading, writing, and basic math skills in the lab and study area. In order to best accommodate their student’s academic success, upon request, tutoring is available for all courses.
Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.