FLINT TWP. — Early College soon will take on an even more literal meaning when Carman Park-Baker Career Academy moves onto the Baker College Campus.
The Academy is a high school/early college partnership between Bendle Public Schools, Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools and Baker College of Flint.
Now in its 10th year, the accelerated learning program has been housed in the former Carman- Park Elementary School building, 3375 Van Campen Drive, which is adjacent to the Baker- Flint campus.
Carman-Ainsworth closed the elementary school about 11 years ago due to declining enrollment. The building was sold to Baker College- Flint in early 2013. Then C-A entered a lease agreement with Baker to continue the Career Academy as long as it suits all partners. The Academy is moving to Baker’s former Career and Corporate Services building which will mean a faster walk to other campus buildings, according to new C-A Superintendent Eddie Kindle, in an announcement at the June 21 school board meeting. The building is being totally remodeled and will house only Career Academy students, he said.
“It will give students more of a college feel,’’ he said.
The academy is designed to give academically motivated students a jumpstart on their college education. Students are accepted by application and must meet specified academic criteria. Dual enrollment courses allow successful students to complete high school graduation requirements while earning up to one-year of an associate’s degree that can be completed in the 13th year after high school graduation.
Career Academy courses are free to students and paid for by state-aid same as other public high schools.
Kindle said he would bring more information about the move to a future board meeting. The old Carman-Park building encountered a problem earlier this year when precautionary testing detected unacceptable lead levels in water from one drinking fountain at the school. The test were conducted as a precaution due to heightened public concerns about the ongoing Flint water contamination crisis.
Earlier this year, Carman-Park was officially recognized by the State of Michigan as an Early College, according to a parent advisory from Principal Chris Christensen. This means that Academy students will now have the option of following a traditional four-year high school path or they can choose to enter the Early College program which allows them to participate in a 5th year in which only one class would be high school level and the rest would all be college courses. That equates to an “entire year of college free,” Christensen said. To participate in Early College, students must apply before the start of their Junior year in high school. More information about that program can be obtained by calling the Academy office at 810-591- 3620.