STILES SIMMONS: A menu of options to earn college credit at Baldwin Senior High School

By Stiles Simmons

Baldwin Community Schools Superintendent

At Baldwin Senior High School, we understand the importance of a college education. We strive everyday to prepare our students for the rigors of college and other valuable post-secondary opportunities. To be prepared for college, it is vitally important students challenge themselves academically during their high school career. As educators, it is our responsibility to provide students with a menu of options to better prepare them for meaningful opportunities beyond high school. This is why we offer a variety of opportunities for students to experience the rigors of college and to earn college credit while enrolled at Baldwin Senior High School.

Students in grades 9 to 12 have the opportunity to enroll in courses offered through West Shore Community College and Ferris State University. Students can choose from a wide variety of classes in mathematics, language, science, business and more Also, through these course offerings, students have the opportunity to develop the "soft skills" (time management, presentation, etiquette, etc.) necessary for success.

More recently, we have expanded our menu of options to include Advanced Placement (AP) courses right here at Baldwin Senior High School. AP courses are the most challenging courses offered at Baldwin Senior High School. In fact, studies show that students who take AP courses and exams are much more likely than their peers to complete a bachelor's degree in four years or less (Camara, 2003). Currently, we offer advanced placement micro-economics and macro-economics as well as environmental science. There are very few school districts our size which offer such courses. Many school districts simply rely on dual enrollment courses at the local community college. However, we proudly offer AP courses, because it shows colleges students are serious and capable of college-level work and it provides them with the potential to earn college credits or placement into advanced courses in college.

In addition to dual enrollment and AP opportunities, students at Baldwin Senior High School have the option to enroll in the ASM Tech (early college) program and the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program offered at West Shore Community College through the West Shore Educational Service District (WSESD). The ASM Tech program allow students to earn college credit, certificates and associate degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematical fields (STEM). The Career and Technical Education program allow students to earn articulated college credit in the various programs offered. CTE courses include welding, information technology (IT), allied health, culinary arts, construction trades, automotive repair, digital media, and a host of other courses.

All in all, we believe in our students and we want to see them go to places where their dreams, talents and character might take them. That is why we unapologetically invest our time, effort and funds towards programs and activities that better prepare them for college and valuable post-secondary opportunities. Should you have a desire to learn more about the wide array of college preparation programs offered here at Baldwin Senior High School, please call (231) 745-4683 and ask for Mr. Stewart Nasson, Guidance Counselor, and/or Ms. Ayana Richardson, Baldwin Promise Scholarship Coordinator.