Flint is now the home of 33,776 college students, an ever-important source of economic and business stability for Michigan's newest College Town.
Welcome to Flint, Michigan -- a growing College Town.
That was the friendly message Oct. 27 when Genesee County business and education officials announced that Flint is the home of 33,776 college students this fall.
Tim Herman, CEO of the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce, served as emcee for a press conference that revealed the all-time high enrollment figure. Leaders from Baker College of Flint, Baker College Center for Graduate Studies, Kettering University, Mott Community College and University of Michigan-Flint joined City of Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and Herman to acknowledge and celebrate the enrollment milestone for the area's colleges and universities.
“The Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce is a strong advocate for higher education and continuous, lifelong learning,” Herman said. "These exceptional institutions attracting young minds is another great example of partners working together to rebuild Genesee County. This student enrollment count is proof that Genesee County is on its way to become a learning community. Jobs of the future will be knowledge based, and the continued growth and interest in further education better positions Genesee County and students for advancement."
More than 33,000 students matriculating in Genesee County colleges and universities also provides a tremendous marketing opportunity for local businesses, Herman stated. "Businesses will be able to highlight Flint as a College Town in their promotional materials, as well as utilize the student population for internships and future employment."
“Baker College’s career-oriented mission and proven ability to deliver relevant, affordable, high quality education and training meet the needs of traditional and non-traditional learners and also ensure that employers have ready access to a well-prepared work force,” noted Dr. Julianne Princinsky, President, Baker College of Flint and chair for the Regional Chamber Operating Board of Directors. “The outstanding student pass rates on certification and licensing exams, a 97.9% or better graduate employment rate, and the College's community investments further demonstrate Baker's commitment to solutions that work.” Baker is celebrating its 100th year in Genesee County this year.
Kettering University President Stan Liberty reported that Kettering is focusing on engaging its students in the community – both philanthropically and entrepreneurially – thus maximizing the institution’s impact on regional socio-economic development. “Kettering’s students and faculty represent a significant source of local intellectual capital which, together with Kettering’s excellent laboratories, are key assets of our College Town,” he said.
With their numerous classes plus partnerships with satellite schools like Cleary University, Mott Community College thrives for the 2010 fall semester, said Mott Community College President Richard Shaink. “Mott College has reached the highest enrollment in its 87-year history,” he said. “Along with this service to our community, MCC is also taking a lead on area economic development by offering support to area businesses, essential to creating new local jobs.”
The University of Michigan-Flint, known as one of the fastest growing public universities in the state, achieved yet another year of record-setting, historical growth. “Having one of the campuses of the University of Michigan in the heart of downtown Flint is an important factor in the education of tomorrow’s workforce,” said Chancellor Ruth J. Person. “People in this community are committed to pursuing their degrees locally, helping to make Genesee County a global leader in higher education opportunities.”
Also contributing to the 33,000-plus enrollment number in the county were Cleary University, Davenport University, Ferris State University, Spring Arbor University and ITT Technical Institute.
Herman said the Regional Chamber has maintained a close relationship and partnership with educational institutions in Genesee County, understanding that the students enrolled are the future of our community and state. “I am delighted to see the collaboration and partnerships evolve to better enhance our community and the economic climate of the Genesee County area,” he added.
Read more in the Flint Journal at: http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2010/10/record_number_of_college_stude.html
Written by Patricia Mroczek and College Town sources