Bay Mills Community College is a two-year tribal college chartered by the Bay Mills Indian Community of Michigan. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies the school in the "very small university" category, giving its enrollment as 432 full- and part-time students. The students come primarily from Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula. BMCC is a member of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), which is a community of tribally and federally chartered institutions working to strengthen tribal nations and make a lasting difference in the lives of American Indians and Alaska Natives. BMCC was created in response to the higher education needs of American Indians. BMCC generally serves geographically isolated populations that have no other means accessing education beyond the high school level.
The college began as a vocational program in response to the economic development needs of the seven Native American communities which were initially served. The program was funded in 1981 by the Department of Education. In 1984 the college was chartered by the Bay Mills Indian Community under the Tribally Controlled Community Colleges Act. Since its establishment in 1981 with an enrollment of eleven students, the college has grown to currently serve over seven hundred students annually through on-campus, off-campus, and online programming. BMCC is Michigan's first accredited Tribal College located on a reservation and was designated as a Land Grant Institution by the Equity in Educational Land Grant Status Act of 1994 (www.higherlearningcommission.org). BMCC is chartered by the Bay Mills Indian Community as a nonprofit educational corporation and has been declared 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt by the International Revenue Service. Control is vested in a Board of Regents, which selects the president and establishes overall institutional policy. Although the college specializes in programs for American Indians, who represent approximately 60% of the annual student enrollment, its doors are open to all people who want to benefit from the educational process. BMCC is dedicated to providing academic and personal enrichment programs to Native Americans and residents of their neighboring communities. BMCC has developed an impressive, cutting edge technological infrastructure, which has allowed BMCC to reach beyond the borders of Michigan and offer online instruction throughout North America.
BMCC offers associate’s degree, certificate, and diploma programs, in:
- American Indian language and studies,
- business administration,
- computer information systems,
- natural science,
- early childhood education (completely online),
- health careers, and
- social science.
BMCC participates in the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers Articulation Agreement (MACRAO) which provides BMCC students a transfer process of general education credits between public and private community colleges and universities in Michigan.