Baker College grads includes high school students
Cadillac, MI
06/09/2016 02:35 PM

Baker College's Cadillac campus will honor 239 students at two graduation ceremonies on June 10: The first for health sciences students at 4 p.m., and the second for all other students at 7 p.m. Both will be held at Resurrection Life Church, 9127 E. 44 1/2 Road, Cadillac.


"At Baker College, our focus is firmly fixed on providing the quality education necessary for our students to succeed in their chosen careers," said Kelly Smith, Baker College of Cadillac president. “As they graduate and move into those careers, we commend them on achieving this milestone.


“This year we warmly welcome the first graduates of the Baker College early/middle college program. The 12 students from the Wexford-Missaukee ISD who are graduating from the program have essentially earned free associate degrees. They did some of this college course work during their 11th and 12th grade high school experience and then attended an additional year – a 13th year of high school – on the Cadillac campus. They now have the opportunity to either enter the workforce or continue their post-high school education with a running start.”


Students in a Baker College early/middle college program earn high school and college credit at the same time – primarily at their high school – and continue to earn college credit during a fifth year of high school with courses held at the Baker College Cadillac campus. All college credit is at no cost to the students or their families.


The student speaker for the 4 p.m. commencement ceremony will be Lara Napper, of Traverse City, who is earning an associate degree in surgical technology.


Marcus Musselman, of Lake City, will speak at the 7 p.m. ceremony. He is one of the early/middle college graduates. Musselman earned an associate degree in welding as a Lake City High School student. 


In addition to Musselman, other Wexford-Missaukee ISD students earning associate degrees through the Baker College early/middle college program are:

=      Cadillac High School – Lucas Long, information technology.

=      Lake City High School – Collyn Colecchio, welding.

=      Manton High School – Kevin McDaniel, information technology.

=      Marion Jr./Sr. High School – Spencer Witbeck, welding.

=      McBain High School – Brenden Eisenga, welding; Chris Reid, Chase Wellman and Carter Wellman, information technology.

=      Pine River Middle/High School – Austin Gingrich and Melissa Swanberg, welding; Zach Wagner, information technology.


Among the graduates of the Cadillac campus will be a married couple, Mark and Mary VanderVelde, and their daughter-in-law, Canada VanderVelde, all of Cadillac. Mark will earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration; Mary and Canada are earning bachelor’s degrees in elementary teacher preparation—early childhood.


For information about Baker College career programs, contact Cheri Sprik in the admissions office at 231.876.3119 or, or visit


The largest private college in Michigan, Baker College is a not-for-profit higher education institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Baker College grants certificates and associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in diverse academic fields, including business, health sciences, engineering, information technology, education and human services. Every Baker College graduate receives Lifetime Employment Assistance—free and forever. Baker College was one of the first in the state to offer students the option of completing a degree 100 percent online, without ever visiting a campus. For information, visit or follow Baker College on Twitter, @bakercollege, or on Facebook,

Cheri Sprik
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