The Robert B. Miller College was established in response to a call from the business and educational community of Calhoun County for an affordable, locally-based institution of higher learning at which residents of the Battle Creek area could complete bachelor’s degrees as well as receive continuing education, professional development and career retraining. Prior to the establishment of Miller College, higher education options for students and workers living in the Battle Creek area were limited to associate’s degree programs through Kellogg Community College and a small number of bachelor’s degree completion programs offered through extension sites by Michigan colleges based in other localities. However, few of these programs afforded students the opportunity to complete all of the coursework for a bachelor’s degree in Battle Creek, requiring that students commute to fulfill residency obligations at the respective institutions.
As a consequence of this lack of a local avenue for completing bachelor’s degrees, the Battle Creek area has one of the lowest per capita rates of adults holding bachelor’s degrees or higher in the state of Michigan, according to US Census figures. Furthermore, the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research compiled statistics indicating that the metropolitan area with the lowest percentage of adults age 25 to 34 holding bachelor’s degrees in Michigan is Battle Creek (See Erickcek & Watts, 2008, slide 40). As former Governor Granholm has argued, increasing the number of college graduates is essential for Michigan’s economic recovery, and it is in the service of achieving this vision for Battle Creek that Miller College was founded.
The Robert B. Miller College promotes high quality education through varied access points. It is noteworthy that with the average age of students enrolled at 35 years, their return to an academic arena is a decision to continue a life of learning and the expectation is for a high quality of education. This is demonstrated through the acquisition of knowledge and skills of the students, but also by the faculty, administrators, and staff with their depth of knowledge and experience. The curriculum and programs are regularly reviewed to ensure that students are prepared to live and work in a global, diverse, and technological society. Miller College supports the acquisition of knowledge by investing in quality faculty, technology, learning resources, and faculty and staff development and documented training. In addition to student learning through course work, students and the community benefit from the service learning they do while attending Miller College. Student internships in community organizations and ethnographic research within the community further connect programs and Miller College to high quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.
Designed and created by DDM Marketing & Communications.