Bay Atlantic University was initially established as BAU International University (BAU) by BAU, LLC as a private, for-profit institution in 2014 occupying one floor totaling 5300 sf. The state approval to operate as an institution of higher education to award certificates, diplomas, and degrees by the District of Columbia Education Licensure Commission (“HELC”) was awarded on May 2, 2014.
The first cohort of MBA students was enrolled for fall 2014. BAU held its first commencement ceremony in May 2016 for its first cohort of MBA students and has celebrated commencements every spring since.
BAU, LLC was incorporated as a non-profit in 2016 as BAU (legal entity) and the 501(c)3 tax-exempt status is pending for approval. The application to SEVIS to issue I-20s for international students was approved in December 2016. The same year, we received letters accepting BAU transfer credits from the State University of New York system, Long Island University, and Syracuse University.
Becoming regionally accredited was a dream since the Board of Trustees started planning the opening of BAU in 2014. However, due to the requirements of the District of Columbia to apply for accreditation within three years of initial licensure and become accredited within five years of the initial licensure, we applied to a national accreditor. BAU received national accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) in 2017. During the five years that ACICS accredited us, BAU was preparing for regional accreditation by ensuring all policies and quality standards were at the same level of regional accreditation.
In 2017, the first cohorts of BA in Political Science and International Relations and BA in Economics and Finance were enrolled. The same year, the state licensure commission (HELC) approved new program offerings: BA in Accounting, BA in Business Administration and Management, BS in Data Science, BS in Information Technology, MS in Cybersecurity, and MS in Big Data Analytics. The same year that we expanded to occupy three additional floors bringing the net total square footage to 17,900.
The name change from BAU International University to Bay Atlantic University was approved by the HELC in January 2019. The same year, we were granted approval to offer programs via distance education with approval from ACICS in 2020.
The BAU Foundation was established in March 2020 to accept restricted/unrestricted donations, private grants, and gifts and serve as the endowment for BAU. We planned to premier a fundraising campaign at the third annual alumni dinner in May 2020. However, with the outbreak of COVID, the dinner was canceled. It is in the 2023-2026 Strategic Plan to relaunch the effort in May 2023.
In December 2020, we received ACICS reaffirmation for three years which was recently extended to March 2024.
BAU received the first state-funded grant in 2020 through the Department of Employment Services (DOES) in the amount of $93,750 for the Youth Earn and Learn program and since has increased the total grants awarded for various programs to $1,046,250.
BAU was recognized by Intelligent magazine in 2022 with the MBA program ranking 26 out of 66 for the Best for Entrepreneurship in the Best MBA Programs of 2022, and the Master of Science in Cybersecurity program ranking 22 out of 30 for the Best Master’s in Internet Security Degree Programs of 2022.
In 2022, we expanded to two additional floors (levels 7 and 8) bringing the total physical capacity to 28,786 sf (net).
At the end of FY22, BAU had 324 graduates with an average MTF of 100% and was awarded a total of $9 million in scholarships and tuition assistance.
Bay Atlantic University achieved a significant milestone by being granted initial accreditation by NECHE (New England Commission of Higher Education) on March 9, 2023. This recognition highlights the university’s commitment to academic excellence and its dedication to providing a transformative educational experience to students. NECHE is widely respected for its rigorous standards and thorough evaluation process, making this accreditation a testament to Bay Atlantic University’s quality and effectiveness.