Bay Path University
The Bay Path University seal
Motto in English
|Seize the Day|
|President||Carol A. Leary|
|Students||3,225 (F 2016)|
|Location||Longmeadow, Massachusetts, United States|
|Colors||Maroon and white|
Bay Path University is a private university located in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Bay Path offers both all-women bachelor's degree programs (both on-campus and online), co-educational master's degree programs (both on-campus and online), and an occupational therapy doctorate program for men and women online. The university also has a One Day A Week Saturday program for adult women and The American Women's College, the first all-women online college.
Founded in 1897 as the Bay Path Institute, the college has gone through several name changes and upgrades to its accreditation status. From 1988 to 2014 it was known as Bay Path College. Bay Path University is a member of the Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield, an eight-college consortium.
Bay Path was founded in 1897 as Bay Path Institute in Springfield, Massachusetts. Bay Path started as an urban, coeducational institute offering business teacher training, secretarial science, business administration and accounting degrees. The name Bay Path was derived from its location on the old Bay Path (a part of Boston Post Road), which united the western part of the state with what was once the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The first class in 1897 was 30 students, but Bay Path grew rapidly in its first few decades. In 1920, Bay Path bought the Clawson-Hamilton Business School of Brattleboro, Vermont, and renamed it the Brattleboro Business Institute. In the same year the competitor Griffin Business School was also purchased and integrated into Bay Path. Bay Path was one of the largest and most successful business schools in the highly competitive Northeast during this time, with a peak enrollment of 1,200 students taking classes in innovative, accelerated format. The institution struggled heavily, however, during the Great Depression and World War II, and by 1944 the institute was nearly bankrupt.
In 1945, the college moved to Longmeadow, Massachusetts, was renamed Bay Path Secretarial School, and developed a new mission and vision to become a women's only college. Four years later, the institution became Bay Path Junior College. In order to further expand its offerings, in 1988 Bay Path became a four-year degree-granting institution, and its name was changed to Bay Path College.
In 1999, Bay Path established an accelerated program for women to earn their bachelor's degree through a Saturday only program. In 2000, Bay Path began offering Master of Science degrees. After 14 years of offering master's degree programs, reaching 20 master's degree offerings in 2014, Bay Path changed its name to Bay Path University to reflect its status as both a bachelors' and masters' granting institution.
Bay Path University offers associate, bachelor's, master's degrees and the Occupational Therapy Doctorate. Degree programs are balanced between those with an arts and science focus, and those with professional focus. The college features majors that are heavily focused on practical, hands-on application of course work, and students take the majority of their credits within their major. The university has 30 major programs for bachelor's degrees and 25 major programs for master's degrees. Bay Path has a student to faculty ratio of 12:1 in its undergraduate programs, and its freshmen retention rate is 74.3%.
While the master's degree programs are co-educational, the bachelor's degree programs are women focused. Bay Path's focus on women is personified through the WELL program: Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders. All undergraduate students are required to take three courses in their first, third, and fourth year (with an optional class as in their second year). These courses focus on developing skills in learning (research, writing, speaking, analysis, and technology) and leading (identify strengths, setting of personal, academic and professional goals) while researching local and global issues that affect women.
Bay Path University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc., through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC). 
The primary campus for Bay Path University is in the suburban town of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, located in Pioneer Valley along the Connecticut River in New England. The 46-acre (190,000 m2) campus is adjacent to the Longmeadow Historic District, notable for having over 100 homes built before the 1900s, and the college owns a number of historic homes in town. The heart of the Longmeadow campus started with the 1945 purchase of the Wallace estate. The 18 acre estate had three buildings in 1945: a Georgian American colonial mansion (now Deepwood Hall), a large garage with turntable for parking cars (Glen Hall), and a cottage (Annex). After decades of growth and expansion, the campus now holds 14 academic and administrative buildings and six homes principally used for faculty offices.
Graduate Center for Health Sciences
A new campus in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts that was scheduled to open in January 2015. This campus will be dedicated to graduate studies for the occupational therapy and physician assistant graduate programs.
The campus in Sturbridge, MA, offers the One-Day-A-Week College for adult women; MS or EdS in Education/Special Education, MS or EdS in Education/Applied Behavior Analysis, MS in Developmental Psychology and MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling for men and women. It also offers various bachelor's degree programs in the One-Day-A-Week accelerated format. The campus is located on the Sturbridge/Charlton line in the Venture Building.
The Concord location is home to the graduate programs in Applied Behavior Analysis, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Curriculum & Instruction, Developmental Psychology, Special Education Administrator, and Special Education. The Concord campus is located at 521 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742.
Bay Path has 27 clubs and organizations for students over a wide range of interests.
Bay Path University teams are known as the Wildcats. The college is a member of the NCAA and competes at the Division III level in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC). Bay Path fields basketball, cross country, field hockey, soccer, softball, tennis, lacrosse and volleyball as varsity sports.
Women's Leadership Conference
Bay Path holds an annual Women's Professional Development Conference in Springfield, MA. Over 800 people attended the inaugural event in 1996, with the keynote speaker Elizabeth Dole, former US Labor and Transportation Secretary. Since then, the Conference has featured speakers like PBS/ABC news correspondent Cokie Roberts (1997), NBC news chief and foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell (2002), former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (2005), writer Maya Angelou (2007), actress Jane Fonda (2008), and journalist Barbara Walters (2014). Prior to the establishment of the annual conference, Bay Path held events which included former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher speaking to Bay Path students in 1988 at Springfield Symphony Hall.
In 2013, Forbes magazine ranked the financial viability of 925 private, not for profit colleges in the United States. In this assessment, Forbes assigned a letter grade based on the financial health of the institution, and found that more than half of private institutions scored at a C grade or below. Bay Path received a ranking of 264 out of 925, earning a solid "B" grade for the financial health of the institution.
In 2014, The Chronicle of Higher Education compiled a list of the fastest growing colleges in America over a ten-year period from 2002 to 2012. During that time, in the category of private, baccalaureate institutions, Bay Path's growth was the eighth highest in the nation, ranking higher than any other college in the knowledge corridor. Over the ten-year period surveyed, Bay Path grew from a 2002 enrollment of 1,107 students to a 2012 enrollment of 2,370 students: a 114% increase.
- "About Bay Path University". Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- Muriel J. Mitchell (1997). A Legacy of Leadership: Bay Path College 1897 - 1997.
- "Bay Path evolved through changing times". Mass Live. May 17, 2011. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- "Bay Path College to become Bay Path University on Tuesday". Mass Live. June 30, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- "Carnegie Classifications: Bay Path University". Carnegie Foundation. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
- "US News: College Compass". US News & World Report. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
- "WELL:Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders". Bay Path University. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
- "NEASC Roster: Bay Path University". NEASC. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
- "Campus Map". Bay Path University. 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-07-21.
- "Bay Path College Building Center for Graduate Studies With Mass Development Bonds". February 4, 2014. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
- "Clubs & Organizations". Bay Path University. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
- "Bay Path University Wildcats". NECC. July 24, 2013. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
- "Our Path to the Present: A Look at the Conference History". Archived from the original on July 27, 2014. Retrieved July 27, 2014.
- "The Most and Least Financially Fit Schools in America". Forbes. July 24, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- "Fastest Growing Colleges: 2002-2012". The Chronicle of Higher Education. August 18, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014.