With the rising costs of college, Baker College of Flint has announced a new partnership with Lapeer County High Schools that will offer students free college credits.

Here is information to share with your friends who have kids in Lapeer schools. Baker College and four districts within the Lapeer County Intermediate School District have partnered to provide an opportunity for students to graduate high school with up to 60 transferable college credits, an associate degree or a technical certificate at no cost for students or their families. The program pays for all tuition, books and fees.

The Early/Middle College program, called STEMM Academy, is approved by the Michigan Department of Education and will launch in 2015 with four partner school districts: Almont Community Schools, Dryden Community Schools, Imlay City Community Schools and North Branch Area Schools.

STEMM represents science, technology, engineering, asthmatics and medical. Students take college classes along with their high school classes during their junior and senior years. They then focus on college coursework during an optional fifth year. That additional year of free college classes will allow students time to complete an associates degree or add more credits to transfer. A student can earn 24 college credits as a junior, 36 credits as a senior and 48 during a fifth year. Juniors and seniors will take the college courses at the Lapeer County ISD Education Technology Center in Attica.

For more information on the STEMM Academy program, visit www.stemmacademy.com. Students and parents can also contact the student's high school counselor for additional information.