For many college students, summer is a time for hanging out with friends, enjoying a vacation, or lying by the pool or lake. However, while some college students are working on their tans, others are actually working on completing their degrees. Helping with this goal is Bevill State Community College.
The college offers a wide range of classes that can transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Many students in Bevill State’s service areas take advantage of the flexibility and convenience of summer classes at the college.
“One reason we have students enroll at Bevill Student during the summer is because of the number of academic transfer courses we offer. This, combined with lower tuition and being located closer to home, allows students to benefit from a Summer Semester at Bevill State,” said Dr. Kim Ennis, dean of Students at the college.
Another reason some students decide to take classes at Bevill State is because of the low student faculty ratio at the college. This factor provides more individualized teaching for students. It was a major influence on Marcy Myers of Oakman.
Myers, a graduate student at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, took classes at Bevill State during most of her time as an undergraduate at UAB. She points to her instructors as the main reason for attending the college during the summer.
“My instructors at Bevill were friendlier and the classes were smaller. Coming from a big university, it was really important to have that one-on-one attention. You knew that your instructors really cared at Bevill,” explained Myers.
Because of the personalized teaching she enjoyed, and closeness of home, Myers returned often to take the math and science classes that were needed for her undergraduate degree. Her experiences were so positive, she was able to recommend that friends and fellow UAB students join her at Bevill during some Summer Semesters.
“I had a friend from the Auburn area and one near the Georgia state line come with me to Bevill to see for themselves the benefits of taking summer classes at the college. They continued to live in the Birmingham area, but drove to Jasper for the classes.”
While some summer students are not local, the majority are. Bevill State’s multiple locations make it easy for students staying home close to home this summer to take classes. Being close to home also allows students to maximize their time during the summer, especially if they are working. This was the case for Bryant Cooper.
Cooper, a recent graduate in Business Management at The University of Alabama, took classes at Bevill State while working a summer job in Guin.
“Taking classes at Bevill State allowed me to kill two birds with one stone. I worked my job, and then I’d drive down the street to take my classes at the Hamilton Campus. It saved me money in several ways. I wouldn’t have been able to make as much money if I had stayed in Tuscaloosa for the summer,” explained Cooper.
Cooper wasn’t alone in taking advantage of Bevill’s location to take summer classes.
“I knew several people in my classes. Some we’re younger than me, just out of high school, and some were people who were already students at Alabama and Auburn.”
Some were even still in high school like Austyn Jones. The ability to take classes through the college’s Dual Enrollment program was a major factor for Jones enrolling at Bevill State for summer classes.
Jones, a junior in Marketing at The University of Alabama, took classes at Bevill State the summer of her sophomore and junior years in high school. Bevill’s Dual Enrollment program allows eligible high school students to enroll in college classes concurrently with high school classes, either on Bevill’s campuses or at the high school, and receive both high school and college credit. Jones said that taking these classes granted her a competitive edge when compared to other university students and is allowing her to graduate early. It also served as an easier introduction to college classes.
“Some college students can be intimidated taking classes at a big university, but taking classes at Bevill can help students ease in to the college experience. Classes are smaller and that can help you focus on studying and help your time management,” said Jones.
That focus is part of the reason Jones returned to Bevill to take summer classes after she enrolled at UA. She took both traditional classes, as well as distance education classes offered online. Her experiences were so enjoyable she took an unusual step after completing her online class.
“After my class finished for the semester, I emailed my instructor and told him I wanted to thank him personally for the experience. I felt he was able to cover more than if I had taken the class at a four-year college. I told him that even though we would probably never meet, he made the class a great experience for me.”
Because of an agreement all Alabama community colleges have, transferring classes taken at Bevill isn’t difficult.
“Bevill State Community College is very fortunate to be part of STARS - Statewide Transfer & Articulation Reporting System. STARS is a web-accessible database system that provides guidance and direction for prospective transfer students in Alabama. It allows public two-year students in Alabama to obtain a Transfer Guide/Agreement for the major of their choice. The guide helps students prevent loss of credit hours upon transfer to public four-year colleges and universities in Alabama,” said Dr. Leslie Cummings, dean of Instruction at Bevill State.
Summer registration at Bevill State Community College is May 27. Classes begin May 29. For a list of courses that will be offered during the summer semester, as well as information on admissions and financial assistance, and registration information is available at www.bscc.edu.