Bluefield University in the News


by | Mar 16, 2011

Bluefield College accounting students are getting hands-on experience in the field as part of their academic experience at Bluefield College.

The students are working on tax returns as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program with Clinch Valley Community Action in Tazewell, Virginia.

Clinch Valley Community Action (CVCA) is a private, non-profit organization designed to provide resources and opportunities to reduce poverty, promote self-sufficiency, and improve the quality of life of low-income individuals and families primarily in Tazewell County, Virginia.

One of its many programs that impacts thousands of Tazewell County residents is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, staffed by local college students and other volunteer accounting specialists, including students Sheena Neal and Benjamin Shumate, BC’s two spring 2011 VITA interns.

As part of the program, Neal and Shumate completed an Internal Revenue Service tax preparation training session to become certified tax preparers. The students then worked additional hours on-site at CVCA preparing tax returns for low-income families.

“I believe internship opportunities are invaluable for our students,” said Dee Shoemaker, chair of BC’s Division of Business. “Moreover, the internship with VITA provides not only real-world experience, but also a wonderful chance for our students to give back to our community.”

As part of the training and hands-on instruction, the students are learning about the various changes in tax returns related to filing status, exemptions, and credits.

“The program is a really good way to build a base of tax knowledge,” said Neal about the internship experience. “We’re only doing the most basic returns, but by preparing those we are gaining skills that will help us with more complicated returns in the future.”

Neal, a native of Panther, West Virginia, who attended Iaeger High School, is a member of BC’s National Scholars, Sigma Beta Delta and Alpha Chi National Honor Societies. She also is a representative for the school’s Phi Beta Lambda competitive business society and a frequent member of the college’s President’s and Dean’s Lists.

A senior at BC already admitted to Virginia Tech’s master of accounting and information systems program, Neal said the VITA program is teaching her important tax concepts that she can apply while working on her people skills and becoming more familiar with an actual work environment.

“I believe this experience will give us confidence and skills that will allow us to be more competitive in the job market,” Neal said. “No substitute exists for hands-on experience.”

Shumate, a native of Bluefield, West Virginia, is also a member of Bluefield’s Phi Beta Lambda competitive business society. In addition, he is a BC Student Ambassador and a BC Beazley Scholar. After completing nearly 30 tax returns, Shumate said he has enjoyed the experience “way more than (he) thought he would.”

“This is my first internship, and it has really taught me that no matter what you learn in school each place has its own way of doing things,” said Shumate, a BC junior who hopes to work as a certified public accountant. “You get the basics in college, but you still have a lot to learn when you get to your job. This has been a very good experience for me, and a good way to ease into professional accounting.”

Bluefield University

[email protected]276.326.4212

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


Meet our core Counseling faculty

Dr. Challen Mabry

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Dr. Kristen Moran

Associate Professor of Counseling

Brandy Smith

Assistant Professor of Education & Counseling,
Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling Program,
Title IX Confidential Counselor

Our team is here for you! How can we help?

This form requires credentials in order to request information.