Bluefield University in the News


by | Mar 16, 2011

Bluefield College is expanding its criminal justice program for adult degree-completion students.

Students interested in the inSPIRE adult degree-completion program may now pursue a public safety degree (formerly named the criminal justice degree) with a study concentration in one of four specific areas: criminal justice; homeland security and emergency management; homeland security and critical infrastructure; or pre-law.

The new bachelor of arts degree in public safety with all four of its concentrations can be obtained through customary adult degree-completion classroom settings or entirely online through the college’s eSPIRE Online Learning Community.

“Bluefield College has offered the criminal justice degree through it’s inSPIRE degree-completion program across the Commonwealth for many years, and many criminal justice professionals have earned bachelor’s degrees from BC,” said Dr. Jeff Fox, chair of the public safety portion of inSPIRE. “We value the special relationship we have with the criminal justice community, and now we hope to grow that relationship by expanding our course offerings to those in and interested in the entire public safety community.”

The new public safety degree is designed for working adults already in or seeking to enter work in fire and emergency medical services, the military, chemical and environmental services, emergency management, juvenile justice, transportation, health services, court systems, corrections, security, municipal management, or some other public safety area.

Because the new degree program is much broader than the original criminal justice degree, graduates might find themselves working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Secret Service, Border Patrol, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), or the Department of Homeland Security.

They might also advance or begin work in the private security industry, as a consultant or investigator, or as an intelligence analyst. And, because the public safety degree still maintains the concentration in criminal justice, students are well equipped for a career in law enforcement or the foundation for graduate study in law.

“Students earning a degree in BC’s new public safety program will gain knowledge and skills in all facets of emergency management, homeland security, public administration, criminal justice, and the law,” said Dr. Fox. “This degree will assist graduates with preparation for graduate or law school. Likewise, the degree will prepare graduates for careers in criminal justice, homeland security and emergency management at the local, state and federal level in both the public and private arena.”

The homeland security and emergency management and the homeland security and critical infrastructure concentrations focus on an all-hazards philosophy and include classes in homeland security, emergency management, intelligence, weapons, infrastructure protection, and behavioral dimensions of disaster. The criminal justice and pre-law tracts feature classes in criminal law, corrections, law enforcement, legal and constitutional issues, psychology, criminal behavior, and terrorism.

All classes can be taken in customary inSPIRE classroom settings or entirely online through the college’s eSPIRE Online Learning Community. BC’s inSPIRE program is a convenient, accelerated degree-completion program designed to allow a working adult with prior college credit the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree in as little as 13 months. The eSPIRE Online Learning Community simply extends the flexibility and convenience by offering students the opportunity to complete their bachelor’s degree completely online without sacrificing professional and personal commitments.

Students entering the public safety degree-completion program must have already earned 54 college credit hours. In many cases, military or service-oriented training, as well as prior public safety work experience counts toward the prerequisite credits.

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.