Bluefield University in the News


by | Apr 9, 2015

Bluefield College will celebrate a significant chapter of its history during Spring Commencement, May 9, 2015: the awarding of its first-ever masters’ degrees.

The college launched its inaugural master’s degree program, an online master of arts in education (MAEd) curriculum, in the fall of 2013 for licensed teachers to improve their practice, achieve career goals, and increase earning power while still working full time in the classroom.



“As a graduate of Bluefield College, I could not be more thrilled that the master’s degree program is now officially established,” said Dr. Donna Hardy Watson, dean of the School of Education, who created the MAEd curriculum. “Working with practicing teachers in this program to use their classroom experiences as the basis for analysis and research has provided rich opportunities for reflection and implementation.”


The historic first students in the master’s program – Shellie Brown of Pounding Mill, Virginia; Megan Hardison of Bluefield, Virginia; Crystal Ramos-McCall of Pembroke Virginia; and Kalyn Dolan of Lynchburg, Virginia – will graduate on May 9, 2015, and the leadership skills they have developed during their studies, added Dr. Watson, along with their increased ability to conduct and use research in education will greatly benefit not just them, but their schools and communities.


“It has been an honor to be a part of the educational journey with these first graduates who have shown insight and passion in their research based on classroom needs,” said Dr. Watson, who became director of the school’s Teacher Education Program in 2006. “Truly they are school leaders and educational innovators who have set a high standard for future classes of graduate students.”


One of the final requirements for the graduate students to achieve their degree is to conduct original research and present their findings focusing on student learning and achievement. In fact, the four students will present their action research projects on Friday, April 24, 2015 at Bluefield College.


While not open to the public because of the research component, members of an invited panel will be on hand to rate the presentations and to provide feedback, including school superintendents from Virginia and West Virginia; trustees of Bluefield College; and regional school principals. The ratings provided by the panel members will not only be used by the students, but also by administrators in the School of Education for program development. The presentations will be followed by a celebratory luncheon.


Founded in 1977 by Dr. Gerald Clay, who directed the program until his retirement in 2006, the Bluefield College Teacher Education program in the School of Education is nationally accredited through the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) under the umbrella of the Council of Accreditation in Educator Preparation (CAEP). Joining Dr. Watson as fellow Bluefiel​d College alumni who teach in the master of arts in education program are Dr. Thomas Brewster, Dr. Danielle Anderson Lusk, and Dr. Eric Workman.


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

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