Bluefield University in the News


by | Sep 2, 2011

Bluefield College ceremoniously kicked off the 2011-’12 academic year with the pomp and circumstance of its annual President’s Convocation, August 31.

Dressed in full academic regalia, BC faculty and staff marched into Harman Chapel for the traditional ceremony, which featured formal greetings to students from BC leadership; words of wisdom offered by longtime Christian higher education leader Dr. Paul Corts, and a pledge of commitment to excellence and honor from the entire BC family.

President David Olive welcomed new and returning students to the commencement occasion. He recognized special guests in attendance, including professors emeritus David Armbrister, Gerald Clay and Will Gordon; trustees Tom Brewster and Julie Johnson; and pastor Ed Fisher of First Baptist Church of Bluefield.

The president also spoke about core values at Bluefield College, including academic excellence, service above self, care, respect, encouragement, and Christ-centeredness.

Other BC leaders offered similar greetings to students, including Board Chair Julie Johnson, Faculty President Mimi Merritt, Alumni Association President Dan Agee, and Student Government President Bethany Liddle. Agee spoke about the excitement of both the beginning (student) and end (alumnus) of the BC experience. Liddle encouraged her fellow classmates to “get involved.” Merrit challenged students to “open your hearts and minds to learning as much as possible to make this world a better place,” and Johnson spoke of the reasons why trustees support the school.

“God is richly blessing Bluefield College,” she said. “There is a dynamic energy and a sense of renewal on this campus, and students, you are the reason we as trustees invest our time in resources in this place.”

In his keynote address, Dr. Corts, president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, congratulated Bluefield College on its perseverance and loyalty to its mission. Most of Christian higher education, he said, has lost its way, but Bluefield, he added, has remained faithful to the integration of faith and learning, service to the community, and transforming students? lives. What will you do in response, he asked students?

“Will you let Bluefield College shape and mod and transform your life so that you walk humbly with the Lord, show mercy, and do justice,” Dr. Corts asked. “Will you allow your life to be clay in the hands of the capable faculty and staff at Bluefield College?”

The President’s Convocation also included the formal induction of new students into the BC student body through the reading of commitment statements and the signing and pledging of honor codes. The students pledged to “turn our hearts and minds toward wisdom,” “be a blessing to each other,” and “follow standards of conduct.”

In addition, the program included the introduction of new faculty and staff, including Melissa Baker, head women’s basketball coach; Lisa Bales, admissions director; Erika Bell, assistant athletic trainer; Jennifer Bohannan, student career advocate; Debbie Checchio, financial aid director; Nicki Childress, administrative assistant for academic affairs; Mike Compton, assistant football coach; Caroline Dixon, human resources assistant; Kevin Downer, professor of exercise and sport science; Pamela Fox, admissions counselor; Stacey Hairston, assistant football coach; Brian Hall, head golf coach; Dr. Dale Henry, dean of online programs; Bruce Hopler, director of spiritual formation; Chip Lambert, technology application developer; Ryan Lambert, assistant baseball coach; Dr. Carolyn Lewis, professor and chair of nursing; Bryan Maddox, director of online courses; Wakunuma Nanuma, financial aid counselor; Chase Neidig, sports information director; Dr. Martin Offield, associate professor of biology; Kim Potts, director of admissions; Dr. Irene Rieger, assistant professor of English; Tim Robinette, computer technician; Kim Rolen, campus safety officer; Mark Sarver, head tennis coach; Tara Shelley, assistant athletic trainer; Micah Stephens, coordinator of online media; Erin Tiller, coordinator of advancement services; Brian Votaw, head volleyball coach; Kristen Walker, head softball coach; and Brenda Workman, admissions office assistant.

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


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Brandy Smith

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