Classes are back in full swing at Bainbridge State College and this year there have been more students walking beneath the Georgia Pines and Live Oaks on campus.
The increase BSC has seen this fall is the rounding out of three consecutive increases in enrollment. There was a 6.3 percent increase in enrollment from spring 2015 to spring 2016. Summer of 2016 saw a 13.6 increase over summer of 2015—and current numbers show a 4 percent increase from fall 2015 to fall 2016.
A total of 2,490 students are taking classes this fall at Bainbridge State College—and the institution is striving to meet each student’s need for a quality education not far from home.
“We are excited about the increase in enrollment,” said Dr. Stuart Rayfield, BSC Interim President. “These increases demonstrate that we are working hard to meet the workforce demands of our region.”
Bainbridge State hopes students will choose to attend their “hometown” college by offering courses that are directly related to the job market of southwest Georgia, northwest Florida and southeast Alabama.
Some of the programs offered to meet the region’s workforce demands business, nursing, industrial maintenance, and criminal justice—but that is only naming a few of the many diverse options.
One statewide initiative has greatly contributed to the enrollment increase at Bainbridge State College.
Last fall, the College opened its doors for high school students through the Move On When Ready (MOWR) program—and since then the College, students and region have benefited from it.
“We continue to grow the Move On When Ready program, enabling high school students to complete college credit – and in some cases, college degrees – while still in high school,” commented Rayfield. “It allows us to rapidly increase the number of regional residents who have some post-secondary education, and our goal is to retain and graduate these students so we are continually increasing the number of people in our community who hold a degree in higher education.”
The MOWR program currently makes up 25 percent of the student population, with the program up 72 percent from last fall.
With programs such as MOWR, Go Back Move Ahead (GBMA), which helps make the enrollment process easier for students returning to college, and the dedicated staff and faculty, Bainbridge State is holding true to its mission of education by offering a selection of technical degrees and certificates alongside its catalog of academic and transfer-oriented study plans.
Rayfield added, “Our faculty and staff are working hard every day to create an outstanding educational environment and we are seeing the positive impact they are all having through our increases in enrollment. It truly is a great time to be a student at BSC.”
Recently, Bainbridge State College was ranked in the top 10 community colleges in Georgia (www.schools.com). Not only did it come in second among community colleges in Georgia with distance education enrollment of 43 percent, but Bainbridge State College took the number one spot for most affordable USG College by a wide margin.