Berea College - Comments and Student Experiences|
However, it is an incredible school. Yes, it is INCREDIBLY hard to stay in the college with the lack of communication and struggling to fill out the copious amounts of paperwork last minute (because of the lack of understanding and constant changing of the way things work), but it is incredible. I complained the entire time I was in that school, but I made sure to give credit where credit was due.
The professors, classes offered, and the labor program are the only thing holding this college up at the moment. Luckily, these are the things that are important. Most of the professors have their doctorate degree and the classes are (for the most part) interesting and I enjoyed going to my classes. The class sizes are small (with the exception of the general studies requirements) and it becomes very easy to have a professional, but also personal relationship with your professors or advisors. In turn, your professors become some of your best references and I left with multiple great references.
The labor program is great in the sense that the college wouldn't run without the students. The positions are underpaid and if you do not fulfill your labor hour requirements it can become an issue, but I loved the program. It was hard to be a full time student and still have a job, but it was on campus and everyone is required to have a job. Even if it is not a well paid position, you have at least SOME money coming. We all know Berea, KY doesn't have enough jobs for all the students.
My biggest issues were with administration and the (what I find) silly things that can get you kicked out of Berea College. It makes sense to kick someone out of the college for repeatedly doing poorly, having weapons on campus, selling hard drugs on campus, or doing anything illegal, but having someone of the opposite sex in your room more than 3 times (in your entire career at Berea College) or having multiple parking tickets should not be reasons to have to leave the school. Transferring into or out of Berea College is also a nightmare. Most of your credits will not transfer because Berea College has a different credit hour system and offers classes other colleges do not.
There are many rules at Berea College and there were many times I asked myself if all this stress, grief, and disrespect is worth it. Now that I've got the degree in my hand and it's over with, I guess I have nothing to say except "yes." It could have been worse, but I think the college could be a really great place with a change of staff. The "where else would you have gone if we didn't accept you" mentality gets old really quickly and pissed me off on more than one occasion.
It was also more comfortable knowing that all of your classmates received the same scholarship as you and that most (there are some exceptions) of the students have a similar background (lower to middle class). It was oddly comforting (for me, at least) and there wasn't that difference to deal with.
There are departments on campus that need to get off their high horse and stop perpetuating stereotypes, but for the most part the departments have a sturdy foundation and at least one amazing, worthwhile professor. I especially recommend Berea College for language majors because Berea College has a GREAT study abroad program (also with its own flaws, but those issues are all attributed to financial aid).All in all, Berea College is an all right place to go, but once you separate the administration from the professors, labor, and courses it looks a lot more inviting.
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