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Bevill State is kind of a strange college in northern/middle Alabama. The college is actually separated into 4 different campuses in 4 different towns, all of which are at least 20 miles apart. The furthest campuses are about 90 minutes away from each other. The weird thing about college academically is that the program classes (for the degree I completed) were actually pretty good. The teachers were helpful (as much as they could be) and pleasant to deal with. I've attended a 4-yr. state university and earned a B.S. degree there so I know "what is missing" academically at BSCC and here's the school's biggest flaws: #1) The programs are spread out across campuses, allowing students to potentially get all of their stuff by attending only one...but what is actually happening is each program is being hurt by having resources spread too thin instead of having 1 or 2 locations where the money is invested. For example, some classrooms are in terrible shape. It's like no money is put into maintaining buildings. Sometimes computer labs at different schools are a joke. Often the classes one school offers do not match what is offered elsewhere. #2) The actual school workers (people in student services, testing, financial aid, etc.) are all very rude. They really are. And while I could deal with rude, the problem with Bevill's non-instructor staff is that they aren't helpful either. Getting anything done is like pulling teeth and, again, because the college is spread out across four locations, some really sub-par workers have managed to keep their jobs for years because there's a place for them. #3) The stuff you learn isn't really high-level stuff. While I had good core class teachers who were pleasant and knowledgeable, it was clear from day one that they simply didn't have the time or energy to do much beyond cover the information and enter everyone's grades. As a result, you really have to be a self motivated learner at Bevill. The textbooks you use are often good, so go above and beyond the classwork if you want to prepare yourself for real-world or higher-level college classes. I don't really think even a 2-yr. degree will prepare you for entry level work if all you do is what the teachers require. In other words, the work is not that challenging and probably won't be incredibly useful in a major way. #4) There is no social-anything with the school. There is no extracurricular life to be part of. There are no RSOs to join. The only groups I ever heard of was an honor society/fraternity (Phi Theta Kappa I think) and of course, the random assortment of forgettable college sports Bevill participates in. There's simply nothing for students to do with each other after classes end. Coming from a person who went to a mid-sized State university (~12k students, ~4k on campus), this was really disappointing. Again, I believe the biggest reason why this occurs isn't so much that the makeup of students at BSCC is different (mostly working adults, not 18-21 yr. olds) but rather that the school is split up across 4 different towns. If BSCC would just dump all of its money into the Sumiton and Fayette campuses...they would suddenly have the means to really do great things. But they won't do that. No way. #5) Lastly, the students at Bevill are, unfortunately, mostly there for a reason. While I would have loved to have gone to a state university again, I simply didn't have the means financially and didn't live near Birmingham. What I took at Bevill I had to pay out of my own pocket. Sadly, most people at BSCC seem to be "Pell Grant" folk. And I don't mean that in a bad way - but generally the people who get Pell Grants are those from very low income families and generally, people who are very poor aren't the most educated. And, since BSCC (from what I recall) does not have an entrance exam or require a certain ACT score, they really do let anyone attend. Now, again, I'm not saying BSCC is full of braindead rejects - but there does seem to be a large number of very unmotivated, underskilled, overcompensated (grant-/scholarship-wise), lazy people at Bevill. Overall though, it's not a terrible school...but it's not really anything like a "true" college experience. If you want that, head into Birmingham and go to UAB, UA in Tuscaloosa or something. However, if what you really want is a degree, classes that will transfer and the ability to learn from actual instructors (vs. just out of a book) BSCC isn't bad. Plus, it's fairly inexpensive (although, I should mention that they seem to be raising the tuition rates by 5-10% every year or so now...it's not the great deal it once used to be which blurs the line even more between Bevill vs. a State University).
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