Kate Gray, Campus Carrier staff writer
Berry College Courses, commonly known as BCC groups to professors and students, was changed from lasting the duration of ten weeks to a full semester for the first time. In order to understand BCC, it is important to understand why Berry chose to prolong this introductory class.
Katherine Powell, the director of First Year Experience, said, “The main purpose of BCC is to set students up for success.”
In order to do this, BCC professors and student mentors provide incoming students with access to resources, involvement opportunities, study skills and social events. In years previous, BCC has not extended throughout the entire first semester. BCC was previously lengthened from half a semester to ten weeks in order to maintain BCC as a resource for freshmen during the class registration period. While this extended form of BCC greatly helped students through registration, it still left freshmen to fend for themselves the final four weeks during exams.
Powell said, “Without BCC, new students lacked the connections they needed during the final four weeks of the semester. With BCC now extended to a full semester, incoming students will have a consistent support system throughout both the registration process and final exam weeks.”
Alice Suroviec, one of Berry’s BCC professors, said, “BCC has also adopted a more structured schedule this year. Freshmen have specific assignments and readings to complete in order to ensure that BCC functions as a beneficial class and resource.”
Suroviec also said that she loves watching the start versus the finish of her BCC students’ careers at Berry. Suroviec provides a unique assignment in which students write a reflective paper about themselves, and she later returns the self-reflections to the students to show them their progress and growth. Each BCC professor, in addition to monitoring the basic assignments, has the goal of mentoring the students in their class.
In addition to mentorship from BCC professors, incoming students also receive a student mentor. Nicholas Fernandez, a junior at Berry, was a mentor last year and is currently a mentor for the new students this year.
He said, “The mentors genuinely try to get to know the students in order to become better resources to the students. The student feedback from freshmen has been incredibly positive in regard to BCC classes.”
Berry College Courses first became a required credit in 1996. Twenty-three years later, BCC is still a valued class for freshman
Fernandez said, “In addition to showing new students that Berry puts time and care into improving and striving for excellence, BCC improvements also show incoming students that they are valued and cared for at Berry.”