Berea College’s Recognition Ceremony for Mid-Year Graduates will be Sunday, Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. in Phelps Stokes Chapel. Jim Branscome, retired managing director for investment analysis of Standard & Poor’s (S&P), will address the seniors who will complete their degree requirements at the end of this term. The Berea College graduates who will be recognized at this mid-year ceremony represent 14 American states and 10 other countries.
Berea College is now certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program.
Long known as a leader in sustainability and stewardship of natural resources, Berea College is the 85th educational institution in the nation to achieve certification of its efforts in creating sustainable habitats for pollinators, which are vital to feeding the planet.
Each year during Homecoming Bereans are recognized for their professional accomplishments, contributions to the community and commitments to the mission of Berea College. This year, Jim Gaines ’56 received the Distinguished Alumnus award and Sharyn Mitchel FD ’65 BC ’69 received the Rodney C. Bussey Award of Special Merit. Recipients were honored at the Alumni Awards Presentation and Reception at 6 p.m., Nov. 15 in the Boone Tavern Events Center. Continue reading Two Alumni Awards Presented at Berea College Homecoming →
Berea College appointed Nicholas D. Hartlep as the chair of the department of education studies and named him as the Robert Billings Chair in Education.
Hartlep began his career as a first grade teacher in Rochester, Minnesota, before receiving a doctoral degree in urban education at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM). He also has a master’s degree in K–12 education and bachelor’s degree in elementary education, both conferred from Winona State University (WSU).
Dr. Suzanne Birner, assistant professor at Berea College, was awarded the Ralph Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). Dr. Birner competed with 167 applicants, many from R1 institutions (doctoral universities with the highest level of research activity). The $5,000 grant award is matched by each applicant’s institution.
Berea College was recognized by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) with the 2019 Outstanding Service to Environmental Education by an Organization award for incorporating environmental education into its sustainability initiatives.
The Richmond-Madison County (Ky.) branch of the NAACP honored Berea College at the recent Freedom Fund Banquet.
The NAACP recognized Berea College because it was the first interracial and co-educational college in the South, and for its inclusive Christian character expressed in its motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth.”
Berea College was the focus of a feature story by Jeff Tyler recently broadcast by National Public Radio. Tyler, a journalist for NPR’s Marketplace and All Things Considered, recently visited Berea’s campus to prepare the story that focused on how Berea College and Alice Lloyd College provide no-tuition enrollment for college students and offer examples other American colleges might follow.
The annual Berea College Christmas Concert, co-sponsored by the College’s music department and the Willis D. Weatherford Jr. Campus Christian Center, will be held on two successive nights—Friday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7. Both performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Union Church.
Berea College is one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review, the education services company that just published the 2019 edition of its Guide to Green Colleges.
Known as a leader in turning the Bluegrass state “green,” Berea College is one of 413 schools profiled in the new guide.
The guide is based on a survey the company conducted in 2018–19 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges about their institutions’ commitments to the environment and sustainability. The guide states, “Berea College is a model for sustainability in higher education for the Appalachian region and beyond.”
CNN's SCHEME and SCANDAL: Inside the College Admissions CrisisA special CNN documentary that aired Sunday, October 20, examined how the college admissions process in America became so broken. Titled SCHEME and SCANDAL: Inside the College Admissions Crisis, the documentary investigated how some students and their high-profile celebrity parents have turned to criminal rigging of their applications in pursuit of entrance to the most in-demand colleges. The hour-long program also reported on lesser-known cases of cheating that did not make the headlines: paying bribes to coaches, admissions officers, and other school officials, hiring standardized test takers, obtaining false diagnoses to secure more time for testing, and more.
Amid media coverage of the FBI’s “Varsity Blues” college scam cases, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria contrasted how Berea College offers “a high-quality education to economically-disadvantaged students in pursuit of their American dreams.”
A special CNN documentary that aired Sunday, October 20, examined how the college admissions process in America became so broken. Titled SCHEME and SCANDAL: Inside the College Admissions Crisis, the documentary investigated how some students and their high-profile celebrity parents have turned to criminal rigging of their applications in pursuit of entrance to the most in-demand colleges. The hour-long program also reported on lesser-known cases of cheating that did not make the headlines: paying bribes to coaches, admissions officers, and other school officials, hiring standardized test takers, obtaining false diagnoses to secure more time for testing, and more.
In contrast, Berea College was highlighted as an alternate model for access and affordability to quality higher education, especially for those who can least afford it. Students were interviewed and spoke about the opportunities Berea provides that they and their families could not otherwise afford. The program featured Berea’s distinctive no-tuition model and how the College’s endowment and contributions from alumni and other donors provides the capital to invest in lives of great promise.
The program will be rebroadcast on November 2, 2019. Check local listings for times in your area.
The annual Hunger Hurts Food Drive, coordinated by Berea College’s Center for Excellence in Learning through Service (CELTS), in collaboration with the Berea Faith Community Outreach, will run from Oct. 19 to 26.
Beginning Oct. 19, volunteers will distribute brown paper grocery bags, donated by Kroger, to local households. Community members can help by filling the bags with non-perishable food and toiletry items and placing them near their front door by 9 a.m. on Oct. 26, for volunteers to pick up.
Noted musician and songwriter Billy Edd Wheeler, a Berea College alumnus, “is bringin’ it home” at this year’s Celebration of Traditional Music (CTM) with tales of ‘Memories Through Songs’ featuring traditional Appalachian folk music.
The festival’s opening event on Thursday, Oct. 10, will be the Stephenson Memorial Convocation Concert, headlined by Wheeler along with performances by Doug Orr of Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada and Whitewater Bluegrass Company from Ashville, North Carolina. The Convocation begins at 8 p.m., in Phelps Stokes Chapel on the Berea College campus.
Beginning Sept. 10, the Berea College Technology and Applied Design Department will be accepting course registration for fall 2019 Westervelt Program classes, which will focus on woodworking. Class will begin Sept. 12 and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in room 103A of the Danforth Technology Building. The instructor will be David Cooke.
The Westervelt program is offered each year to Berea townspeople as well as students, faculty and staff. The program provides excellent opportunities for individuals to develop a well-rounded educational background and pursue specific areas of interest. These courses are open to persons with woodworking experience ranging from novice to expert. Participants must be at least 18 years old to enroll in the Westervelt Program. Each participant is required to bring personal safety glasses/goggles and hearing protection for use with machinery.
There will be projects for the novice woodworker to select, including making wooden kitchen implements. More experienced woodworkers may propose an individual project to the instructor for approval.
The three individual session dates are:
- Sept. 12 to Oct. 3
- Oct. 8 to Oct. 29
- Oct. 31 to Nov. 21
To register, please call Farrah Stamper at 859-985-3033 on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. There is a $10 non-refundable registration fee for each block of classes. In addition, students will be responsible for any materials used.
Berea College tops the list of “Best Value Colleges” in the nation in The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (THE) 2020 College Rankings. Looking at the top 250 schools overall, the rankings calculated which schools provide the best value by dividing each school’s overall score by its average net price according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. The average net price is the total cost of attending a school—including tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other costs—minus federal or institutional financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid. Students who don’t receive any aid aren’t included in the calculation.
Berea’s no-tuition model contributed to its No. 1 best-value ranking. The College ranked No. 155 overall.
“We are thrilled to be ranked at the top of this impressive list of colleges and universities and are proud to be leading a cohort of schools that are committed to the important American ideal of social mobility through educational opportunity,” said Berea College President Lyle Roelofs. “Our no-tuition policy allows us to provide talented students who might not otherwise be able to afford access to a high-quality liberal arts education and transformative experiences and enables them to graduate with little or no debt.”
Following Berea on the list are three schools in the City University of New York (CUNY) system: CUNY City College of New York, CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College and CUNY Hunter College. The University of Washington-Seattle rounds out the top five.
Eight of the top 10 best-value colleges in this year’s Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings are public schools whose financial resources are constrained by government budgets.
Berea College gained the No. 1 spot in the nation for Campus Engagement in the newly released 2019 Sustainable Campus Index (SCI). The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) recognizes top-performing colleges and universities in 17 sustainability impact areas and overall by institution type, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) reporting system. Berea, long-known for a strong commitment to sustainability, was recognized with a perfect score for campus engagement. Since 2017, Berea College has had a “gold” STARS rating.
The newly-released SCI report also highlights innovative and high-impact initiatives from institutions that submitted STARS reports in the most recent calendar year. The institutions and initiatives featured in this year’s SCI showcase the great work higher education institutions are doing to lead the global sustainability transformation.
Berea College is a leader in “turning the blue grass state green,” achieving many sustainability “firsts.” Berea College had both the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified building in Kentucky (Lincoln Hall, the College’s administration building) and the first LEED-certified hotel (Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant). Berea’s campus also is home to several LEED-certified residence halls and the newly-built Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building (MAC), which was awarded LEED gold certiﬁcation and full-project certification by the Forest Stewardship Council. Berea College is also home of the first Ecovillage in the commonwealth.Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to assess and recognize buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance, LEED promotes environmentally- and socially-responsible construction and operation of green buildings in order to improve quality of life.
Washington Monthly ranked Berea College No. 1 as the Best Bang for the Buck Colleges in the South. No other college in Kentucky was in the top 25. Berea also was named the nation’s No. 4 top liberal arts college in the 2019 Washington Monthly College Rankings guide. The recognition for Berea comes from its success in educating and graduating academically talented, low-income students who become service-oriented leaders in their professions and communities.
In announcing the rankings, Washington Monthly author Robert Kelchen noted that there is “growing public attention paid to colleges’ roles in fostering upward social mobility among their students. This is our eighth year of producing a ranking of ‘best bang for the buck’ colleges, which is laser focused on showing which colleges do a good job promoting social mobility—and which don’t.”
Kelchen noted that Berea held the top spot again this year due to the College’s “economic diversity, relatively strong graduation rates and commitment to meeting students’ financial need.”
Washington Monthly’s rankings focus on what colleges are doing for the good of the country at large by the way they educate their students. The publication measures schools’ success in three key areas—social mobility (admitting and graduating low-income students), research and Ph.D. production and community service—to determine the rankings.
“We find such recognition for Berea’s success in serving students who might otherwise not be able to attend college most gratifying, especially since the criteria for Washington Monthly rankings aligns with Berea’s mission,” said Berea College President Lyle Roelofs. “The economic data and peer surveys that other publications use for their rankings typically favor wealthy, elite colleges. By contrast the Washington Monthly criteria recognizes the value of social mobility, transformative education and service, which are consistent with our ‘Great Commitments’ that inform Berea’s work and inspire support from donors.”
Berea’s distinctive mission is serving low-income students. Between 80 and 90 percent of Berea students receive federal Pell grants and annual household of students’ families is about $29,000. The national graduation rates for that demographic averages only in the mid-teens. By contrast, about two-thirds of Berea’s students graduate on time and a healthy number go on to earn doctoral and other advanced degrees.
The public is invited to join the entire Berea College community in marking the beginning of the 2019-20 academic year at the College’s Opening Convocation on Thursday, August 29, 2019, at 3 p.m. in the Seabury Center. The program is free.
The theme for this year’s opening convocation will be Berea Stories.
“Berea consists of 1,600 great stories, stories of challenge, accomplishment and triumph,” said Berea College President Lyle Roelofs. “Every Berea student has a compelling story, as do all other Bereans— faculty, staff, alumni and retirees—who together constitute our wonderful community. Opening Convocation 2019 is a celebration of all those stories and how they connect and reinforce one another.”
This Opening Convocation will feature remarks by President Roelofs and representatives from the College community—including student, faculty, staff, alumni and retiree speakers—who will briefly share their own Berea stories. Special music will be performed by Berea College students and faculty.
This annual event opens the College’s year-long convocation series of lectures, symposia, concerts and performing arts productions. The series includes the Stephenson Memorial Concerts and offers outstanding scholars, artists and leaders that enhance the intellectual, aesthetic and religious life, and make important contributions to students’ educational experience at Berea College. View the schedule of all convocations this academic year. All convocations are free and open to the public.
The Princeton Review has once again included Berea College in its just-released publication of The Best 385 Colleges: 2020 Edition.
Berea is nationally recognized for its high-quality education and its distinctive labor program, which hires every admitted student to help operate the school. Berea is also known for its Tuition Promise Scholarship that covers the $44,100 annual tuition cost for every student. That is particularly meaningful for Berea’s students since most come from families making an average of $29,000 and are the first in their families to attend college.
The Princeton Review’s list of best colleges is based on input from students at America’s schools on a survey that asked students 84 questions about their school’s academics, administration, campus community and themselves. The answer format uses a five-point Likert scale to convert qualitative student assessments into quantitative data for school-to-school comparisons. The company does not rank the 385 schools in the book hierarchically, from 1 to 385 in any category. Instead The Princeton Review surveyed 140,000 students at 385 of the nation’s top colleges to rate their schools on dozens of topics important to applicants and their parents.
“Berea’s continued recognition among America’s top schools is gratifying,” said Lyle D. Roelofs, president of Berea College. “Berea’s no-tuition model is especially important to our students whose families seek the kind of high-quality liberal arts education Berea College offers, but cannot afford to pay tuition. The national attention on Berea from organizations such as The Princeton Review helps families connect with a school that will meet their needs. This recognition also puts a spotlight on Berea’s many alumni and friends whose contributions replace tuition so that our student’s outcomes are not limited by their financial situations.”
“The 385 colleges for this edition were chosen as ‘best’ overall, academically, based on data gathered in 2018–19 from more than a thousand school administrators about their schools’ academic programs and offerings,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief and lead author of the book.
Berea College has been ranked by Nursing Explorer as the best-value RN program, taking the No. 1 spot out of 39 programs ranked in Kentucky. The annual ranking is made after reviewing data from more than 3,000 U.S. nursing schools. The ranking is based on information from governmental organizations, institutional information from the Department of Education and accreditation information from Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.
Using National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) pass rate for nursing students and net-price of nursing schools to formulate the ranking parameters, in 2019 Nursing Explorer ranked 1,721 schools across 45 states. A 70 percent weight was assigned to the NCLEX pass rate and a 30 percent weight was given to net-price. The result of the calculation is a score between one and 100 that reflects the quality of education offered at each school and its affordability. If a school has a high NCLEX pass rate and low tuition (or provides sizeable financial aid), then its ranking will be higher.
The data is made available to prospective students through a searchable database to provide students with useful insights into the nursing programs available in every state.
Berea College’s Nursing Department is the oldest college-affiliated program west of the Alleghenies. In keeping with the College’s aims and commitments, the mission of the nursing program is to prepare students with great promise and limited economic resources for the practice of professional nursing in a variety of health care settings and to provide a foundation for graduate study in nursing. Berea’s baccalaureate degree program in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and is also approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing.
Berea College Department of Nursing is hosting an educational and interactive experience as distinguished professor and author, Laura Dzurec, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, ANEF, FAAN, presents healthy responses to workplace bullying on Thursday, August 22.
Dr. Dzurec currently serves as Senior Scholar in the Boston College Connell School of Nursing. Previously, she served as Dean at Widener University, Kent State University, and the University of Connecticut and held various posts at Oregon Health Science University, University of Maine, The Ohio State University, Kent State University, and Case Western Reserve University. She is a Fellow in the National League for Nursing’s (USA) Academy of Nursing Education and the American Academy of Nursing.
Berea College announced that the newly-built Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building (MAC) has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certiﬁcation and full project certification by the Forest Stewardship Council.
The LEED rating system was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to assess and recognize buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human-health performance. The Forest Stewardship Council, which promotes environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of forests worldwide, certified the full project.
“Gaining LEED Gold is no easy task to accomplish with any building, much less one as large and complex as the MAC,” said Derrick Singleton, vice president of operations and sustainability at Berea College. “This building continues to support Berea’s mission to promote an environmentally safe and sustainable way of life.”
Berea College achieved LEED certiﬁcation for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
“We also received the Forest Stewardship Council’s Full Project Certification for the MAC,” said Richard Dodd, LEED AP, director of Project Management at Berea College. “This certification requires a full audit of all wood products used in construction and verified to have been sourced with ecological responsibility.”
“This makes Berea home to five of eight such FSC certified projects in the U.S. and one of only 85 worldwide. These are testaments of our efforts to ‘tread softly’ on the environment while still making big impacts,” Dodd continued.
LEED promotes environmentally- and socially-responsible construction and operation of green buildings in order to improve quality of life. Berea College had both the first LEED-certified building in Kentucky (Lincoln Hall, the College’s administration building) and the first LEED certified hotel (Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant). Berea’s campus is also home to several LEED certified residence halls.
“Achieving LEED certiﬁcation is more than implementing sustainable practices. It represents a commitment to making the world a better place and inﬂuencing others to do better,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of the building industry in that effort, Berea College demonstrates their leadership through their LEED certiﬁcation of The Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health project.
Question: What do Harvard, Duke, Stanford, Princeton and Berea have in common?
Answer: They were all named as the top five elite universities that also are the most affordable for low-income families.
Skyler Lucci, CEO of HeyTutor, says that with need-blind admissions and generous financial aid programs, “America’s most elite universities are also the most affordable for low-income families while also providing an excellent education.” Berea College is among the top 5.
Using data from research conducted by The Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative at the Brookings Institution, Lucci’s article, published by T74 (the74million.org) states that sometimes students and parents don’t fully understand the financial aid process or the difference between the published and net prices. As a result, low-income students may (wrongly) assume elite schools will be too expensive for them, when in fact, substantial financial resources are available to them. For example, Lucci points out that “Unlike most colleges in the U.S., Berea does not charge tuition in the traditional sense. Instead, it covers costs through endowment income, funds from donations and other sources of financial aid.” The article also states that Berea is an “. . . excellent institution of higher education for students with limited economic means.”
Berea College invites the public to an open house at the Woodworking School at Pine Croft, Saturday, July 13, from 10am-1pm. The open house event will provide information about the upcoming classes and an opportunity to meet our staff. Andy Glenn, Berea College’s director of Woodcraft and the head of the Woodworking School at Pine Croft, will demonstrate woodworking techniques and be available for questions during the event.
The Woodworking School at Pine Croft will offer two courses this summer, both of which will focus on production of Shaker-influenced furniture. The first class will be held July 22-27, 2019. This class “Building a Two Drawer Side Table,” will be taught by Kelly Mehler and assisted by Andy Glenn. The class is currently fully booked, but names are being accepted for a wait list.
Openings are still available for the second class, “Building a Two Drawer Peg-Leg Stand,” that will be held August 5-9, 2019. This class will be taught by Andy Glenn and assisted by Kelly Mehler. Contact Aaron Beale at 859-985-3224 to register or email: email@example.com
A woodworking school for adults, Pine Croft is a newly-added component in the repertoire of Berea College’s Crafts Program. It extends Berea’s support to the local, regional and national crafts communities. Located just minutes from campus and adjacent to the Berea College Forest at 1865 Big Hill Road in Berea, KY, the woodworking school is on the site of the former Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking. The full schedule of classes for 2020 will be announced on October 15th. The 2020 classes will be taught by expert instructors from all over the country. Learn more about the classes currently offered.
The school was named “Pine Croft” after the title originally given to the property by Mrs. Anna Ernberg, the weaving director of Berea College’s Fireside Industries, when she made her home on the site in the early 1900s. The new woodworking school will continue the tradition of fine woodworking for which both the College and Kelly Mehler are well known.
Pine Croft, a woodworking school for adults, has been added to the repertoire of the Berea College Crafts Program and extends Berea’s support to the local, regional and national crafts communities. Located just minutes from campus and adjacent to the Berea College Forest, the woodworking school is on the site of the former Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking, which has been renamed The Woodworking School at Pine Croft.
Nerdwallet, a personal financial services blogsite that provides information on banking, credit cards, college loans, mortgage loans, insurance, and stock trading, highlighted Berea College in a recent article. The feature focused on Berea’s Student Labor Program and two other schools that are members of the Work Colleges Consortium that also require students to work.