4-year degrees coming to BC?

Published 4:22 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bainbridge College President Dr. Richard Carvajal

Bainbridge College President Dr. Richard Carvajal, during Tuesday’s annual meeting of the Bainbridge College Foundation, says the long-asked question, of whether BC will offer four-degrees, could finally be answered.

Carvajal announced that members of the Georgia Board of Regents will vote during their January meeting to grant “state college” status to Bainbridge College. That change in designation will enable the college to offer baccalaureate, or four-year, degrees.

“The question I got the most when I arrived in Bainbridge was ‘Is Bainbridge College going to be a four-year college?’ I didn’t know the answer to that question, but I made the commitment that, during the first year of my administration, we would decide, once and for all, what the answer will be,” Carvajal said.

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In an effort to determine the need for additional baccalaureate offerings, the college hired a consulting firm to survey the 11-county Bainbridge College service area. The assessment showed that the percentage of adults in this service area who have bachelor’s degrees is less than half of the statewide average.

Not only did the consultants help determine the need for additional four-year programs, they also concluded that the area that would impact the region most would be offerings in the business management field.

“Going further, we [may] intend to offer concentrations in various areas of management that are directly tied the economic development of the region,” Carvajal continued. “Agri-business is a great example, information technology, healthcare management, and the list goes on.”

Carvajal indicated that the college will offer Bachelor’s of Management degrees in three different concentrations. Those areas of concentration will be determined soon.

After determining the particulars of the Bachelor’s of Management program and design of the programs, the college will enroll its first class into a bachelor’s degree program in fall 2013.

In conjunction with the addition of the four-year program, the college has the opportunity to change its name to reflect the new “state college” status.

“We have three options,” Carvajal said. “We can either keep our name the same, we can add ‘state’ to our name, Bainbridge State College, or we can adopt a name that is more regional in its representation.

“I am inviting input on that question, and we’ll provide a place on our website for students, faculty, staff, and community members to participate in the conversation and offer their feedback,”

The decision on a potential name change will be announced by early December,  in time to present any change to the Board of Regents in January.