BSC offers first bachelor’s degree

Published 9:08 pm Tuesday, June 23, 2015

By Susanne Reynolds

Special to The Post-Searchlight

Southwest Georgia’s economy and workforce are getting a boost thanks to Bainbridge State College offering its first bachelor’s degree program.

Email newsletter signup

Beginning this fall, BSC will offer a Bachelor of Science in Business Management (B.S.M.) program. Currently, the newly approved program is enrolling students for the fall semester. It is anticipated that the upper level degree program will be an asset to Southwest Georgia in a wide-range of capacities.

The President of Bainbridge State College, Dr. Richard Carvajal called the program a “major milestone in the life of the institution.”

“We now have an even more comprehensive offering to benefit our community,” he said. “And together with our adult education, technical education, and Associate of Science programs, we stand ready to change so many lives in our community for the better.”

Dr. Leonard Kistner, Program Director for the B.S.M. program, described the benefits the new degree would offer.

“We see several clear positive outcomes our new management program will deliver. First, regional organizations, both for-profit and not-for-profit, will now have an affordable local source for the development and professional training of current and future employees,” he said. “Additionally, present and former BSC students will have access to a quality extension of the educational opportunities offered in a two-year program, to the next academic level – a bachelor’s degree.”

Kistner added that graduates would have access to leadership and decision-making roles in most sectors of the regional, national, and global economy. These diverse opportunities are available in operations, human resources, supply chain and logistics, healthcare, banking and finance, agribusiness, retail and franchise ownership and management, and entrepreneurial ventures such as starting up a business.

According to Kistner, the new program will be student-friendly and eligible for financial aid assistance with federal and state financial aid resources, as well as scholarships. The degree can be earned in two years after the associate’s level is attained and offers various class times to accommodate working and family schedules.

A recent study found that the percentage of working-aged adults in BSC’s eleven-county service area who possess a bachelor’s degree is less than half of the Georgia statewide average.

In launching the bachelor’s degree program, BSC’s focus is to assist in shaping the future economic health of the region—and present an educational option, which will provide an advanced workforce and develop business.

Adrienne Harrison, the President of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce, claimed it would improve the depth of the area’s workforce.

She said, “The Bachelor of Science in Management degree will help create a better skilled labor force that I’m sure our current businesses will be excited about and take advantage of—and being able to pull from local talent is going to be a big plus for our entire community.”

Rick McCaskill, Executive Director of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Development Authority, commented on the benefits the program could offer the community economically.

“With local students having the ability to get a bachelor’s degree, I would expect this impact to grow—and not just for them, but for our businesses and industries as well,” he said.

For more information on the B.S.M. degree program at Bainbridge State College, visit,; or contact Dr. Leonard Kistner at or (229) 243-3189. To enroll in the program contact Melanie Cleveland, Director of College Admissions, at (229) 243-3007.