Berea College has developed a sincere foundation for students to obtain a laser-targeted education based on mission of Christ. Students are encouraged to work together to deliver and spread their personal growth throughout their individual communities across the world, bringing the civility and service to communities in need. The College has helped generations of students carry out these traditions, as well as to maintain a solid academic foundation through the variety of program studies. Many students travel across the country, some even internationally, to take advantage of the Family and Consumer Science programs offered at Berea, as well as the Human Sciences major. Many others pursue dual majors to incorporate the Business and Commerce programs into their education as well.
The college experience offered at Berea engaged students into a challenging, vigorous and socially stimulating environment. The student body remains highly involved in all campus-hosted activities, events and third-party appearances that are routinely held on campus – inspiring a more hands-on college experience. Berea alumni have been noted to become leaders in their social, political and professional lives after graduation, holding high leadership and activist positions. The mission of Berea College is to help students prepare and transition into model citizens and social leaders.
Founded in 1855 by a group of radical reformers and abolitionists, Berea College was built on the foundation laid by Reverend John G. Fee, who had established a one-room school to educate local students. Motivated by the thought that a strong education would decrease the social gap between races and the genders, Fee established a liberal arts curriculum that extended focus on social and professional skills as well. The first building on campus was surprisingly built from bricks with the wooded area, still used as the campus. Many iconic historical figures became involved in the College’s welfare and success, such as Cassius M. Clay, a famous figure in the emancipation movement. At Clay’s offering, Fee accepted 10-acres of land from Clay in exchange that he live on the property to manage and maintain it. On this property, Fee built a 13-member anti-slavery church, named in honor of the biblical town Berea.
Berea College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Several individual programs offered at Berea also hold separate accreditation such as the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
The College, in honor of the founders, has continuously showcased the highest regard for academic advancement amongst students. Over the years, Berea has received national recognition for the program selection, quality curriculum and advanced studies programs from sources such as The NY Times and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Each of the 8 Presidents that have served throughout the history of the College have done their individual part in advancing, optimizing and carrying out the distinct goals set out by the founders.
Being that Berea College is a residential community of college peers, all students are encouraged to live on campus to enhance their college experience. Both faculty and staff members work diligently to maintain a productive environment for students that helps them develop strong academic and social skills. As campus life opens up a wide range of opportunity for students, the majority of students find it beneficial to remain on campus to utilize all vital essentials such as dinning service, library and bookstore offerings, as well as the health and fitness centers located throughout campus. Campus life offers students plenty of room and opportunity to express their interests, individuality, religious and spiritual beliefs. It also helps students to develop a strong support team for their peers, through the use of teamwork, responsibility and shared interest.
First-year students are typically assigned their roommates and residence hall based on shared interest and like majors. This is a Berea tradition that has been upheld for generations in order to help students adjust to college life more effectively amongst their peers. Unlike any other school in the country, students entering their second year become part of the annual Spring housing lottery, which randomly selects and pairs roommates for the following school year. This system was implemented to give students a more well-rounded perspective of their peers, create new friendships and interactions between students. All students are given the choice of single room occupancy that is subject to availability. Each residence facility is guided by on-staff members of The Collegium, student professionals that also reside in each building to assist students when needed.
All students are expected to adhere to a strict code of conduct and safety regulations. The Office of Public Safety ensures that all codes and regulations are followed on campus to ensure the safety and well-being of each student at all times. Many law students often volunteer their participation in the program, as well as various campus patrols, showcasing their active involvement in their continued education. There are over 60 different clubs, organizations, social and cultural groups offered on campus, the majority of which are operated by the student body. Students can enjoy participating in the various events both on and off-campus, as well as show their support for their peers in attendance.
Berea College actively strives to reduce the stress on students while attending school. For this reason, both faculty and staff members work throughout the year to compile valuable resources and funding opportunities for students. At Berea, almost 98% of students take advantage of financial aid to assist in tuition. All students are encouraged to apply for tradition financial aid loans such as FAFSA, as well as third party funding offered by charities, scholarship funds and special interest groups.
Each student that is admitted into Berea College receives a four-year scholarship degree based on need and academic achievement. This scholarship opportunity was created to ensure that all students can obtain a high-quality education regardless of financial status. Berea College has been blessed with the assistance and generosity of alumni, supporters, friends, family and third party organizations that follow the same morals and values on education. It is due to this blessing that the College is able to offer students such dedicated opportunities each year.