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B-P consolidation axes campus here
BP PresidentDavidSmith
Dr. David Smith
What’s still available?

The college will retain 18 majors. Among the majors retained are BS in early childhood education, BBA in general business, BA in general studies, associate of arts, BA in psychology, BA in human services, BA in sport and fitness, BA in Christian studies, BBA in management, BA in communication, BA in sociology, bachelor’s of ministry, BS in middle grades education, BBA in accounting, BS in biology, BA in history, BA in English and a BBA in information systems.
“We will still have the personalized instruction, it will just be through an electronic mode instead of a physical classroom. Every student at our Liberty County Campus will be served,” said Kelley Arnold, Brewton-Parker College’s director of news and public information.

Brewton-Parker College will close its Liberty County campus at the close of the 2009 fall semester.
The school’s home campus in Mount Vernon and one satellite campus, the Newnan site, will remain open. A Norman Park satellite campus is also closing.
“Our trustees are putting us on an academic diet to make us healthier and viable for generations to come,” said President Dr. David R. Smith.
In a letter to the students, Smith said the board of trustees mandated the closures due to financial reasons.
“Because of the significant  financial stress of the current national economy, and because Brewton-Parker came into this economic downturn already
in a weakened financial position, the college found itself confronted with a set of decisions that were far from ideal,” Smith wrote.

The board has also decided to reduce the school’s academic majors by about 50 percent and to lay off some non-faculty employees in the next two weeks. Majors that are being cut serve 10 percent of enrolled students, Smith estimated.

Facilities and faculty

The board is still deciding what to do with the land after closing.
“The land was donated to the college, and at this point, we will retain it until a productive use can be found for it,” said Kelley Arnold, the school’s director of news and public information.
Attempts to get comments from the Martin/Floyd families, who donated the land, and from Frances Roberson, who was an early administrator of the local campus, were not successful Wednesday and Thursday.
As for those who work inside the facilities, Arnold said some of the personnel will be moved to the Mount Vernon campus, but not all.
She said the college tried to increase revenue to support the campus.
“We have been a presence in Liberty County since the late ‘80s and we built our campus there in 1999. Our enrollment has decreased from a little over 300 to present, 150. It began to decline the year after 9/11,” Arnold said.
One of their main tactics for attracting more students was dropping the tuition earlier this year.
“While enrollment did go up a little bit, it wasn’t enough to continue the program on-site,” she said.

Student options

Although the campus will close before the year is out, director of news and public information Kelley Arnold said students in Liberty County will still be able to get an education through the college using its online program.
“We plan on servicing most of our students through an online program that will combine online and hybrid coursework,” Arnold said. “Duplication of local services was a factor in this decision and it would be redundant to have both online and classroom personnel, when we can serve all our students, and more, through the online format.”
She said many of the students at the school are already use online classes.
“All of our major offerings at Liberty County currently have an online component. All of our education majors participate in online coursework,” Arnold said. “In the next few days, we will be putting together an online program for all other majors to answer the decision of the board to reduce majors and close facilities at the close of the fall 2009 semester.”
Although roughly 50 percent of the majors will no longer be offered, the students who are currently enrolled in those programs will have the opportunity to finish out their degrees.
“Currently enrolled students in discontinued majors can complete those degrees through a combination of regular courses, independent study courses, course substitution with the recommendation of the advisor, online courses, transient and transfer work,” Arnold said. “Discontinuance of the impacted majors means that we will not continue to accept students in those programs.”
Students affected by these decisions are encouraged to contact their academic advisor for assistance.
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