President's Article - Why Choose CBC? Student Persistence


Message from the President, Terry Kimbrow

Why Choose CBC?

Student Persistence!

This is the fourth and final article in the series about how choosing Central Baptist College may benefit you far greater than any other college choice you make.  In the first article, I reminded you of the mission and purpose of CBC.  In brief, it is the “Integration of Christian faith and academic excellence.”  It’s the driver behind all the decisions we make at Central Baptist College.  In the second of the series, I wrote about “A Great Investment.”  Your choice of a college is no time to cut corners. The overall cost of a degree at CBC may very well be less when you consider time to degree and the savings of entering the work force earlier.  Last week, I focused on “Student Success” in terms life-long fulfillment of God’s will, and the positive benefits of Spiritual growth at CBC. 

The answer to the question today is “Student Persistence.” In academic circles, the term is often referred to as “retention.”  CBC employees frequently hear me say something like this: “Because of our size, we can give better service, offer more personal attention, and ensure student success at a much higher level than any of the larger colleges and universities.  That’s why, on average, it’s found that students at smaller private colleges graduate earlier than those at any other type institution.  

Student persistence is even more pronounced within three categories of students:

Students with Multiple Risk Factors: According to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), risk factors are defined as student characteristics that may adversely affect persistence and attainment. The seven characteristics are delayed enrollment after high school, no high school diploma, part-time enrollment, financially independent, having dependents, single parent status, and working full-time while enrolled.   A 2011 study found that students with four or more risk factors graduate from private institutions at almost twice the rate of their peers at public institutions. While I could give personal examples of real students in each of the above seven categories, I can say with confidence that students with these risk factors are more likely to succeed at CBC. 

First Generation Students:  NAICU defines a “first-generation student” as one whose parents' highest education level is a high school diploma or less.  CBC serves a growing number of first-generation students. 

Challenges for parents and guardians of first-generation college students are many, especially when it comes to financial aid applications and packaging. CBC has an excellent Financial Aid Office staffed by caring, knowledgeable and professional personnel. Led by Director Tonya Hammontree, the Financial Aid staff understands the daunting task of wading through the complexities of state and federal grants, the myriad of scholarship opportunities, and the different kinds of student loans. 

First-generation college students themselves face unique challenges.  New student orientation seeks to make the transition from high school to college as easy as possible. Students are likely to encounter problems of Spiritual, social, personal, financial, or academic nature. CBC’s dedicated administration, faculty, and staff are available to assist students by referring them to the appropriate person or department for help or information. Students also have unlimited access to an on-campus licensed mental health counselor.  Rachel Austin, Director of Student Services, holds a Master of Science degree in College Student Personnel Administration, and leads a competent staff to address the needs of first-generation college students.  

Students with Special Needs:  Paula Bender serves as the Disability Support Services (DSS) Coordinator at CBC. The mission statement of the DSS office is as follows: Disability Support Services strives to maximize each student’s educational potential while ensuring that students with disabilities have equal access to the educational experience at Central Baptist College.

We sometimes think of “special needs” as only relative to physical limitations. Though that is included, other needs for which accommodations and support services are provided through DSS at CBC include, but are not limited to, autism, ADD/ADHD, hearing and/or vision impairment, chronic medical conditions, learning disabilities, and mental health and/or psychiatry conditions.  While law mandates some services, others are offered as a service to CBC students and are detailed in the DSS Handbook.

Why choose CBC?  Because we care about all students, and are well equipped to address needs of all students.  That’s why throughout the history of the College, students and alumni continue to talk about to “The CBC Experience.”  It’s that “experience” that causes students to make the decision to “choose” Central Baptist College.

Image Source: The Council of Independent Colleges website.

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Central Baptist College is committed to transforming lives through education that integrates Christian faith and academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment.