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College Overview

BCC, located on a magnificent 180-acre site at the foot of West Mountain, is a public, community college offering associate degree and certificate programs, as well as other educational opportunities, primarily to the residents of Berkshire County and surrounding areas. 
 

History

Founded in 1960, BCC was the first community college established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Today, there are 15 community colleges throughout the state. During its first 12 years, BCC was located in downtown Pittsfield in a former junior high school made available by the city. There, enrollment grew from 153 to 1,222 students.

In 1972, the college moved to its present location occupying a magnificent 180-acre site four miles from the center of Pittsfield. Twelve years later, a satellite facility known as the South County Center opened in Great Barrington. Last year, nearly 3,000 students enrolled in day or evening credit courses at the main campus, off-campus sites, and/or online. Additionally, more than 5,200 people enrolled in various noncredit and workforce development offerings.

Programs of Study

BCC currently offers 35 associate degree and 13 certificate programs, including options and concentrations. Most of the college's programs of study can be classified as one of the following:

Transfer Programs

These programs parallel the first two years of similar programs at most public and private baccalaureate institutions and provide a solid basis for transfer with advanced standing. The advantages of beginning these programs at BCC before transferring to a baccalaureate institution include such items as smaller classes, personal attention, and cost. There is also much evidence to suggest that students who begin their post-secondary education at a community college tend to do better than their counterparts who start at a baccalaureate institution.

Career Programs

These programs provide the theory and technical skills needed for entry into the job market immediately after graduation. Individual courses within these programs may transfer into related programs at baccalaureate institutions.

General Studies Program

This program (Liberal Arts) meets the needs of students who have not yet decided on a particular field of study, as well as students who have already chosen a program and college or university to which they plan to transfer. In either case, the program provides a flexible curriculum that combines a core of transfer courses with an opportunity to explore various courses through free electives.

Transfer Opportunities

BCC students who wish to continue their education at a four-year college or university can easily transfer to a large number of public and private institutions throughout Massachusetts and beyond. BCC's transfer coordinator is available to help facilitate the transitions. (For more information, go to "Transfer Counseling")

Community Education

In addition to credit offerings, the office of Community Education and Workforce Development offers a wide range of noncredit courses and workshops. The office also provides both on-campus and on-site customized training programs for local and regional companies.

Student Profile

The vast majority of BCC students (97%) are Massachusetts residents with (95%) percent coming from Berkshire County. More than half (61%) of the students are women. In addition, (41%) of the student body consists of "nontraditional" students - that is, 23 years of age or older. In fall 2011, BCC also enrolled 18 international students from 11 different countries.

Student E-mail

BCC has implemented a student electronic mail system that provides all enrolled students a college e-mail account with the domain name of "student.berkshirecc.edu." The college will send official correspondence to these student accounts periodically throughout the semester. Your instructors can also correspond with you using this system. Instructions for initiating your student e-mail account can be found on the college's home page by clicking on the Student E-mail "Instructions" link. For more information, or for technical support, contact the IT Help Desk at Ext. 3004 (Off campus at 413-236-3004).

Graduation & Transfer Statistics

BCC awarded its first two degrees, both to women, in 1961. In 2011, 340 degrees and certificates were conferred on students in 39 different programs of study. Historically, BCC graduates have successfully transferred into colleges and universities throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the United States, as well as a number of foreign countries. Twenty-four percent (24%) of the graduating class of 2010 transferred into a baccalaureate-level program. In addition, forty-one percent (41%) of BCC students (a number which includes graduates and non-graduates together) transferred into a diverse group of four-year degree granting institutions around the country.

Following their graduation from BCC, many students seek employment electing to work while at the same time continuing their education. Results from a recent (2010) follow-up survey indicated that 71% of BCC graduates were employed either full- or part-time following graduation. (For further information about graduation and transfer statistics, go to Statements and General Disclosures).