BC3’s 2017 Regfest: Free Sunglasses for Bright Futures

Two-day July event offers prizes, beachy atmosphere to prep for enrollment.

(Butler, PA) Current or prospective students attending Butler County Community College’s third RegFest can apply for admission and financial aid, register for classes, and receive academic advising — and gifts — in a “fun, relaxed” setting, according to Amy Pignatore, BC3’s director of records and registration.

The beach-themed event is scheduled for July 11-12 at BC3’s six locations. Those attending will receive a BC3 gift bag containing a steps-to-enrollment checklist, sunglasses, a lei, Frisbee, T-shirt and a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of four $50 gift certificates from BC3’s bookstore.

RegFest will be held from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Student Success Center on BC3’s main campus, and at BC3 @ Armstrong in Ford City; BC3 @ Brockway in Brockway; BC3 @ Cranberry in Cranberry Township; BC3 @ Lawrence Crossing in New Castle; and BC3 @ LindenPointe in Hermitage.

Current or prospective students will also have the opportunity to review their financial aid, schedule placement tests and take a campus tour, Pignatore said.

Officials from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency are scheduled to attend RegFest at BC3 @ Cranberry, BC3 @ LindenPointe and BC3 @ Brockway, according to Jerry Johnston.

Johnston, a BC3 admissions and business relations representative, is a chair of the 2017 RegFest, along with Erin Cioffi, BC3’s assistant director of high school programming.

Representatives from BC3’s financial aid office will be available to discuss financial aid at BC3 @ Lawrence Crossing, BC3 @ Armstrong and BC3’s main campus, Johnston said.

Eighty percent of BC3 students receive grants and scholarships to help them graduate debt-free. BC3 awards 120 scholarships annually, according to Ruth Purcell, executive director of the BC3 Education Foundation.

Students attending the BC3 @ Armstrong open house can also inquire about the off-campus site’s new 61-credit radiologic technology associate of applied science degree program.

“Key players” available at sites to help students

Free hot dogs, potato chips and beverages will also be available, as will games such as cornhole and ladder ball, Johnston said. Current or prospective students attending the main campus RegFest can also have their photograph taken in front of the school’s iconic Pioneer wagon, he said.

Calypso and reggae music will provide a backdrop to RegFest on BC3’s main campus, according to Sherri Osborne, BC3’s assistant director of student activities.

“It is a fun, relaxed environment where all of the key players are available to help students along the way,” said Pignatore, who estimates the first two RegFests drew at least 200 visitors each.

“People seem to enjoy it,” she said. “The feedback is very positive. Students get all of their questions answered. RegFest creates awareness that it is not a mountain that you have to climb to become enrolled.”

Nearly 800 courses available in fall semester

Classes begin Aug. 28.

BC3 this fall offers 794 courses in any one of four formats: traditional classroom settings; Internet hybrids that require four or more classroom meetings; online courses; and iTV courses, taught in a classroom by one instructor, but delivered to two separate locations simultaneously using video or web conferencing technology.

Ann McCandless, BC3’s dean of educational technology, said 102 courses will be offered as either Internet hybrids, fully online or through iTV in the fall semester.

BC3, ranked the No. 1 community college in Pennsylvania by Schools.Com, offers 55 two-year career and transfer programs; and 21 certificate and workplace certificate programs. It has also been ranked No. 13 among 117 Pennsylvania institutions of higher education in distance education by OnlineColleges.Com.

The 2017 fall semester will be divided among 14, 12- and 10-week sessions, and three consecutive five-week Fast Track sessions, which also vary among traditional classroom settings, Internet hybrids and online courses.

Courses in abbreviated time frames may have the same requirements and expectations as those presented over 14 weeks.

Community college degrees pay off

Students completing a degree or credential at a community college will receive $4.80 in future income for every dollar he or she spends on education, a 17.8 percent return on investment, according to the American Association of Community Colleges’ Where Value Meets Values: The Economic Impact of Community Colleges. The median annual earning for jobs requiring an associate degree is $58,240, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics survey and Employment Projections program.

Students who attain an associate degree from BC3 in biological science, business administration, chemistry, communications, criminology, computer science, early childhood education, English, history, mathematics, social work and psychology can transfer to any Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education institution – such as California, Clarion, Edinboro, Indiana and Slippery Rock universities of Pennsylvania – with junior standing.

“The ultimate goal of everything that is done at RegFest is to make sure the students are guided in the right direction, and that we are looking after their interests so they are prepared to start classes in the fall,” Johnston said. “And that is the key here. We want to help them along in this enrollment process, so that necessary procedures are complete and details attended to.”

Current and prospective students can visit bc3.edu/regfest to RSVP.

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