Finding Value in Higher Education
Finding Value in Higher Education
Today’s economy drives us to make decisions as consumers primarily based on the cost of products and services. Inflation causes us to pay attention to this because there is only so much money to go around. As my father-in-law says, “it costs to live.” Another reason we are cautious of costs is so that we can be good stewards of the money that God entrusts us with by managing our budget wisely. Because of these reasons, sometimes we don’t always compare the value of products that we are considering, and we only consider the cheaper options. Big Box retailers can always give you the best cost, but not always the best quality and service as a smaller or more specialized retailer could. However, we can only make the best decision once we compare the total value. Then we can choose the best financial investment that fits our budget according to our need and/or desire for a certain product or service.
Even though a retail and higher education comparison seems very different. I believe we still must make the same fundamental value choice. There are a lot of higher education options available today. Many are similar, and many are very different. When it comes to deciding what college or university to attend it’s just as important to take a similar approach. Again, I understand that choosing a college is on a much larger scale than choosing, let’s say, light bulbs, groceries or auto maintenance. However, you still need to decide on what exactly you are looking for in a higher education experience and outcome. Not only is CBC passionate about our mission, “Transforming lives through education that integrates Christian faith and academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment.” We are also passionate about each student attending the college that God wants them to attend. It is my hope that this article will help guide you in your college selection process and that you attend the college that God is directing you to attend.
The mission of an institution is a great place to start. As I just mentioned. “Central Baptist College is committed to transforming lives through education that integrates Christian faith and academic excellence in a Christ-Centered environment.” Simply, we exist to allow our heavenly father to transform lives on a higher education platform. The college years provide heavy influence on a person’s life. Whether it’s a student that just finished high school or it’s an adult student taking classes while working full-time. Students will spend many hours in a very influential learning environment. It’s important to be inspired and energized by those teaching you. And it is also important to know that the professors really care about your development and are committed to investing in your future. Central Baptist College is not ashamed to remain a truly Christ-centered environment. We want to glorify God in all we do, so that He can transform lives on our campus. Whether you are preparing for full-time ministry or bi-vocational ministry through a career path you are passionate about. We believe it so much that our faculty, staff, and administrators have all trusted Jesus for their salvation. Prayer is welcomed and encouraged in the classroom to lift our students up to our heavenly father. Our hope is that if any students have not committed their lives to Jesus and trusted him for their salvation, they would do that at CBC. Our Spiritual Life Coordinator, Donny Parrish, invests in our student lead Chapel Band and arranges challenging speakers for each dynamic Wednesday afternoon chapel services. This is where many decisions are made to follow Jesus and to commit to full-time ministry.
The next question to consider is, what do you want to get out of a college experience? The obvious answer we default to is, a degree. However, there are varying experiences when earning a college degree. So, what do you want that to look like? Excellence is important to us because we represent a God of excellence. US News & World Report ranks us as one of the best colleges in the South. GI Jobs Magazine has ranked us a top military friendly school. Our faculty are made up of PHD level Professors that are leaders and experts in their field of study. The Faculty to student classroom ratio is 12:1 to ensure effective learning strategies through personal attention. CBC offers approximately 40 bachelor’s degrees in our traditional and non-traditional (PACE) programs. The PACE Degrees are 5-week accelerated courses offered in-class, online and hybrid formats. Students are prepared for the ministry and are being accepted into graduate schools each year. In addition to training up future pastors and missionaries CBC now has the capability to train up Christian leaders in many different career fields. Lives are transformed at Central Baptist College because we create a family atmosphere and truly love our students. We exist to serve them through Christian higher education and we work very hard to create a structured student-centric environment. Our Faculty, Staff & Administration all interact personally with our students to show that CBC cares about them as a person. Students work together, play together and form friendships that last a life time. Servant leaders are developed at CBC by challenging students to get involved in a student organization, intramurals as well as offering on-campus job opportunities. Most degrees require internships through their degree pursuit to help ensure that they are marketable to employers as soon as they graduate.
Another great question to answer is, where do you want to spend your college years if you are looking for a residential college or university? You need to love the city that you will spend years living in. And in some cases the rest of your life. Be sure to take multiple visits to your college choices and spend time exploring the campus and community around the college in different situations and times of the year. Central Baptist College is blessed to be located in Conway, AR. One of the fastest growing cities in the state of Arkansas. Conway is centrally located in the state with amazing churches and opportunities to be a part of a community to serve, work, and play in. CBC’s campus is located in Conway’s Historic District. The campus provides state of the art classroom technology with multiple Computer Labs and places to hang out and study, while maintaining the historic charm of downtown Conway.
The next question to answer is, what degree track will give you the best chance to achieve your future career outcome? Some students want to start at a community college to earn their core degree credit at a reduced rate. Then transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. Even though some of our students have chosen a different degree track than what we offer. However, they still decided to attend Central Baptist College for the personal and spiritual emphasis for their first year or two before they transfer to an institution with the desired degree option. Just remember that experience can sometimes be just as important as the degree choice.
Cost of course is the “pink elephant” in the decision–making process. Unfortunately, most people are all bound to a certain price range. Even if you desire to attend college based on the experience versus the cost. However, you do have a price range that you and your family are capable of investing in your college degree. Establish what the range is that can fit your family’s budget now, as well as your budget after you graduate based on the level of income you plan to earn. We understand that college is a financial investment and CBC is committed to bringing the most value to our student’s investments.
As you can see, there is much more to consider that just cost when making your college choice. In the opinion of our HLC Accreditation Site Visit Team that came to renew our regional accreditation recently, “Central Baptist College is one of the best kept secrets in higher education.” We pray that God will direct you to the best fit for you so that you can be equipped to serve Him well with your life.
Ryan Johnson, Vice President for Enrollment Management