Each semester, faculty, staff, and students at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville host an open house event known as Preview Day. For many prospective students, it is a special day when the Lord makes it clear to them that BCF is where they should continue their education. This semester on March 6, prospective students were able to get a feel for campus life and determine if BCF is where the Lord will equip and prepare them for the future.
After arriving on campus, potential students and their families gathered in the BCF Wellness Center where they were greeted with smiling faces and lots of information. The guests were given welcome bags packed with material relating to campus life and the different degree opportunities available at BCF. During this time of registration, campus visitors were encouraged to visit twenty different exhibit displays with information on campus housing, financial aid, student life activities, BCF’s Campus Safety, intramural sports, mission opportunities, disaster relief, and all of the degree programs. Additional booths were available to help students succeed in their college experience to include the Quality Enhancement Program (QEP), library, writing center, and the computer lab. To add to the excitement was a balloon filled photo booth, complete with fun props, where guests could take a picture to remember their trip to Preview Day.
BCF Director of Student Life and Marketing Sandra Richards started the day off with a huge welcome and presented several $500 scholarships to prospective students that drove the farthest to attend. She thanked everyone for being a part of such a special day in the life of the campus and made note of the fact that there were six BCF Alumni in attendance with prospective students from their area of influence. It was exciting and humbling to have alumni show off their alma mater.
After the welcome, Richards went over the schedule of events for the day. Prospective students were given the opportunity to experience a typical day in the life of a BCF student as they visited a class of their desired degree interest. The classroom visits included mission/evangelism/theology, teacher education, music, general ed/psychology, dual enrollment, business leadership, and a financial aid briefing. The classroom visits were designed to provide information on the student’s academic interest, meet the professors in that area, and learn more about financial aid and dual enrollment.
Immediately following the classroom visits, guests made their way to the R.G. Lee Chapel where chapel services are held three days a week. The Preview Day chapel service began by highlighting the talented musical groups on campus such as the BCF College Choir and Orchestra, College Singers, One Voice, and the Guitar Ensemble. BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen was unable to be there but he sent a video message for prospective students encouraging them to see if BCF is where the Lord may be leading them.
Following chapel, a delicious lunch was prepared by the college dinning facility, the Deese Center. During lunch, guests had the chance to mingle with current students and faculty while enjoying the electric sounds of the BCF Jazz Band. After lunch, visitors had a chance to tour campus counselors. As prospective students walked into the dorms, current students lined the hallway eager to answers any questions on dorm life.
The day concluded with a BCF faculty vs. BCF student (intramural championship team) basketball game. Both teams left the building as winners, although the faculty can finally say they won one. After the game, a BCF gift basket was given away and several more $500 scholarships were awarded. As prospective students and their families left the campus, they were encouraged to take advantage of the waived $25 application fee and apply to The Baptist College of Florida and change the world.