Each semester, students, staff, and faculty at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville look forward to the open house event known as Preview Day. Many students and alumni fondly remember Preview Day because it was there that the Lord revealed to them that this is the college where they should pursue their education. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was up in the air whether or not the event would be just online or on campus. After much prayer, the administration concluded that, “even if just one prospective student decided to come, it would still be worth it.” This year, the special event was held on March 8; not only did many prospective students show up for Preview Day, many made the decision to call BCF their college choice and initiated the application process.
Registration began at 9:00 a.m. (CST) in the BCF Wellness Center, located in the center of the campus. Prospective students were greeted by BCF students and staff (wearing mask, keeping everyone safe) with bags complete with information pertaining to campus life and degree opportunities. During registration, prospects and their families were directed upstairs to the one-way only exhibit booths. Each booth provided information on specific degree programs, mission opportunities, collegiate disaster relief, financial aid, housing, security, student life activities, intramural sports, BCM, the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), and other resources available to students such as the library, writing center, and computer lab. Not only were the booths informative but they were spread apart to accommodate for social distancing guidelines and regulations.
Following the meet and greet time, guests remained in the Wellness Center to attend chapel service led by the incredible student praise and worship team, “One Voice”. Students had the opportunity to hear a message from BCF Professor of Theology and Philosophy Mark Rathel as he spoke about, “Knowing if you are in God’s will.” After chapel, guests heard the heart of BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen as he welcomed and encouraged prospective students to consider BCF for continuing their education.
Students were then divided up according to their degree interest and given the chance to attend a class highlighting their vocational choice. The classroom sessions gave prospective students and their families a snapshot of what a regular class relating to their academic interest or career choice might look like, as well as the possibilities for financial assistance. This unique time of dialogue covered not only information about their current degree interest but also practical topics such as, familiarization with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the tuition assistance and scholarship programs that are available to eligible BCF students.
After the classroom visits and financial aid session, campus visitors enjoyed lunch provided by the campus dining facility, the Deese Center, and a special performance by the BCF Jazz Band. After sharing a meal and enjoying the skillful sounds of the Jazz Band, students were able to tour the different on-campus housing options and talk with the Admissions Counselors about any lingering questions they may have had.
At the end of the tours, guests returned to the Wellness Center to watch a light-hearted athletic event called “The Covid Race”. This final event was meant to be entertaining as the two Admissions Counselors, Shawna Hatcher and Collin Dollar, and their assistants ran head-to-head in completing activities such as putting ten masks on, checking temps, and pulling all the tissues out of the box the fastest. Several students were able to leave BCF with scholarships from the fun athletic event and drawings throughout the day. As prospective students and their families prepared to leave, the day concluded with a word of prayer by Dollar asking the Lord’s traveling protection over the Preview Day visitors.
For more information on the next Preview Day (October 11, 2021) or to obtain information about The Baptist College of Florida, please call 800.328.2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.