Enhanced Academic Opportunities

Commonwealth Honors Program

The Commonwealth Honors Program at BCC offers intellectually challenging experiences to highly motivated and gifted students in every discipline. It allows students to customize their experience in the Honors Program to their own individual needs and desires. The honors student works one-on-one with dedicated faculty members crafting intellectually stimulating experiences appropriate for the individual student. This independent work and the experience of one-on-one work with a faculty member will better prepare the honors student to continue his or her education at a four-year institution. The Honors Program also engages students in activities that will encourage them to become independent thinkers and lifelong learners.

Cooperative Education

Cooperative Education combines classroom learning and work-based learning related to the student’s field of study. Students enroll in classes, work at their co-op jobs at least 15 hours per week, and earn 3 credits for their work. Students may also participate in co-op in the summer. To enroll in co-op, students must be at the sophomore level and participate in a weekly co-op seminar.

The Cooperative Education office will help students find appropriate positions. Those currently working in a job related to their program of study may apply to convert that job to a co-op work experience. Each co-op student and his/her faculty advisor and employer will develop a learning agreement with specific objectives to assess the student’s performance on co-op. This agreement will relate classroom theory and personal career goals to the co-op experience.


The Service-Learning program at BCC offers students a unique opportunity to combine classroom theory in any discipline with community practice in a non-profit agency and, at the same time, to develop a sense of social responsibility. While some community colleges require a minimum of 20 hours per service-learning experience over a semester, BCC requires a minimum of 10 hours.

Along with performing the service itself, students complete one or more reflective exercises chosen by their instructor to enhance understanding of course content, appreciation of the discipline, and sense of civic engagement. Some BCC faculty incorporate service-learning into their syllabi as a requirement; others offer it as an option.

If a student has a particular service-learning experience in mind but cannot find a course for it, s/he may be able to do it via Contract Learning. Many four-year colleges and universities require or strongly encourage service-learning, and prospective employers also look favorably on service-learning and other experiential learning activities.

Students who successfully complete service-learning will receive recognition of the activity on their academic transcripts by the notation “Service-Learning Component Course” following the course title and grade.

Contract Learning

For students who want to investigate personal academic interests or pursue more experimental methods of learning, the College offers a flexible credit format where students can create part of their own study program. Advisors work with the student to determine plans, identify appropriate resource people, and write a learning contract. The contract includes the student’s goals, how and when s/he intends to accomplish them, and how that work will be evaluated. The credits earned are determined by the work proposed and may not total more than one-eighth of total credit hours required for graduation.

Students register with the Enrollment Center. Tuition is based on the number of credits determined through the learning contract. Proposals must be signed by the student, the advisor, the appropriate divisional dean, and the associate vice president of Academic Affairs. Credit will be awarded only if approval is granted before the student starts the project.

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