It’s the start of a brand new college career this week for many students at Berea College. It’s also the first semester for the school’s president. Lyle Roelofs begins this fall term as the ninth president of the private college. He takes over for Larry Shinn who retired after leading the school for 18 years. For several years, enrollment at Berea College has been steady at about 16-hundred students, with about three quarters of them coming from Appalachia. Over the next decade, Roelofs would like to see those enrollment numbers grow by at least ten percent.
“It’s the job of our development office and myself to see if we can expand the resources available in order to take on more students and of course, as you adds students, you also have to add buildings, dorms, academic buildings and so on,” said Roelofs.
While classes are tuition free, students attending Berea College must work….making Berea one of only six so called ‘work colleges’ nationwide.
“Many of them, by the time they are juniors or seniors are actually supervising other teams of students as opposed to being just the pure and simple labor force. These are aspects that are often competitive advantages in getting positions,” added Roelofs.
Roelofs says Christian values still form the basis of the education offered by Berea College.