BC students set their sights on transferring

Emily Hsu/The Watchdog
Emily Hsu/The Watchdog

Spring break is over, which means it’s time for another ten weeks of days holed up in the library and long, coffee-fueled study sessions. One week into the quarter, Bellevue College’s students are hard at work. Luckily, along with generic intro classes, BC offers many classes that are both fascinating and satisfy degree requirements. Students can take classes exploring the history of rock music, the history of punk and underground culture and even classes on the psychology of sex.

Additionally, as BC hires faculty with more specialized knowledge, classes like Introduction to Literature: Latin American Writers or Ethnic Identity of Deafness are also offered. However, according to the Office of Instruction the most popular classes on campus are English 101, Psychology 100, English 201, Sociology 101 and Math 99, and the statistics have stayed the same for the last five years.

Some students may find it odd that at the end of the first week of the quarter there were 25 seats available in a class studying the history of baseball but all eight sections of pre-calculus were full and had waitlists of up to four students.

Patricia James, vice president of the Office of Effectiveness and Strategic Planning, said that the aforementioned five classes are the most popular because most BC students aim to transfer. “Primarily, Bellevue is known as being a transfer-oriented institution with the majority of our students, and should you look at the institutional research the majority of our completions and degrees are awarded through the transfer degree programs,” said James.

This information is self-reported by students when they register for classes; students pick their program of study from a dropdown list. Whether or not students end up earning a transfer degree, for the most part they say they take classes at BC so they can continue their studies at a four-year institution. Therefore, they choose classes that are most likely to transfer directly to other universities.

Although a large portion of students plan to transfer to earn four-year degrees, BC offers three Bachelor’s degrees on campus—Bachelor of Applied Arts in Interior Design, Bachelor of Applied Science in Healthcare Technology Management and Bachelor of Applied Science in Radiation and Imaging Sciences—and a 117-credit nursing program. However, only the nursing (the fifth most popular) and interior design (the tenth most popular) programs make the top ten most popular programs of study. Students go to other technical and vocational schools in the area to earn professional degrees, while BC has a reputation for sending students to four-year schools. For example, according to their website, the University of Washington accepts more transfer students from BC than they do from any other institution.

Despite the myriad of specialized classes at BC, BC students are primarily focused on transferring.