Brewton–Parker College

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Brewton-Parker College
BrewtonParkerCollegeLogo.PNG
new college logo
Established 1904
Type Private
Religious affiliation Southern Baptist Convention
Endowment $13.3 million[1]
President Dr. Ergun Caner [2]
Academic staff 189[1]
Students 1,119[1]
Location Mount Vernon, Georgia, USA
Campus Rural, 280 acres (113 ha)
Colors Orange & Blue         
Nickname Barons
Affiliations NAIA
Website http://www.bpc.edu/

Brewton–Parker College is a private, Christian, coeducational college whose main campus is located in Mount Vernon, Georgia, United States. Brewton-Parker is affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention and celebrated their centennial in 2004.[3]

History[edit]

In 1904, Reverend John Carter Brewton, pastor of the McRae Baptist Church, and Charles Benton Parker, a prominent businessman in McRae, resolved to establish a private boarding school to serve elementary and high school students from Montgomery County and the surrounding area. As there were no public high schools at that time, the school played an important role in furthering the education of the area’s youth. The Telfair and Daniell Baptist associations were enthusiastic supporters. The school was placed between Mount Vernon and Ailey, as working together the town bid more support than any either community. The Union Baptist Institute, chartered April 28, 1904, joined with other Baptist associations, with Rev. Brewton as elected president of its board of trustees.[3]

The co-ed Union Baptist Institute formally opened on September 12, 1905 with a four-building campus, serving 160 students in grades one through eleven. The school's first year was very successful and as word spread, enrollment more than doubled to 365. In 1912 the school was renamed to Brewton-Parker Institute; it was accredited in 1918 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.[citation needed]

Brewton-Parker Institute became a junior college after college freshmen and sophomore classes were added in 1923 and 1927. Elementary classes were removed in 1929. In 1948, high school classes were also removed. The school was renamed Brewton-Parker Junior College and transferred to the governance of the Georgia Baptist Convention. By the early 1980s, public two-year community colleges had been established throughout the state. At the same time, there was a greater demand for graduates of four-year colleges. In mind of these changes, the school evolved on December 9, 1986 into a four-year institution, Brewton–Parker College.

Fraud[edit]

Scandal hit the college in the late 1990s over fraud in the school's financial aid department. A lawsuit against the school was brought about by Martha Faw, then the assistant director of financial aid. An investigation begun by the United States Department of Education confirmed that Pell Grants had been given to ineligible students, payments had been made to non-U.S. citizens, and guidelines for work-study programs were not followed. In 1998, Brewton–Parker College agreed to repay the government $4 million in what was said to be the largest qui tam recovery in Georgia history. College president Y. Lynn Holmes resigned.[4][5][6]

Dr. David R. Smith became college president in 1998, and at his first graduation address, Smith stated: "To any and all who recognized inept policies and errant behavior, and who continued to speak out against such things even in the face of opposition from those who preferred not to hear it, you should be applauded, not ridiculed."[5] The college briefly outsourced the administration of their financial aid program[5] until a new college policy and procedures manual was established in the Fall of 2000. A new position, Director of Financial Aid Compliance was established.[7]

Campus[edit]

The main college campus is in Mount Vernon on 270 acres (109 ha) and includes forty-six buildings, outdoor athletic properties, and a 5-acre (20,000 m2) lake. Brewton–Parker College also has a campus in Newnan, located between LaGrange and Atlanta.

Organization and administration[edit]

Brewton-Parker is affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention. Its endowment was $13.3 million in 2007.[1]

Academic profile[edit]

BPC now offers undergraduate degrees in seven academic departments with 19 majors. Most of its programs have internships, offering practical, hands-on experience as well as academic content. Further, in applicable areas, undergraduates are encouraged to participate with faculty in performing research and presenting papers.

As the only independent college in rural southeast Georgia, BPC plays an important educational role in one of the state’s poorest areas. It serves many first generation college students and provides learning assistance to other, non-traditional students seeking to improve their knowledge and skills. Among private colleges, Brewton-Parker enrolls three times as many minority students as the national average.[citation needed]

There is a 2:1 female-male student ratio and a 9:1 student-faculty ratio. The student body is 73.2% Caucasian, 24% African American, 2% Hispanic, 0.5% Asian American or Pacific Islander and 0.3% Native American.[1]

Accreditation Issues[edit]

On June 30, 2012, SACS announced that "Brewton-Parker College was denied reaffirmation of accreditation and placed on Probation for 12 months following its comprehensive decennial review and submission of audits and financial statements, a First Monitoring Report, and review by a Special Committee. Prior to the institution’s next review by the Commission in June 2013, a Special Committee will conduct an onsite evaluation of its compliance with the Principles of Accreditation..." "Probation, imposed by the Commission’s Board of Trustees following an institution’s comprehensive decennial review, is the Commission’s most serious sanction, short of loss of membership, and can be imposed on an institution for failure to correct deficiencies of significant non-compliance." "The maximum total time during one monitoring period that an institution may be on sanctions of Warning and/or Probation is two years. In June 2013, Brewton-Parker College will have been on Warning for one year and Probation for one year."[8]

On June 20, 2014 the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) voted to remove Brewton–Parker College from membership. Brewton-Parker is currently appealing the SACS decision. During the entire appeals process, Brewton–Parker College will remain accredited but on probation, the identical status Brewton-Parker possessed before the latest SACS report. This means all students will continue to be eligible for Federal Financial aid and all credits will continue to be transferable. In the press conference held on campus on Thursday, June 19, Dr. Caner stated, "We not only believe this situation shall be resolved, but we are presently marshaling all our forces to defend this amazing college. Brewton-Parker College has been accredited for over fifty years (since 1962), and like other institutions, has often had to work for years to ensure the stability of our institution. I assure our students, alumni and friends, this may be a long process, but it is worth it. Brewton-Parker College is worth it."[9]

Student life[edit]

Intramural sports include basketball, football, softball, table tennis, tennis, ultimate Frisbee, and volleyball. Student groups at the school include a drama/theater group, a choral group, Council of Intramural Activities, Student Activities Council, Rotaract, Circle K, Alpha Omega Campus Ministry, Student Government Association, and a Baptist Campus Ministry (Baptist Collegiate Ministries, a.k.a. BCM).

The college also recently created an in-depth Creative Expressions BFA, which brought with it several extracurricular opportunities in creative writing, film production and analysis, visual art and musical theatre.

Athletics[edit]

athletic logo

Brewton–Parker teams, known as the Barons, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track & field and volleyball.

The men's baseball team won the NAIA championship in 1997.[5] The Brewton–Parker College Barons Baseball team was declared co-champions of the SSAC Championship on May 3, 2010 and the Barons ranked as high as 15 nationally in that year. The Barons shared the title with then-No. 4-ranked Lee University Flames. The Barons won four straight games before losing to the Flames 8-0. They defeated Lee (46-11) in earlier rounds. The co-championship was declared when the deciding game was canceled due to inclement weather. Coach Greg "Boo" Mullins led the 2010 Barons Baseball team as head coach, and was named 2010 Coach of the Year by the Georgia Dugout Club. In July 2014, Mullins was named Athletics Director at Brewton-Parker College.

Noted people[edit]

For a more comprehensive list, see Category:Brewton–Parker College alumni.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Brewton-Parker College - College Overview. Peterson's. 2007-03-27.
  2. ^ http://bpc.edu/PresidentialSearch/canerpressrelease.html
  3. ^ a b Turner, Ann C.: "Brewton-Parker College" New Georgia Encyclopedia, July 7, 2005
  4. ^ Taxpayers Against Fraud Quarterly Review, Vol. 14, July 1998, 54-55.
  5. ^ a b c d Thompson, Ginger: "Whistle-blower Gives Back To Target" Chicago Tribune, June 16, 1998
  6. ^ "Brewton-Parker College Sued for Financial-Aid Fraud" Chronicle of Higher Education, October 3, 1997
  7. ^ "5.6.2.5 Director of Financial Aid Compliance" Brewton-Parker College, Policy and Procedure Manual
  8. ^ http://www.sacscoc.org/2012%20June%20Actions%20and%20Disclosure%20Statements/Brewton%20Parker%20College.pdf
  9. ^ http://www.bpc.edu/pressrelease/sacspressrelease.html

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°11′04″N 82°35′00″W / 32.18433°N 82.58320°W / 32.18433; -82.58320