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Birmingham Southern College is a private college in the Alabama city of the same name. Usually called Birmingham Southern, some also call it BSC. Though established in 1856, the college has a much longer history. Southern University and Birmingham University both operated in the state in early years. When these two schools merged, the new campus adopted the BSC name. The United Methodist Church helped found the school and still has an affiliation with the college today. Students from other denominations can attend the college, but the majority of its students come from Methodist backgrounds.

The college has a January Exploration Term that it uses as a way to encourage students to spend time enhancing their knowledge and skills. This term allows students to spend almost the entire month working on projects of their own instead of taking classes. They can sign up for study abroad programs or service learning programs that take place off campus. Some students prefer doing an independent study project or an internship.

BSC offers other unique programs for its students too. Its contract learning program allows students to design college majors with the help of an adviser, and its entrepreneurship program encourages students to gain more business experience through internships and jobs. The college also has its own service learning department that helps students find experiences helping others in Birmingham and other parts of the world.

Birmingham Southern College Accreditation Details

Birmingham Southern does have regional accreditation, which is important for any student who wants to transfer credits. Not only does this help you transfer credits you earn from the college to another, but you can also bring credits with you that you earned on another campus. Regional accreditation also allows you to both apply for government financial aid and use that money to pay for your schooling. This accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education also accredited its undergrad education program, which prepares teachers for working in schools. It has accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music for its music programs too.

Birmingham Southern College Application Requirements

Applying to BSC is easy because you can apply in two different ways online. The Common Application is a good choice for those who want to apply to other colleges. Once you enter basic information about your background, the website will automatically apply that information to any of the applications you want to submit, which helps you save time. You can also use the official BSC online application. This application asks you to create an account the first time that you use it. All you need is your full name, date of birth and an email address. When you use the college's own online application or its paper application, there is no fee. Anyone who uses the Common Application will need to pay a $50 application fee.

The college has an early decision deadline of November 1, but those who apply by this deadline will receive a response by November 15. To get a response by December 15, you need to submit your application by November 15, which is the early action deadline. The standard deadline for all other applications is February 1, and the college begins sending out acceptance letters at the beginning of March. BSC provides students with five essay questions and asks them to choose one and write a response, but you can also write an essay on a topic of your choosing. The college also requires a high school transcript, recommendation form, recommendation letter and an official test score.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The cost of attending BSC starts at around $33,000 a year, which is the amount that you'll pay for your tuition as well as any fees charged by the college. If you want to live on the Birmingham campus, your cost will increase to more than $48,000 a year, which includes the cost of your dorm room and a meal plan. The college offers a tuition calculator that will determine your total cost based on where you live, whether you take classes on the campus and the number of credits that you will take. Entering your high school GPA and some other basic information will show you whether you qualify for any special financial aid packages the college offers or any of its scholarships.

To get financial aid for your first year or any other year, you'll need to fill out the FAFSA. The college uses this form to determine if you will get any federal or state government grants and if you qualify for government loans. Your actual application determines whether you qualify for one of its scholarships. Students attending BSC can also apply for private and alternative student loans and look at the loans available for parents and guardians.

Education Plans

BSC offers educator preparation programs specifically designed to help students earn licenses to teach at all levels. These programs have approval from the Alabama State Department of Teacher Education and Certification. There are 10 different programs available for incoming students today. Some are secondary school programs that prepare teachers for working with kids in six through the 12th grades. You can specialize your degree to teach biology, chemistry, language arts, history, general social studies, math, physics or Spanish. The college also offers a visual arts option that prepares you for teaching kids in preschool through high school. Collaborative education and elementary education programs are available for those who want to work with younger children.

Though the requirements for each degree changes between programs, you'll generally need to take some general education courses in math, communications, writing and research. You'll also need to take five core professional studies courses that address subjects like teaching in the modern era and working with exceptional students. All education majors must do a teaching internship too, which will require that they work in a local school and spend time with students and other teachers. Some of your courses will come from within the subject you want to teach too. Birmingham Southern College requires that future history teachers take courses such as teaching secondary subjects, teaching secondary social studies, world geography, practice of history, history of the American people and similar classes.