Florida College’s class of 2015 was the largest four-year class in its history, boasting 79 bachelor’s degree graduates, up from last year’s 66 graduates. Florida College has been actively developing four-year programs since 2001 and currently offers 17 different options across eight disciplines. The most popular choice is the business administration program, which also offers an emphasis in either sports management or management information systems. This year, 29 students graduated from Florida College with a Bachelor of Science in business administration. While growing programs and record graduating class sizes may be exciting, Florida College is not about size at all. Students at Florida College are encouraged grow academically and spiritually in a wholesome environment, regardless of class size. Lauren Tharp graduated with the class of 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in history and expressed her appreciation for her time spent at Florida College. "Florida College helped me grow in every way," Tharp said. "I was able to get a challenging education in an encouraging environment and make deep, long-lasting connections with other people.” Like Tharp, Florida College alumni continue to appreciate and support their alma mater in various ways from all across the nation.
For Libby Barnes, Florida College was not her first choice, and halfway through her first semester, she remembers wondering if she had made the wrong one. She took her parents’ advice — to “tough it out” — and stayed a second semester, where she remembers a few of her first semester friendships blossomed. Some of those friendships began during her time working for The Royal Palm, the College’s yearbook. “I wasn’t expecting to join,” she recalled. “I remember the announcement [for yearbook auditions at the beginning of the year] and decided to join because I had worked for my high school newspaper.” After a year as a writer, a copy editor and her current role as editor in chief, she describes her experience as incredibly time-consuming and often stressful, but ultimately worth the sacrifice. She appreciates the atmosphere of “people coming together and being creative to express an idea that means a lot to others — that makes it worth it.” Although she is a talented and experienced writer who also works part-time in the College’s writing lab, Barnes’ career interests are pointing her in a different direction. A liberal studies major with components in behavioral sciences, biblical literature and English, Barnes hopes to attend graduate school next year where she plans on studying family counseling. “Dr. Walker’s counseling classes were very influential in helping me make this decision,” she said, referring to Dr. Steve Walker, the College’s longtime student advisor. “It’s sometimes discouraging to be a Christian in this field, but he came from a very practical and biblically based standpoint.” If accepted, Barnes will be the second student this calendar year to enter the field of psychology on the graduate level. From being around Christians daily, Libby believes [...]