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BUILD Program Gaining Momentum

The BUILD program takes shape in preparation for first cohort next fall.

The newly created program BUILD is on track for its fall launch date. The September BUILD announcement received many shares through social media and interest in the program itself has drawn more applicants than available spots in the program.

The first cohort of BUILD is set at 12 students. Applications are currently in review with interviews to follow. Students will be notified by mail of their acceptance this month.

Recently Dawn Allen was named as the program’s director and started in the role on December 8. Allen received a Master of Education in Special Education from Bethel’s Graduate School in December 2005. Her career and education have been focused in the special education field working with students, parents, and instructors to foster student success.

“My mission is to build students’ skills and help them reach independence. I always want to be in a position where I can edify others and advocate on behalf of others. This role will certainly help me do that,” says Allen. “It’s been exciting for me to see how God has worked to get things going to where they are now. I’m thankful for the work that the committee has done and excited to join in this effort.”

“Throughout the process, doors have been opened much more quickly than anyone anticipated,” says Pamela Erwin, associate dean of professional programs and member of the BUILD task force. That continues, as organizations are already expressing interest in providing internship positions for BUILD students. The BUILD curriculum will give students two internship experiences during the two-year program. “The off-campus internships won’t happen until the second year. It’s exciting that we are making these connections so quickly,” Allen explains.

Support for BUILD is increasing at the administrative level, too, with both the Cabinet and Board of Trustees offering strong support for the mission and potential of BUILD. Bethel President Jay Barnes issued a request for the program to expand the 2016 cohort size to 20 students. Academic departments from the College of Arts & Sciences have expressed excitement and interest in their partnership with BUILD as further discussions and planning for the curriculum takes place.

“A particular scripture that has held meaning for me throughout my life is Philippians 4:8-9. It’s the call to action in verse nine to ’practice these things‘ that I believe BUILD will really live out. As an institution and through this program, we will be meeting a recognized need, says Allen.”

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