Click the topic headings below to learn more about the President’s Initiatives at Beacon College.
Comprehensive Planning with CREDO
We ask our students to be ambitious; we cannot be otherwise ourselves. At the core of all Beacon initiatives is the “master plan,” which is being developed in conjunction with CREDO, the nation’s most respected planners in higher education. This plan will bolster Beacon’s position as one of the premier accredited baccalaureate institutions devoted to students who learn differently.
The planning process will review every single aspect of life at Beacon, from academic programming to facilities, and result in a unified, prioritized roadmap intended to meet student and faculty needs for the next decade and beyond. CREDO will supplement rigorous internal assessment with best practice research from private colleges and universities around the country. Our 2024 Campus Map is a preliminary outcome of this work.
Plan approved by Board: August 2015.
Beacon’s academic initiatives present our students with the richest possible undergraduate experience incorporating deep exploration of ideas, practical knowledge and intellectual challenges.
Entrepreneurship Minor (Business Management Program)
Research suggests a strong link between learning differences – such as dyslexia and ADHD – and the desire to invent one’s own opportunities by becoming an entrepreneur. Phenomenally successful entrepreneurs with dyslexia, for example, include Charles Schwab and Richard Branson. Beacon’s exciting Entrepreneurship Minor helps our students prepare to imagine and build their own small businesses. Inaugurated: August 2014
Studio Arts Major
Students who learn differently are often intensely creative. Beacon’s Studio Arts Major, leading to a Bachelor of Arts (BA), provides a new curricular richness in the arts for all students and their creative interests. This new program is further supported by the Kristin Michelle Mason Art Gallery. Accredited by SACSCOC: 2013.
Game Design Minor (Computer Information Systems [CIS] Program)
In a fast-changing world, institutions of higher learning must be responsive to both industry developments and student ambitions. Beacon’s Game Design Minor within the popular Computer Information Systems Program fulfills both objectives. The curriculum empowers students to master the cutting-edge technology, knowledge and skills required in this exciting, fast-paced – and often lucrative – industry segment.
Established: August 2014.
Organized extra-curricular activities are a key part of a college education, helping students create positive social networks, calling upon them to be of service to each other and the larger community and often reinforcing wellness in the process.
- Railway Depot Student Fitness Center
The Railway Depot Student Union provides an extraordinary venue for leisure, social activities and fitness in a beautifully-restored turn of the century railroad depot and related building.
Opened: August 2015.
- Railway Depot Student Fitness Center
- Career Development
Beacon’s integrated four-year career development curriculum helps our students develop their ethical and moral compasses as they seek worthy work to sustain independent, fulfilling lives.
Four-year Career Development, Internship and Placement Support Program Sequence
At Beacon College, we’re used to breaking the mold and changing the model. Even with an exceptional 83% record of postgraduate employment and advanced study, we wanted to offer our students something more. The traditional approach tends to tack intentional career development onto the end of an academic experience. Beginning with the 2013-2014 academic year, our Division of Academic and Student Services created an enhanced four-year Career Development model and integrated it fully into the curriculum, along with a two-year variant for students in our Associate degree programs.
- Year 1: Personal Development and Assessment
- Year 2: Career Development
- Year 3: Career Exploration and Goal Setting
- Year 4: Advanced Career Preparation, Internship and Placement Support
- Campus Development
Beacon’s campus is the primary container that sustains our students’ growth and nourishes them as they formulate lifelong dreams and ambitions.
Railway Depot Student Fitness Center
Healthy learning inside the classroom is both supported and enhanced by healthy pursuits outside the classroom. Beacon’s new Student Union is being created in a beautifully-restored turn of the century railroad depot and related building. The new facility will incorporate social space, an equipped fitness center, meeting rooms, and staff offices. Phase I Completion: August 2015.
College Art Center/Kristin Michelle Mason Art Gallery
Since its founding, Beacon has had an unusually robust dedication to the arts. With the new College Art Center/Kristin Michelle Mason Art Gallery, we now have an inviting and personal venue for instruction, student work and exhibition. In addition to supporting Beacon’s Studio Arts Major, the Art Center/Mason Gallery welcomes professional artists to exhibit their work and share their experiences with students. It also provides an artistic venue for residents of Leesburg and surrounding Central Florida communities. Completed: 2013, Dedicated: 2014.
Beacon Commons Upperclass Residences
Careful alignment of housing options with academic objectives and co-curricular programming differentiates the best undergraduate institutions. Consisting of 48 one- and two-bedroom apartment style units around a green quad, the Beacon Commons provides a best-in-class living-learning sanctuary for our rapidly-growing population of upper class students. Opened: January 2015.
Learning disabilities, ADHD, dyslexia and other learning differences affect people around the world. As a leader in educating students who learn differently, Beacon consistently looks for opportunities to share our knowledge and experience globally. This not only offers support for international students and their families, but enriches the Beacon experience for our entire community.
COMPASS is a core-building program to help international students who learn differently (diagnosed learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, etc.) navigate the learning process. The program consists of a four week summer session on the Beacon campus, reinforced by follow up sessions in their home countries in the autumn. Students explore their own potential strengths and weaknesses in a higher education environment, survey a wide range of academic disciplines and career options and get a taste of campus life and enjoy Florida’s natural resources and other attractions. Nine students from Saudi Arabia participated in the pilot program. Thirty students from Africa and Europe are expected to participate annually after full implementation. Pilot Program: Summer 2015; full implementation anticipated Summer 2016.
Wherever they go, Beacon faculty and administrators talk about the important work they do with our students, about student experiences and about advances in building robust higher education programs for students who learn differently. Our lead envoy is President Hagerty, who was a speaker for the 4th International Conference on Disability and Rehabilitation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (2014) and a presenter at the International Conference on Disabilities in Lagos, Nigeria (2015).