BHC got me here: graduates' transfer tales - Black Hawk College

BHC got me here: graduates’ transfer tales

These graduates shared their stories of earning the first half of their bachelor’s degrees at BHC before transferring to universities! Did you know we have about 130 transfer agreements and guides in place with about 23 four-year colleges and universities in Illinois, Iowa and beyond? Learn more about our transfer programs.


Baylee Burklund

Black Hawk College degree: Associate in Arts

Graduation year: 2017

Hometown: Hampton, IL

Where did you transfer to? Illinois State University in Normal, IL

What are you majoring in? Major: management with a concentration in human resources
Minor: organizational leadership

How did Black Hawk College prepare you for a four-year school? Black Hawk prepared me by allowing me to get involved with on-campus activities such as Student Government Association (SGA) and part-time employment at the Welcome Desk. I was able to work on my communication skills and network with those in the Black Hawk College community. My economics professors gave me challenging work that prepared me for the advanced courses I have been taking here at Illinois State as well as the core knowledge that I am and will continue to build off of in the future.

What did you enjoy about Black Hawk College or your time here? I enjoyed being able to save money and stay close to home with my support system while also gaining a top-rated education. Black Hawk College afforded me many opportunities, and Illinois State has been great with making my transition smooth and effortless. They accepted every credit I completed at Black Hawk College and I am on track to graduate in May 2019.

What are you planning on doing when you graduate? I am currently seeking full-time employment. I hope to find a position that allows me to grow within the organization as both an individual and a team player.


Courtney Coffman

Black Hawk College degree:  Associate in Science

Graduation year: 2018

Hometown: Huntington, IN

Where did you transfer to? West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX

What are you majoring in? Agriculture communications, with a minor in animal science and/or plant and soil science

How did Black Hawk College prepare you for a four-year school? Black Hawk College was a fantastic stepping stone. It was a great transition going from high school into college. Small class sizes allowed for me to get one-on-one help from professors, which allowed me to find the study skills and processes that work the best for me. Having those skills will be essential to my success as I move into larger class sizes and more intense, upper level coursework.

What did you enjoy about Black Hawk College or your time here? The environment at Black Hawk College is very homey and inclusive. I loved knowing everyone as I passed them in the hallway. I never questioned if I fit in. There are many options for getting involved in all sorts of different organizations that open doors for leadership experiences and new relationships.

Not to mention the professors are not only professors but life mentors. They go out of their way to ensure that not only are you understanding their course material, but they teach you life lessons that lead to career and personal success. Their ties in the ag industry lead to ample opportunity in the world of internships, careers or even just friendships. All of these components combine to create a positive atmosphere where opportunity thrives.

What are you planning on doing when you graduate? My hope is to work in the marketing department at an ag-based company.


Kayleen Mercer

Black Hawk College degree: Associate in Arts

Graduation year: 2018

Hometown: Port Byron, IL

Where did you transfer to? Iowa State University in Ames, IA

What are you majoring in? Graphic design with a minor in advertising

How did Black Hawk College prepare you for a four-year school? When I first started at Black Hawk College, I had come in as a computer science major and was going to get my Associate in Science. After taking a couple of computer science courses, I realized that the I wanted to be more creative and decided to switch to getting my Associate in Arts. I eventually settled on majoring in graphic design.

Black Hawk College prepared me by letting me get my general education courses at a more affordable cost while also being able to explore different majors. For someone like me, who wasn’t sure about a major at the time, it was nice to be able to have the option to take different classes to find what I wanted to do. Also, it allowed me to adjust to the college life without really having to go far away. I was able to find a college routine for myself that includes study habits and navigating a campus which has helped me since coming to Iowa State University.

What did you enjoy about Black Hawk College or your time here? I enjoy the people I have met on campus. Throughout my classes, I have met some awesome friends who made my time at Black Hawk College so much better. I joined the Student Government Association and met some great people. We did lots of fun activities together as a group and for the college, and it was always a blast. I also worked at Black Hawk College in the Recruitment Department as a student worker. I love all the faculty I have met there. Everyone was so lovely and friendly to me, and we talk about anything. They made me love coming to work. I loved it here at Black Hawk College and will always cherish my time here.

What are you planning on doing when you graduate? Hopefully, after I graduate, I will have a job lined up. If not, an internship of some sort. Iowa State University actually has career fairs designated for each college (design, engineering, ag and life sciences, etc.) which I think is an excellent way to network with potential employers. Also, every college has a career services center (just like Black Hawk College has one), so I will most definitely use that resource. I am also considering getting my master’s degree, but that will be a decision that I will make in the future probably closer to when I get my bachelor’s degree.