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BC3 back in session

Butler County Community College students walk to class Tuesday, the first day of the spring semester, at the main campus in Butler Township. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle
Online and in-person class options benefit students

Butler County Community College students were eager to return to in-person classes this spring semester, after their fall semester ended online because of a ransomware attack.

They had to wait out one more short delay Tuesday, when the college pushed the opening of campuses until 9:30 a.m. because of inclement weather.

Gigi Wilson walks to pick up a schedule Tuesday on her first day of classes on the Butler County Community College main campus in Butler Township. Wilson said she is returning to school after more than 30 years and is excited to study photography. "I hope I don't get lost," she said. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle

Still, several college-goers are anticipating what they hope will be a regular semester. Abigail Natili, a freshman psychology major at BC3, said she didn’t mind the snow delay, and she is excited for some of her major-related classes.

“It's nice living close to the college because I can sleep in a little,” Natili said. “I’m looking forward to finishing the semester. But I have some classes that I'm really excited for.”

Natili said she has some in-person classes this semester, and takes one hybrid course which can be attended in-person or virtually. She said she isn’t worried about classes being moved online again, because adapting to the virtual format has been relatively easy for her.

“During that week only a few of my teachers went online,” Natili said.

Olivia Collins, a freshman business administration major, started her semester with an online class. She said she has several in-person classes as well, which she likes because it helps change up her day-to-day routine.

Andrea Watson, who is in her second year at Butler County Community College, walks into class Tuesday on the first day of the spring semester at the main campus in Butler Township. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle

“With online I like it too because most of the time you work at your own pace, and in person you have to work all at the same pace,” Collins said. “They both have their advantages ... if you have both it's nice because it's a nice balance.”

Collins said she is looking forward to this semester, because after taking mostly general education courses, she too will delve deeper into courses in her major.

“I was taking classes like speech and biology because you have to,” Collins said. “I'm starting to take classes that pertain to my major and my interest.”

Collins said she plans to transfer to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh next year, to continue toward a degree in accounting. She said she hopes to make the most of this semester at BC3, by continuing to be a student ambassador for the college and participating in Phi Theta Kappa, an honor society.

“It's a nice transition period,” Collins said. “I like just really helping out, giving tours, getting the word out; I love being an ambassador.”

Butler County Community College students walk to class Tuesday on the first day of the spring semester at the main campus in Butler Township. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle