Enrollment: 1,639

Majors offered: 50, plus graduate programs in Business, Counseling, Education, Ministry, Theology and Nursing.

Major Accomplishments: Nursing Simulation Laboratory (2017)

Ivette Ferreras ’17 never pictured herself as a Bethel College student. Although originally from the Dominican Republic, Ferreras was an Elkhart, Ind., resident before coming to Bethel, and the close distance to home did not fit her original ideal of the college experience. That all changed when she stepped on to campus for the first time for a campus tour:

“After the visit, I didn’t need to continue making school visits. It felt like a place that could be a home for me,” Ferreras says.

And it didn’t disappoint. Inspired by the community around her, Ferreras has filled an impressive number of roles on campus. As a senior, she has served as a resident assistant in Founders Village, while being a teaching assistant for Assistant Professor of Spanish Nan Hussey, Ph.D. In previous years, she served as a resident assistant in Sailor Hall, an admissions tour guide, a campus activities board member, a dancer on the worship dance team Shekinah Glory and a service learning assistant.

“My time at Bethel has given me an invaluable foundation for my life aspirations—a foundation for my faith, a foundation for many relationships, and a foundation for my vocation … It’s a very nurturing community.”

A Bethel College education, for Ferreras, went beyond just the classroom, with local internships and community service events related to her field: Psychology. This, combined with her many roles in student life, has truly been formative.

“We have abilities and resources, and we should use them to benefit someone … Bethel is all about the people, and I am glad to have been able to participate in that and learn how to love people … It is that mentality I hope to take with me. In my career, in all that I do, in what I aspire to be, I am doing it for someone else, and I am doing it in honor of God.”

As a 2017 graduate, Ferreras has had a recent inside look at Bethel’s spiritual life:    

“Spiritual life here is what you make it. You are offered an environment where you can become an active participant, and you can be challenged in your faith, you can ask hard questions, you can voice doubts. Bethel invites you into this … but it is a choice you have to make.”

As Bethel continues to rapidly evolve, physically and spiritually, Ferreras hopes the benefits Bethel has given her are made available to those in the community:

“We have a lot of good things going for us and a lot of good principles and values that we have continued … but let us challenge ourselves, let us trickle into our community. We have this great thing, let’s not keep it to ourselves.”

Ferreras will graduate with a B.A. in both Psychology and Spanish. She has committed to the University of Michigan’s Master in Social Work program, with aspirations of becoming a licensed clinical social worker with a concentration in mental health. She hopes to work closely with underserved people groups, particularly with the Latin American population, using her background as a dual citizen of the United States and the Dominican Republic to be a bridge between people groups—both in language and in cultural awareness.