Project Based Learning Electives provided by the Berrien Springs Virtual Academy

All students must complete a project for these classes.

Please Note: Lifeguarding (for ages 15+) and WSI may only be taken one time each on your partnership registration schedule. If a student does not pass the requirements and wants to take that same class again, it will need to be self-pay. If your student still needs to build skills, please choose Junior Lifeguarding which can be repeated as they progress through the levels.

  • Contact: Isabel Widdis, Learn2Swim Coordinator
  • Format: In-person 
  • Masks: Not required
  • Contact Information: 269.471.3257
  • Website: Andrews Aquatics
  • Location:  Andreasen Center for Wellness 8750 West Campus Circle Drive

Junior Lifeguarding Levels 1-4        Spring 2024

Scheduled time: Thursdays 3:45-4:45 PM
Ages: 11-15
Classes begin Jan. 8th.  

No Classes for the following dates: 

1/15 (MLK Day) 
2/19 (Presidents' Day) 
Week of 3/18 (University Spring Break) 

​Additional registration at location is required. The payment code for AU registration will be emailed in an attachment following partnership registration.

Additionally there will be 2 vouchers given out for additional pool time or make up sessions.

The Junior Lifeguarding program will teach water safety and introduce participants to the duties and responsibilities of a lifeguard. However, this class will not certify anyone to be a lifeguard. It will build a foundation of knowledge, attitudes, and skills to prepare participants for the American Red Cross certification course. See syllabus for course prerequisites.

JR Lifeguarding Syllabus

Lifeguarding Fall 2023: Not offered for Spring 

Scheduled time: Wednesdays 3:30-5:30 PM
Ages: 15+, any 14 year olds must turn 15 by the last day of class
Classes begin August 30 No Classes for the following dates 

  • Monday, September 4th (Labor Day) 
  • Mon & Tues, October 9-10 (University Fall Break) 
  • Wednesday - Sunday, November 22 - 26 (University Thanksgiving Break) 

​Additional registration at location is required. The payment code for AU registration will be emailed in an attachment following partnership registration.

The primary purpose of the American Red Cross Blended Lifeguarding course is to  provide entry-level lifeguard participants with the knowledge and skills to prevent,  recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies and to provide professional-level care  for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until emergency  medical services (EMS) personnel take over. 

AU Lifeguarding Syllabus

Water Safety Instructor (WSI)  Not offered this semester

Ages: Must be 16 on or before the last day of class AND demonstrate at least a Red Cross Level 4 swimming ability

The Purpose of the American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor course is to train instructor candidates to teach courses and presentations in the American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety program by developing their understanding of how to use the course materials, how to conduct training and how to evaluate participants’ progress.

WSI Syllabus

Because these courses are on campus, the university requires a parking sticker on your vehicle. Stop by the Campus Safety office or register your vehicle online.

Please be sure to register online with the Berrien Springs Partnership and be mindful of your YMCA branch locations. You will be contacted by the YMCA, via e-mail or telephone, regarding course specifics.  *For late registrations (outside registrations dates), or changes, please contact the partnership as well as the YMCA.

Classes must begin the week of January 2-June 4. There will be no classes April 3-9   Days and times will vary. They have not yet been formalized.

  • ​Format: In-person
  • Ages: 15+
  • Contact: Allison Kiggins   Phone: 269-683-1552  
    email:   Website:
  • **Days and times for classes may change, please contact the YMCA for days and times.**

Niles-Buchanan or Benton Harbor/St. Joseph:

Lifeguard candidates will be trained in professional CPR, basic first aid and oxygen administration as well as pool and waterfront lifesaving skills. 

YMCA Lifeguarding Syllabus

*Please note: it is important to make as informed a decision as possible when choosing your student's Community Resource classes. Most locations will allow a student to drop a class after one meeting, at no charge if it wasn't a good fit for the student, but not all. Some classes plan ahead based on the number that have signed up and have purchased materials, hired teachers, etc. and there might be a fee for class time or materials given to the student if the student drops after one or two meetings. The school cannot pay for classes that students do not complete, so choose wisely; if you do not take the class off of your student's schedule by the deadline, you may be asked to pay for the class time incurred prior to dropping the class.

Teacher of Record: Sara Smothers