Student athletes have an opportunity to travel, develop leadership skills, connect with their team mates and ultimately, get more out of the college experience than many students do. At a community college it can be especially difficult for students to connect since so many students are part-time and all are commuting instead of living on campus. Brookhaven College has had an athletics program since the college opened in 1978. The original mascot was a pioneer, and it was not until 1989 that the mascot was changed to the bears.
The sports that were part of the athletics program has changed over the years. Golf and weight lifting were on the list at different times and soccer has come and gone and returned over the years, but athletics has always been a part of college life and so Brookhaven College has ensured athletics was something it could offer students throughout its history.