Making Going Back to College the Right Choice… Financially

Going to college at any stage of life is a big decision, regardless of whether it’s right after high school or down the road after you have established a number of years of work experience, as many adult students are now doing. College requires a great commitment of time, energy and money. For many, it is the financial aspect that is the greatest deterrent. However, earning a college degree is a very rewarding achievement for many, which makes the sacrifices, including the financial sacrifice, more manageable to endure.

Many students considering going back to college are looking to student loans as an option to help them afford college in order to achieve the higher education they desire, whether they are looking to advance their career or to pursue a new career path. In addition to using a portion of their earnings and savings to finance their education, many colleges help students to explore the resources of scholarships.  Some employers provide educational benefits for employees and for dependents of employees. With all of these resources, there will still continue to be a demand for student loans. Financial aid options can be as unique as the students seeking them, which has encouraged potential students to do their research when determining the best options available to them.

When seeking student loans, the first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  A valuable source of free information about the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program is found through the U.S. Department of Education. The Federal Direct Stafford Loan funds are awarded to students and the funds are directed to the college from the federal government. Students must be admitted and attending on at least a half time basis per semester or term.

The Office of Financial Aid at Linfield College works with the individual student to make sure that the financial aid offered is the maximum amount possible they can receive. Student loans can cover a variety of college-related expenses, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and school supplies, even transportation and personal expenses.

The Linfield College Adult Degree Program is able to help answer financial aid questions, striving to provide the best service for each student, with a simple step-by-step process. The financial aid counselors are able to help each Linfield College student to learn what financial aid and student loan options they qualify for. Federal Direct Stafford Loans are administered by Linfield College and have advantages over private education loans made through banks or credit unions.  Making the decision to go back to college is difficult, but Linfield College wants to help students alleviate some of the financial concerns surrounding the achievement of a higher education.

Why wait? Now is the time to take that next step in your education. Contact the Linfield College Adult Degree Program today to take the next step in achieving your dream of a college education.

Environmental Studies Field Courses – Become Your Company’s Green Resource

No matter where one turns, the heavy footprint we’re leaving on our delicate planet is evident, while the long-term effects are being examined carefully. The result is a growing demand for professionals well informed about our environment and its delicate balance.

Linfield College Adult Degree Program offers multiple Environmental Studies field study courses in the Pacific Northwest as part of their Environmental Studies Minor, allowing students to acquire environmental perspectives through exploring various bio-physical aspects of the Pacific Northwest. Students who are interested in learning more about the relationships between humans and the planet’s life-support system are encouraged to take these courses. In addition to supporting student’s knowledge and interests in the minor, Linfield College’s Environmental Studies field study courses fulfill the Natural World requirement of the General Education curriculum for all students in the Adult Degree Program.

Field courses each involve a five-day experience on location at the coast or in the mountains and will occur in June, July and early August 2012. Registration for these courses begins May 14, 2012 through the Adult Degree Program.

Students enrolled in these courses have an opportunity to get outside of the traditional classroom and gain a “hands-on” experience with field study courses taking place in locations, such as the Oregon Coast for the Shoreline Ecology course. Shoreline Ecology provides students interested in learning about the ocean as a habitat for life and the oceanographic processes affecting shore life with fascinating learning.  The course allows students to observe shore habitats of the Oregon Coast as well as perform laboratory examinations of selected shore dwelling animals and plants. Human Ecosystems is another field study course set on the northern Oregon Coast. In Human Ecosystems, students will explore the scientific concepts and principles concerning the interrelationships between humans, other living organisms, and the environment. Shoreline Ecology and Human Ecosystems are taught by Dr. Ned Knight, adjunct professor of biology and environmental studies. Dr. Knight is a highly respected professor and students find his classes to be entertaining and informative.

Fire History of the Cascades is based in the Cascade Mountains of central Oregon and examines the science and politics that guide national fire policy. Using field research, students will contribute to a project documenting the effects of a fire that burned in the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests during the summer of 2003. Fire History of the Cascades is taught by Dr. Peter Schoonover, adjunct professor of environmental studies. Dr. Schoonover conducts research on forest habitats and leads a lecture series on environmental policy issues.

Dennis Snyder, a recent graduate, said “I diversified myself from having just a standard degree by pursuing the Environmental Studies minor. I took all of the required classes for the minor and three of the field classes during the summer including: ENVS 306 Fire History of the Cascades, ENVS 302 Shoreline Ecology, and ENVS 303 Human Ecosystems. The field classes during the summer were very informative, incredible, and enriched my learning experience in the Environmental Studies minor. I wouldn’t have missed any of those field classes. It was a very fun and enjoyable time!”

For students interested in broadening their field of study, the Linfield College Environmental Studies Minor is the perfect opportunity. The courses for this minor encourage a deeper understanding of the complex world we inhabit, including interactions among populations, environments, resources, technology, social organization and culture.

Those interested in the Environmental Studies Minor or the Field Study courses can contact Linfield today and start advancing their education right now.

Environmental Studies at Linfield College – More Than a Minor Consideration…

Going green, carbon footprint, biodegradable, organic, sustainable – buzzwords picked up and splashed around by the media today, but do we really know what they mean and how appropriate or otherwise they may be in our everyday lives? This is where the Linfield College Environmental Studies Minor comes in, providing you with a solid, objective, interdisciplinary, and practical background to approaching today’s environmental concerns.

The minor program is designed to give you a strong foundation, not only in natural science, but also fundamental economics and ethics. Like a three-legged stool, each is critically important and interconnected, empowering you to make informed, rational, and progressive decisions with respect to environmental issues and situations.

The program consists of a variety of primarily online classes. Though for invaluable practical and experiential learning, you are also strongly encouraged to take at least one field course offered each summer. For example, Shoreline Ecology will introduce you to a variety of native species in coastal marine and terrestrial environments. Human Ecosystems will focus on several restoration and stewardship projects in the lower Columbia River Basin. And Fire History of the Cascades is designed to expose you to relationships between fire events, restoration efforts, and politics.

So, is it worth the extra time and credits to pursue this minor alongside your major? Consider the following:

  • Today’s increasing number of green jobs, such as in renewable energy
  • Banks looking more frequently to providing business loans for more sustainable practices
  • Cooperation and partnerships among a variety of interest groups (and agencies) to fund and implement small to large restoration projects
  • More intense and successful lobbying efforts for environmental clean-up or protection

These are just a few of many examples where your broadened background, coupled with Linfield’s long-standing reputation in the regional business community, can really increase your marketability to potential future employers. Or perhaps there’s a possibility of assisting your present employer in starting, continuing, or improving practices in more sustainable directions.

So, if you’re interested in this minor program that can be attached to any major in your bachelor’s degree, register for our June and July courses. Registration begins May 14, 2012. It could help you make a world of difference, locally and beyond!

Written by Dr. Ned J. Knight, adjunct professor of biology and environmental studies, Linfield College. Dr. Knight teaches the field study courses, Shoreline Ecology and Human Ecosystems, and in addition offers online courses in the Environmental Studies program, such as Water Resources, Intro to Ecology, and Concepts in Marine Ecology.