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2015 Fall Linfield

“The flexibility has been a real key to my success in school. With my 50-plus hour work weeks and evening commitments, if I didn’t have that flexibility to squeeze in homework, it wouldn’t happen.” – Dan Ripplinger ’16 universal issues, read great texts or take 8 - l i n f i e l d m a g a z i n e Fall 2015 a writing class without worrying about exams or grades. To respond to this, OCE will be offering personal enrichment courses and workshops this spring. Those are all ideas that will be explored, but it is not just a matter of offering more, Brener said. “It is also differentiating ourselves and making sure our standards for completing a bachelor’s degree, certificate program or online course represent the same quality as any other program at Linfield.” Academic excellence Each student has his or her own reason for pursuing a degree or certificate. While each experience is different, the academic quality and the flexibility of the program are critical. Dan Ripplinger ’16 of Albany is earning an accounting degree while also working as full-time director of business services at the Oregon State Credit Union in Corvallis. He selected Linfield because it had a storied history and was one of the more revered adult degree programs available. “Online learning at Linfield is not very different from being in the classroom,” he said. “We may not be physically around each other, but the program is no less rigorous.” The strength of the program, coupled with its flexibility, is essential for Ripplinger, who oversees a $100 million portfolio in commercial loans, and is married with four children. He maintains a tight schedule, even finding time for homework in his daily calendar. He always looks for little windows of time in which he can study. “The flexibility has been a real key to my success in school,” he said. “With my 50-plus hour work weeks and evening commitments, if I didn’t have that flexibility to squeeze in homework, it wouldn’t happen.” Rehberg, an international business major, said the quality of the professors she’s had has been outstanding and the diversity of courses was surprising, including classes on the Holocaust, shoreline ecology, nutrition, entrepreneurship and cultural anthropology. “I have had some of the smartest, most caring and passionate professors that I could have ever asked for,” she said. “Having this degree will open countless doors to potential career paths. And if an opportunity comes up again where a degree is required for a job, I won’t be turned down again for not having one.” As an international business major, Rehberg learned Spanish and completed her study abroad requirement in Guatemala, where she continued her language studies, learned about the culture and the history of the Mayan textiles of Guatemala, and how that industry sustains the economy. Expanding certificate offerings Not everyone has the time, finances or desire to complete a bachelor’s degree. Certificates offer a great alternative for working adults to Chantel Gardner, a nurse and single mother of three boys, began her RN to BSN program in 2014 and tackles coursework in her dining room in between work and family commitments. She enrolled in the Online and Continuing Education program as a step toward fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a nurse practitioner. Her advice for others, “Don't let your fears, whatever they may be, stop you from going to college.”


2015 Fall Linfield
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