Don’t forget about your non traditional peers

Camille Botello, Staff Writer and Online Coordinator

For those students who weren’t able or ready to attend college directly following high school, Linfield offers its Online and Continuing Education Program, and a safe place for non-traditional students.  

Linfield’s online program is predominantly for those who have full time jobs or family obligations. With the OCE Program, students are able to “earn a degree in their own time from the comfort of their home,” according to Linfield’s website.

With eight Bachelor’s degrees, five minors, 17 certifications, and one enrichment program, students have an array of subjects to choose from. Not only does Linfield offer multiple areas of study, but they can also award a student college credit solely based on their life experiences.  Their website states that many of their students bring “prior learning from a variety of sources: on the job, non-credit workshops, travel, personal interests, family, life experience, and volunteer responsibilities. Linfield College believes that adults should be able to receive college credit for life experience acquired outside of the traditional college setting.”

Linfield also ensures all of its online students receive the full academic benefits as traditional students. Students in the OCE program receive an admissions counselor, an academic advisor, technical support, a convenient schedule, and a “higher completion rate than the national average,” as stated by the Linfield website.

Still other non traditional students choose to come to Linfield.

Meet Rebecca Mellow, a 41-year-old who is at Linfield studying Nursing and Spanish. She married her high school sweetheart at 19 and was ready to undergo Marine Corps boot camp when she got pregnant with her eldest child. Because her future as a Marine didn’t work out, she decided to begin her medical career. She received her Certified Nurse’s Assistant (CNA) at 21, and her Certified Medical Technician (CMT) at 24.

Rebecca and her husband then moved to McMinnville, where she started working at the Willamette Valley Medical Center lab. She soon realized the lab wouldn’t suit her in the long run. “I have to be with my patient, I have to be hands on,” she said.

In 2010, Mellow’s husband was in a motor vehicle accident that left him in critical condition, and because of this, he encouraged his wife to go back to nursing school. “My husband passed away in 2014. It was very wise on his part to encourage me to go back to school, and in 2016 I graduated with my Associate’s Degree with honors from Chemeketa Community College, and now here I am,” Mellow said, at the “Harvard of Oregon.”

She now wants to get her Bachelor’s in Nursing from Linfield, and work in critical care in the intensive care unit. Her hope is to also specialize in saving children from the horrors of human trafficking.

She concluded by saying: “Jump head first through the window of opportunity. I think if I were 20 years younger I’d be jumping too.”

Whether students choose to enroll in Linfield when they’re 17 or 47, they are sure to get a quality education and a wide range of experiences.