Toward the close of the winter semester administrators from the
University of St. Francis, Joliet, sat down and signed agreements
with LC that would ease the path forward for qualified pre-nursing
students who earn their associates degree.
The schools agreed to simplify acceptance and transition from LC to
On hand from St. Francis for the Nov. 18, 2016 signing were Provost
and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Professor of Biology, Frank
H. Pascoe, D.A.; as well as Vice President for Admissions, Marketing
and Enrollment Services, Charles M. Beutel.
Present for Lincoln College were President David M. Gerlach, Ph.D.;
Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Gigi Fansler; and Coordinator
of the Pre-Nursing and ACES Programs, and Chemistry instructor Todd
Prior to the signing the officials swapped a bit of each college's
history and what the articulation arrangement means.
For Lincoln College, President Gerlach proudly claimed heritage with
President Abraham Lincoln. He told how A. Lincoln early in his law
practice days rode the judicial circuit in Logan County and had an
office located downtown. The college was established just over 150
years ago as the first higher learning institution named for A.
Lincoln, and the only while he was President and yet alive.
Dr. Fansler picked up on how the college was founded as Lincoln
University in 1865. The first building, University Hall, still
stands and is in use. She explained how LC is now returning to its
roots as a four-year degree granting institution. The college is now
building on its return to baccalaureate programs "one added this
year, three more are being added later this year, four more are
going for approval to the Higher Learning Commission for next year,
and intentions are that there would be two, three or four more added
each year thereafter to bring Lincoln back to university status" Dr.
Mr. Todd said that this year he is advising 80 pre-nursing students
with many from the Chicago-land area interested in finding a nursing
school close to home.
Todd was excited to find the program at St. Francis, which would
create a support effort for students to attain their nursing degree
and provide options. He said that students who get good grades, and
most who are in the nursing program do, and demonstrate they will do
well in the nursing program would be recommended to St. Francis.
The criteria for considerations would be a 3.0 GPA, not to have
withdrawn from any of the required nursing curriculum; and to take
the standard academic pre-entrance exam, the Test of Essential
Academic Skill (TEAS) Test. Lafrenz said that LC would also do a
internal vetting of students and only recommend the best and those
most likely to complete the St. Francis program.
One third of LC students are from the Chicago area. Just as Amtrak
makes the Lincoln College accessible, so it is also for St. Francis
The visitors from Joliet modestly deferred to Lincoln in age. The
University of St. Francis is coming up on its centennial in just a
few years, 2020, yet they hold their own in historical roots.
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The university was founded by Sisters of St. Francis of Mary
Immaculate, who have their headquarters in Joliet.
The founding Sisters were originally from Luxembourg, Germany. Two Sisters were
asked to come to America to teach English to Native Americans. When they got
here, they could not find reservations in Wisconsin that wanted their teaching
service. They made their way down through Chicago, then to Joliet, where there
was a young congregation of German immigrants with children needing to learn the
The Sisters started an order of Franciscan Women.
A freak lightning storm accident at the church in 1897 led to the death of a
number parents, leaving children in need of a home. The Sisters started the
Guardian Angel Home, and later built a large home in what was then farm country
The founding sisters continued to move on, establishing many institutions to
meet education, housing, and medical needs of people where ever they went. While
in Rochester, MN an epidemic swept the area taking many lives, which resulted in
the re-known Rochester Clinic.
During the 1990's nursing schools began leaning more toward attaining
baccalaureate degrees. The College of St. Francis then aligned with the area
hospital nursing school, which had been established about 1920.
The University of St. Francis offers numerous programs and varying degrees in
education, business, arts and sciences; with bachelors, masters, and a couple
doctoral programs. The school has just under 4,000 students with 1,600 to 1,700
of those in undergraduate programs.
St. Francis purchased the building that was once an orphanage to expand its
nursing school. It invested $8 million to create a state of the art building
dedicated to training nurses that opened in the fall of 2016 and is now named
Guardian Angel Hall. The expansion increases the nursing program capacity by 50
In addition to classroom instruction, the program offers virtual simulation
laboratory training as well as off-site clinical experiences contracting with a
number of medical care facilities for hands on training.
At LC, already there are students interested in finding a nursing school in the
Chicago-land area, and Lafrenz believes there will be many interested in the St.
As the papers were being signed, literally before the ink was dry, Lafrenz and
Mr. Beutel were sitting down with a couple of LC students going over the St.
Lincoln College has a number of other program transfer agreements with other
colleges in place as well, including an agriculture related program that was
signed with the University of Illinois.