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New wave of higher education

Nontraditional students moving into careers through Lincoln Christian College and Seminary's LincUp

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[August 22, 2008]  Back-to-school is looming in the air for most people right now. From buying up crayons and pencils for the youngsters to packing up that college-bound youngster of yours for the first time. And when a lot of us take time to think about the hustle and bustle of preparing for school this time of year, those are the situations we normally think of first.

DonutsBut there is an entirely different group of students out there with an alternative concept. They are preparing themselves for higher learning, and for some, preparing themselves for a better life.

This new wave of education is happening right here in our area on the Lincoln Christian College and Seminary campus. LCCS has been offering a degree-completion program called LincUp, which is geared toward nontraditional students, since 2001.

According to Deb Siltman, director of student services for LincUp, there are about 150 nontraditional students enrolled every semester at LCCS.


Nontraditional students generally already work a full-time job, or are busy during the day raising their young children, and are looking to further their education, giving them greater opportunity to better the career they may already have, or to better prepare themselves once they get back into the work force. For many of these enrollees with already hectic lives, the traditional daytime college classes are just not an option for them. But they are still yearning for a change. For those needing flexibility, the LincUp classes cannot be beat.

For students beginning this fall, there are Thursday night classes and Saturday classes to choose from. The Thursday night classes are once a week for 3.5 hours each. The Saturday classes are every other Saturday for eight hours each.

For students past the initial startup courses, Monday night classes are offered as well. They are also 3.5 hours long and take place just once a week.

The LincUp staff busily works one-on-one with each student regarding past transcripts, credit transfers and financial aspects. Knowing that jumping back into the school process after years of being away can be a bit frightening for some, the LincUp staff makes themselves readily available to answer any questions and take care of any concerns a student may have.


Rachel Mollet, a former LCHS graduate who now resides in Pana with her husband and two daughters, ages 4 and 2, has been a student of LincUp since January 2007. With an expected graduation date of May 2009, Rachel will be receiving a human services degree while still being able to stay at home and raise her children.

When her elder daughter was just a baby, Rachel tried the traditional full-time status at a university and found that was a challenge in itself. "I was enrolled as a regular full-time student, which meant I was gone almost every day taking classes, away from my husband and young daughter, and then homework afterwards needed to be done as well," Rachel said. "It just wasn't working." To help out with the care of their child, Rachel's husband had to arrange his work schedule and work longer hours, which meant less time at home for him as well.

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Not wanting to give up on her goal to finish college, she kept searching for other ways to get this job done. When she discovered LincUp, she finally saw a light at the end of this tunnel. "The schedule is great and the classes are fast-paced, just once a week," Rachel added. "As a wife and mother of two, I just don't have the extra time to spend in class every day."

The most beneficial part of going through this is program is quite simple for Rachel. She'll have a big leg up in the work force by the time her children are old enough for full-time elementary school. Rachel will be prepared to work full time in the career that she wants. She also plans to move on toward her master's degree in human services at Lincoln Seminary once she finishes LincUp.

Within the program, there are three specific class studies to choose from. The Bachelor of Arts in general ministry degree is available for those interested in ministry in the church and teaching religion. Those classes consist of Bible study, biblical research and theology classes, to just name a few.


For those students wanting to focus on managing people and resources in all different kinds of business fields, the Bachelor of Arts in leadership and management offers just that. With a major in leadership and management and a minor in Bible and theology, this course of study includes classes such as Business Research, Personal Planning and Management, Cultural Diversity, and Developing Leaders.

A human services degree is also offered for those who are interested in graduate-level education in several human services fields or people looking to increase their understanding of people. As stated online at, this degree "will give you the skills to facilitate personal change in others and the credentials to discover expanded opportunities to impact the world."

The LincUp program has served Logan County area residents, and some from farther away. But that opportunity will be expanded at the start of this school year. The school has launched a new LincUp site in Danville. For now, the Crossroads Christian Church in Danville will be the campus for that area.

Fall classes at the Lincoln campus, located at 100 Campus View Drive, officially begin Aug. 28. Danville courses begin Sept. 6.

For more information on registration or any questions you may have regarding this program, call 217-732-7788, ext. 2306, or visit, which also has an online application for your convenience.


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