Why Is PacRim Tuition So Reasonable?

Why Is PacRim Tuition So Reasonable?

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Here at Pacific Rim Christian University, we believe in keeping the tuition at an affordable level. Our tuition is less than one third the national average for a private university, and less than our local state university.

We know that the cost of college keeps going up. According to one source, since 1978 the price of college in the United States has increased in absolute dollars by 1120 percent, more than any other good or service in the U.S. economy. The cost of college has increased faster than personal income and financial aid.

How did that happen? History provides us some clues. Early medieval universities consisted of masters and their students. They could meet in churches, taverns or public halls. The focus was on teaching and the relationship between the master and the students.

Early American colleges like Harvard and Yale were established by congregations and churches to educate clergy and community leaders. For the first one hundred fifty years, most colleges in America were small, with between fifty and one hundred fifty students. The colleges had few buildings, and instructors were part-time ministers or medical doctors. Overhead was low. The focus was still on teaching and the relationship between the teacher and the students.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, however, things changed. Science rose to prominence, and the German research university was imported into America in the form of the graduate school. Universities hired more and more faculty to conduct research instead of teaching.

Meanwhile, intercollegiate athletics were launched—baseball, basketball, football—largely replacing literary debating societies. Universities built huge athletic complexes, and spent a lot of money on sports. As universities grew, they also hired more administrators. Huge administration buildings were built. The cost of facilities and personnel continued to rise.

All of these increased costs had little to do with classroom teaching and student learning.

According to the College Board, the average tuition of a four-year private college is $33,400 per year. The tuition here at Pacific Rim Christian University is $9,960, less than one third the national average.

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How do we make higher education so accessible? We do it by focusing on teaching and learning, just like the first universities centuries ago. We keep it simple. We don’t own any buildings. We share space with a church, and we rent space in a warehouse across the street from the church. We don’t have an intercollegiate athletic program. We make use of the products of scholarly research, but we don’t conduct research. We’re a teaching institution.

We have great faculty, staff, and students, and they have access to classrooms, offices, a library, café, and places to worship. In short, we have what we need to be a strong Christian learning community. We save money on all the things we don’t need, and we pass the savings on to our students and their families.

 

In Christ,

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Dr. Kent M. Keith

President

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Will Your Son Or Daughter Be Able To Get A Job?

Will Your Son Or Daughter Be Able To Get A Job?

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Many parents assume that their sons and daughters need to pick college majors that will lead to jobs after graduation. These same parents may wonder: What are students going to do with a degree in a religious major?

As noted in an earlier blog (“What Is College For?”), here at Pacific Rim Christian University we help our students to lay the foundation for the rest of their lives as Christians, no matter what they may be called to do. Some will be called to jobs in the ministry and church work, while others will be called to jobs in the marketplace—in businesses, schools, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

When it comes to getting a job, however, there is one thing more important than the student’s college major, and that is the student’s skills.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers conducted a survey of 260 employers in the fall of 2014. They asked hiring managers what skills they plan to prioritize when they recruit from the class of 2015 at colleges and graduate schools.

Here are the ten top-rated skills that the employers said they were looking for:

 


 
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10 Top-Rated Skills Employers are Looking For

Survey by The National Association of College and Employers (2014)

  1. Ability to work in a team structure
  2. Ability to make decisions and solve problems (tie)
  3.  Ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization
  4. Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work
  5. Ability to obtain and process information
  6. Ability to analyze quantitative data
  7. Technical knowledge related to the job
  8. Proficiency with computer software programs
  9. Ability to create and/or edit written reports
  10. Ability to sell and influence others 

Notice that only #7 relates to specific technical knowledge. The other nine are transferable skills that can be used in any job.

 
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Students at Pacific Rim Christian University learn these transferable skills. They work in chapel teams, setting up chapel services, performing the music, operating the sound and light equipment, preaching the message, and preparing and serving meals after the service. They take a public speaking class, which gives them experience in communicating verbally and influencing others. They take a class on critical thinking and a class on research and writing skills, which help them to obtain and process information, analyze data, and create and edit written reports. They learn to plan and organize mission trips to other countries, as well as planning and prioritizing their studies, their part-time jobs, and their leisure. In short, they graduate knowing how to do many of the things that employers value the most.

Picking a college major is important, but employers are more interested in skills than majors. That’s why we make sure our students have many opportunities to learn those skills at PacRim.

 

In Christ,

 
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Dr. Kent M. Keith

President

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What is College For?

What is College For?

What is college for? For us at PacRim, it is about helping our students to lay a strong foundation for the rest of their lives as Christians.

I know that a lot of people see the purpose of college differently. Because of the high cost of a college education, more and more people are looking at college as a financial investment. As a result, they want to know about the return on their investment. How much money will their sons and daughters make after they graduate? For these people, the purpose of college is to get a good job and make more money. They encourage their sons and daughters to major in fields that have high-paying jobs.

Certainly, students need to get jobs and make their way in the world. But focusing on specific fields or jobs is a high-risk strategy today. The job market keeps changing. A job that exists when a student is a freshman may no longer exist when the student is a senior. Even if the job exists, the student may not be able to get one.  A degree in a field does not guarantee that a student will get a job in that field. I am not surprised that data suggest that half of all Americans do not currently have jobs that relate to their college majors.

Here at PacRim, we see this issue differently. Our students are Christians who are serious about their faith. Their college years are a special time for them to prepare to serve the Lord, whatever the Lord may call them to do. We expect that they may be called to do many different things, in different sectors, during their careers. They may work in churches, schools, businesses, government agencies, or nonprofit organizations. Over an entire career, they might even work in all of those sectors. But whatever they do, we know that they want to do it as Christians, authentically living their faith.

 
 

PacRim is here to help students do exactly that—to lay a strong foundation for their lives as Christians. Our students take at least ten Bible courses, for a strong foundation in the Word. They study church history, church doctrine, and theology. They create and lead worship services. They deepen their knowledge and their faith. So when they graduate, they can approach each job the way a Christian would approach it, as an opportunity to use their gifts to advance the Kingdom of God.

 

In Christ,

 

Dr. Kent M. Keith

President

 
 

To Parents: Will Your Sons or Daughters Strengthen Their Faith in College?

To Parents: Will Your Sons or Daughters Strengthen Their Faith in College?

If you have raised your sons and daughters in the Christian faith, you probably care about how their faith will be nurtured in the years to come. That is a very important issue when it comes to choosing a college.

Unfortunately, most colleges and universities today are highly secular. Atheism or agnosticism is assumed. Science (or “scientism”) has taken the place of religion. Anyone who believes in God is considered a fringe person, someone who is naïve and out of touch with reality. Religious students are often mocked. I know this from my own personal experience.

Even worse, many colleges and universities that were founded by a church, or have a relationship with a church, have become predominantly secular. Most of the majors are not religious and most of the faculty members are not committed Christians. Students can get a degree without ever taking a course on the Bible, or having a Christian instructor, or attending a chapel service. Their college experience can be totally secular.

A study done years ago concluded that students who believe religious values are important when they are freshmen, often believe religious values are less important by the time they are seniors. I am not surprised. Students on most campuses today are surrounded by students, faculty, and staff who do not practice a faith or value religion.

 

Fortunately, there are still a few hundred colleges and universities like PacRim that consist of Christians teaching Christian subjects to Christians. All of our students and faculty are Christians. Most of our faculty members are pastors. All of our majors are Christian— Biblical Studies, Bible & Christian Ministry, Bible & Worship Arts, Bible & Pastoral Ministry, and Theology.

 
 

We do all that we can to help our students to grow in their faith—to learn the Word of God, to enhance their relationship with Christ, and to learn how the Holy Spirit moves in their lives. We do all that we can to prepare them for a life of leadership, serving God in the ministry or the marketplace. We are not perfect, but we are dedicated to nurturing the faith of each of our students.

I urge you to give this issue careful thought, and discuss it with your sons and daughters. The impact could be eternal.

 

In Christ,

Dr. Kent M. Keith
President