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For Parents of Partner Site Students

Welcome!

We’re excited that you and your student are considering Southeastern University at one of our partner sites!

College is such a pivotal period of transition into adulthood, and many of the choices that students make during their college years will determine their path in life. In the current cultural climate, many college environments can divert students toward a prodigal path — rather than positioning them to seek out God’s purpose for their life. 

That’s why we’re here — to help point your student in the right direction!

The Next Step for Your Student — and For You

Excited. Nervous. Proud.

As a parent, you may experience a roller coaster of these emotions (and maybe even a few more) any time you think about your student going to college. That’s understandable because college is a big deal!

Like every big deal, starting college brings a lot of questions for you as a parent, such as:

  • Will my student make good friends and feel a sense of belonging?
  • Who are the people who will surround and speak into my student’s life? Will they be good influences?
  • Will my student grow in (and maybe struggle with) their faith? Who will walk with them on that journey? 
  • Will my student be taught what is true — or what is trending? 
  • Will my student be prepared for a career after college?
  • How will we afford it?

 

These are significant questions for sure, and enough to make any parent concerned. Why? Because college traditionally invokes thoughts of a large campus, huge classes, multiple parties — and a hefty price tag. In fact, you may be wondering if college is the right path for your student, and if so, which type of college experience will be best. You’re probably also thinking ahead to the type of person college will shape them into, and how they will be set up to succeed after graduation.

The SEU Network

Our heart is to see young people launch into life with a clear understanding of who they are. We want to see them develop through their college years into healthy, whole individuals who have solid faith, strong character, and full assurance of who God created them to be. Our graduates are prepared to step confidently into their careers, their communities, and the world. 

To achieve this goal, we have joined more than 260 churches nationwide who have partnered with Southeastern University to create a personalized, practical, and purposeful college experience. Our college option — hosted right at one of our church partners — provides the best answers to your big questions and checks all the right boxes.

About SEU

Southeastern University (SEU) — a private, Christian university based in Lakeland, Florida — has been producing strong Christian leaders since 1935. Although SEU started as a small residential Bible college, the university has grown exponentially over the years. In addition to a robust array of ministry degrees, SEU offers degrees in business, healthcare, education, psychology, and many more.

In 2013, the university saw the need to broaden access to a Christian college education beyond the Lakeland campus. Honoring the history of higher education, SEU embarked on a bold plan to bring college back to where American higher education originally started — in the local church. The vision of SEU is to partner with churches to create close-knit communities of Christian educators and mentors who train young leaders to grow in knowledge, faith, leadership, and character.

SEU has seen God’s hand over this initiative and has been blessed with significant growth. More than 260 churches partner with SEU across the country and around the world — and we’re not done yet. This movement gives students and their families an alternative to the traditional model and cost of higher education, enabling students from all areas and backgrounds to have access to an affordable, life-changing Christian college experience in a local church setting. We are so excited to bring this innovative program to your student.

Wondering how this all works, what a partnership between a college and a church actually looks like, and most importantly, if your student will get a quality education? We’ve got you covered.

Understanding College Options

To understand the SEU Network experience at our partner sites, let’s compare it to other college education models.

Traditional Model

The traditional college model is the most familiar option. Primarily found at large public, private, and community colleges, students typically live on (or near) campus. Their experience centers around the academic, extracurricular, and support offerings of that college.
The main campus of SEU offers this model.

Online Model

The online college model is the most flexible approach, and is a path often chosen by working adults and part-time students. This model focuses the college experience directly on education, with the college offering student support via online methods.
SEU offers some degrees fully online with this model.

Collaborative Model

The SEU Partner Site experience is built on the collaborative college model, which redefines the college experience by strategically combining the elements of both the traditional and online models. This consists of a quality college education, life-changing experiences, and a cooperative focus on student success.  Students benefit from the intimacy of a small campus, one-on-one support, and an intentional learning community with individual mentorship. The results include enhanced resources, a personalized approach, a strong sense of community, and cost savings. 

SEU's Collaborative Model

Shared Mission — SEU’s partners share a mission with SEU of inspiring students to stand out from the crowd as leaders with a clear vision and strong faith. 

Our goals are to make a difference in the next generation, to lead young people to discover their God-given purpose and to see them grow in their faith. We share a passion for producing people of character who will not only impact their families, workplaces, and communities but who will truly affect positive change in the world. These create the foundation of a three-part college experience: Education, Experience, and Student Success.

A faith-filled education from a top-tier university that offers flexible, relevant degree programs.

Southeastern University provides the education that prepares students with the academic and professional knowledge they need. All degree programs are infused with faith, and each class is taught from a Christian worldview. The educational element of the experience at SEU partner sites has three distinguishing characteristics.

Practical. One of the key elements of the educational experience is the opportunity for all students to participate in a practicum, which is the hands-on experiential learning component that enables students to learn by doing. The practicum learning experiences occur either within the church or in the community.

Flexible. To allow students to engage in practical learning experiences and take ownership of their learning schedule, classes are delivered with maximum flexibility in mind. Classes are generally offered in an interactive online format, and opportunities for students to study together and support one another through their classes are provided within a church environment.

Personal. All degree programs include a strong core of foundational courses as well as the opportunity to add specializations, minors, and certificates — resulting in a more personalized, industry-aligned degree program.

Outcome: A competitive advantage in the workforce. As students enter their chosen field. they do not just have a degree in hand, but they also have years of practical work experience.

Christ-centered student life in an environment of encouragement, mentorship, accountability, inspiration, and intentional character development.

College is more than earning a degree. The learning and personal growth that happens beyond the classroom often have a significant impact on students’ direction in life, especially when that experience is intentionally designed for the most positive outcomes. 

The student life experience in our collaborative college model is an overflow of the shared mission of the SEU partner site model. The experience at an SEU partner site is built on the development of each student’s leadership, spiritual life, social life, and character.

Leadership. Too often, college students become followers of the crowd, especially in large settings. But the world needs strong Christian leaders, and leadership develops best in smaller, more personal environments. At SEU partner sites, each student has an opportunity to lead in areas such as campus activities, chapels, missions, and service projects.

Spiritual. By connecting education to biblical truth, SEU partner sites encourage students in their spiritual walk, strengthens their faith, and reinforces their Christian values. This is especially important to note, as it is estimated that up to 75 percent of students who attend public institutions do not continue their faith journey through their college years.

Social. It’s easier to just blend in or “hide” in large groups, so making real friends actually tends to be tougher at bigger colleges. But at partner sites, students are together in smaller settings designed to foster connections and healthy interpersonal relationships. The relationships that start here become lifelong, encouraging, and meaningful friendships. 

Character. Inherent in all elements of the student experience is the molding of each student’s character through the development of integrity, confidence, and perseverance — preparing them to thrive.

Collaborative efforts between the church and university to help students thrive throughout their college journey — from admission to graduation and beyond.

Navigating college requires guidance, and SEU and our partners work in tandem to help students throughout this journey — applying, finances, class registration, and ultimately graduation. Best of all, the support we provide is as individualized as each student, because we truly know every one of them. This collaboration goes beyond standard support by focusing instead on student success throughout the educational journey. Student success includes support services in multiple areas.

Students at SEU Partner Sites are also SEU students, so the SEU team oversees all of the administrative steps (or what we refer to as “the business of being a student.”) The team at a partner site serves as the personal point of contact for assistance with questions and encouragement throughout the journey. 

Here’s how it works.

Admission: Expect to see a lot of communication along the way to ensure your student is able to complete the application process like a pro.

Financial Aid: The SEU Student Financial Services team provides guidance and ensures students have access to all applicable financial aid resources.

Academic Advising: SEU’s Academic Advising team helps students select and register for classes and stay on track for graduation.

Tutoring: All students have free, direct access to virtual tutoring through the SEU Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE) and the SmartThinking Tutoring service.

Library Resources: Unlimited access to the Steelman Library resources is available to every student.

Virtual Counseling Services: Mental health support is an important resource, so students have 24/7 online access to free mental health counseling.

ADA Services: Our Office of Academic & Auxiliary Services coordinates accommodations for students with documented disabilities, helping us fulfill our commitment to being an accessible learning community.

Student Outreach & Support (SOS): Everyone needs help at some point, and the SEU Student Outreach and Support team works to ensure every student is safe, supported, and successful.

Career Services: All students have full access to the resources available through the SEU Career Services office, including internship and job search assistance.

And through it all, the Site Director at an SEU partner site serves as the local liaison with SEU and is here to walk alongside your student throughout the journey as a guide, mentor, and friend.

Money Matters

We understand that one of the most important considerations about college is the cost. As a private university, you might expect an education from a partner site to be even more expensive than other options. Actually, this is not the case!  

SEU’s partner sites offer a tuition rate that is substantially discounted for our students, placing the affordability of this private Christian university experience equal to or less than most public universities, and even comparably close to some community colleges. 

Average traditional college tuition per year* vs. SEU Partner Sites

Source: Collegeboard Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2021
*actual tuition costs vary by state

The tuition listed above covers the cost of your classes only; books and fees are additional. Tuition is charged per credit hour. Each SEU Partner Site has additional fees.  Please see your site’s partner page for more information. Financial aid is available for partner site students.

College Model Comparison

Traditional Public

Education

Student Experience

Student Support

Purposeful Mission

Online Public

Education

Student Experience

Student Support

Purposeful Mission

SEU Partner Sites

Education

Student Experience

Student Support

Purposeful Mission

As a parent of a student at an SEU Partner Site, you can...

  • Feel assured that your student is not just receiving the highest level of education in their field of study, but is also learning from faculty who connect the dots between academic concepts, real-world application, and spiritual truth.
  • Be confident that your student is gaining practical work experience, building marketable skills, and developing strong character in preparation for success in life after college.
  • Be comforted knowing that your student’s faith will be nurtured throughout their college experience by Christian leaders.
  • Trust that your student will be surrounded by a close-knit, encouraging community of mentors and friends.
  • Encourage your student to choose a college based on alignment with your values and beliefs rather than cost.
  • Feel proud that your student is choosing a college journey that leads to a purposeful life that fulfills their God-given calling.
Graduate smiling wearing seu graduation attire in black and red hugging mom in red SEU shirt

Your Student Matters!

Unique Site Experience

Each partner site offers its own unique student experience. This can include special practicum tracks, mission trips, retreats, and service opportunities! Contact your Site Director for more information!

Careers

Through our relationships with local, national and international organizations, our students regularly intern with companies that later hire them, or help pave the way for their first jobs out of college. Our alumni have gone on to successful and impactful careers around the world. Our Career Services team and our faculty provide resources for successful internships and job placement.

Spiritual Life

When your student is immersed in a Christian environment, like SEU, during their college years, they will not only be encouraged in their spiritual walk and maintain their Christian values, but their faith will also grow and flourish.

Success with Every Step

Our job is to help our students be as successful as possible, so our variety of support services makes it easy for students to find the help they want and the resources they need. Examples include:
Academic Center (ACE) – ACE provides virtual student success webinars, tutoring, and more.
Collaborative Advising – Academic and faculty advisors ensure students take the correct courses to stay on track for graduation.
Department of Student Outreach & Support – This team wraps support around students experiencing academic or social challenges. This is available to partner site students virtually and through the site team.

Student Success

  • Pray your student will find a university that will help them discover their God-given purpose … their divine design.
  • Pray that your student will find a university that can provide them with a life-giving community.
  • Pray that your student will find a university that will come alongside them on their spiritual journey.
  • Pray for a positive community experience and the establishment of life-long friendships.
  • Pray that your student will find a university that equips them professionally, not just for a career, but for work that gives them personal fulfillment.
  • Visit ahead of time – While visiting a college campus and surrounding area should be a key part of the decision-making process, it should also be part of the preparations before they begin. Take your student to see the site they are interested in and see firsthand what their life would be like there.
  • Set up a budget – If your student hasn’t managed a budget before, now is a great time to start. Before they leave, discuss the expenses they are responsible for and the anticipated source(s) for how they will be paid (e.g. financial aid funds, their wages from a job, help from you, etc.).
  • Advise healthy time management and life balance – Students who focus too hard on academics burn out quickly, while students who don’t focus enough struggle to achieve their goals. Encouraging balance between activities and studying is key … and remember, SEU has plenty of resources to show them how.
  • Encourage healthy relationships with their friends – College friends can become a wonderful source of support for your son or daughter. Encouraging them to form friendships from the beginning makes for a much more pleasant and productive college experience and can result in long-term friendships.
  • Give them freedom to change their mind – College is a time of learning, but it’s also a time of self-discovery. Many students end up majoring in the same field as originally planned, but just as many have an experience that shows them a new path. Knowing that they have the freedom to go where they feel they are being called will set them up for an even higher level of success.
  • Encourage them to get involved – The more students are engaged in activities, the more connected they feel to the community. 
  • Allow them time and space to get adjusted to campus – Adjusting to college life takes time … and just how much time varies from person to person. There is no set time frame in which students will feel adjusted. Some students feel settled after just a few days while others feel more acclimated after several weeks (or even months) have gone by.
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Contact Us

If you have any questions about the SEU partner site model, please contact

Joe Hepler | Director of Site Onboarding | jjhepler@seu.edu

If you have any questions about a site close to you, contact the Site Director for more information!