I attended classes at College of DuPage (COD) in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Starting in 1989 and off and on, as time permitted, until 1995. During this time, the classes I attended covered a variety of subjects, from special education to fashion design. When I was younger, I hated school and never gave returning to school a second thought; however, when I needed to learn about special education, I enrolled at COD. My positive experience while attending the college encouraged me to later enroll at Columbia College Chicago in 2006. In May, 2011, I will graduate from Columbia College Chicago.
Why attend a community college? COD was close to home. Being a parent with young children, I needed my classes to be close to home. The price was right. Classes were typically $200 – $300. At the time, a university class could easily be $1,000 or more.
COD offered a wide variety of classes with few pre-requisites. I enjoyed the cross-cultural and generational experience that students brought to the class. There is a misconception that community colleges offer sub-standard education when compared to a 4-year school. I found this to be far from the truth.
Every one of the classes I attended was challenging. I found the tests difficult, yet my professors were always willing to help me with any difficulty I had. The school library surprised me. It was extensive and up to date. It had thousands of books as well as microfiche, video, sound recordings as well as 527 current periodical subscriptions (7,900 bound periodical back files), and 18 newspapers. This was quite impressive for a community college.
What really surprised me was their wide range of services. They offered career counselors, financial aid, and if students were stressed, there was always someone to help them with their problems.
While at COD, I used their career counseling and found that there was always someone available to help me with any questions or concerns I had. The financial aid office was always available to answer questions and offer advice on how I could pay for my classes. I didn’t realize it at the time, but there were always counselors to help students when they were stressed or were experiencing personal problems. Today I realize how important this service was. As a young parent I did not have time to become involved in the social clubs that were on campus, but there was always something my fellow students were involved in. Acting was big on campus. Jim Belushi is just one of COD famous graduates.
I had always wanted to attend an art school. To be immersed in an art environment.
If it had not been for College of DuPage I would not have discovered how much fun, yes, fun school could be. If you are in high school looking at colleges and not sure what you want to study and finances are an issue I would highly recommend considering a community college.