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CLC Enrollment Representative
Ashley Ward

After graduating from Carmel Catholic High School in 2006, Ashley Ward became the first in her family to attend college when she enrolled at the College of Lake County. Like many first-generation students, Ward found herself on several learning curves, from navigating the application process to applying for financial aid to deciding on a major and career. The support she received from CLC counselors, professors and financial aid staff made such an impression on Ward that she recently returned to CLC as a staff member.

“A lot of students don’t know the process of applying to college or registering for classes,” she said. “And many don’t know the benefits of attending CLC. Besides affordability, there’s the convenience of day, evening or online classes. And there are many ways to make friends, with student clubs and inter-collegiate sports. Now I have a chance to work one-on-one with new and prospective students and show them how a college education can open doors.”

Ward, who worked full time while attending CLC, said that classroom experiences cemented her belief in the college. “Some of the best classes in my college career were at CLC because the teachers were so passionate about their subjects,” said Ward, recalling sociology courses taught by John Tenuto and his wife, Maria Jose. Both professors are avid fans of “Star Wars” and “Star Trek,” and each uses examples from the science fiction sagas to illustrate concepts in sociology or psychology. “They went way above providing basic information and made the classes fun,” recalled Ward. “I decided to major in sociology because of them.”

Outside of class, Ward benefited from the expertise of math tutors, who helped her overcome math anxiety. “They taught in a way that helped me understand math, and it gave me a foundation for CLC and beyond,” she said.

Following her CLC years, Ward transferred to Roosevelt University, where she earned a B.A. in sociology. She worked in retail sales management and spent four years as a recruiter for a university before joining CLC.

“I’m excited to be back at CLC and to help others see the value of college, because without a college education, I would not have had the opportunities that I have experienced,” said Ward, who is planning to earn an M.A. in sociology from Roosevelt in 2016. “It’s also an exciting time to be at CLC, with the new construction and expansion taking place on all three campuses.”