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Degree or certificate program at CLC: 
A. A., philosophy; planning to graduate in spring 2017.

Transfer school and degree: Lake Forest College; double-majoring in philosophy and comparative literature.

Hometown: Vernon Hills, Ill.

High School: Stevenson, 2015.

High school activities: Football.

Interests and hobbies: Writing poetry, reading and attending concerts and music festivals.

Ryan Haass

I struggled academically in high school, but because of the support and opportunities at CLC, I’m now in the Honors Scholars program. When I started at CLC in fall 2015, I was worried that I wouldn’t earn a high enough GPA to transfer the courses to a four-year school. So I decided to buckle down and work hard, and my efforts paid off with a 4.0 GPA. The following winter, I was accepted into the Honors program, which includes courses that emphasize discussions and critical thinking.

The professors are great in the way they connect with students. An English professor thought highly of my writing skills and encouraged me to work as a tutor in the Writing Center. The experience has allowed me to meet other students, and in the process, I have improved my own writing skills. The free tutoring centers are really something that CLC can be proud of.

Outside of class, the professors really appreciate the chance to help you during their office hours.  In the one-on-one time, the professor can get to know you better, and you can improve as student and as a person. This kind of connection between student and professor allows for a truly comprehensive learning experience.

Through the Honors Program, I applied for, and received, a full-tuition scholarship to Lake Forest College, and hearing the news put me on cloud nine. The prospect of finishing college debt free is amazing, and CLC’s economical tuition has had a lot to do with this, too. One student from my high-school graduating class is now attending a large, four-year state university on the East Coast, and after only his first year, he is $60,000 in debt.

Outside of class, I’ve really developed my public-speaking skills at CLC. I had never done anything speech-related in high school, but at CLC, I decided to join the forensics team. It’s been a great experience, learning to present both prepared and off-the-cuff speeches. It was a real honor to win a gold medal in public debate, a gold medal in impromptu speaking and a silver medal in extemporaneous speaking at a 2017 regional speech and debate tournament at Harper College in Palatine.

I’ve developed leadership skills in my role as president of the CLC chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for community college students. I’ve learned how to lead meetings and work with others in activities such as service learning. PTK is a great way to make new friends, and the organization offers scholarships for members.

Being sports editor of the Chronicle student newspaper also has been a great learning experience. I’ve been able to hone my skills in writing, editing, supervising, working on a team and meeting deadlines.

My career goal is to either earn a doctorate in philosophy or a juris doctorate, and either teach law or philosophy. I can use my presentation skills and make a difference in others’ lives.