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Degree or certificate program at CLC: A.A.S. in networking administration/security; planning to graduate in 2016 and transfer to either Western Illinois University or Southern Illinois University.

Hometown: Antioch

High school: Antioch Community High School, 2009

Interests and hobbies: Trap shooting, fishing, boating, building computers.

Scott Segel

Normally, you expect a community college to have one area that it excels in. But CLC is super well-rounded and excels at pretty much everything it does. The college has fantastic fine arts and theatre departments, and the technical side is great too, with facilities such as the auto repair and collision repair shops. It’s really cool to know that no matter what you want, you have a strong chance at success at CLC. 

I spent four years in the Navy before enrolling at CLC, and the college’s program for veterans is absolutely fantastic. The staff are quick to respond and are very attentive to your concerns, whether it’s applying to the college, paying for your education or other issues. To have a liaison to help you is really important. Many veterans returning to college have spent a few years in the military and they don’t always know how to navigate the process of re-enrolling in college.

Socially, many returning veterans don’t have a friend structure, so you need someone to help you re-integrate to civilian life. That’s a big deal to veterans. Since I enrolled at CLC, I have been getting emails about group meetings, job workshops and support groups. It’s really nice that the college offers these programs. Having others help you re-integrate allows you to spend more time learning your course material.

Attending college at CLC was a natural for me because all of my friends and family have gone to CLC and transferred to four-year schools. At CLC, you’re getting an affordable, quality education. In my field of network administration, the college allows students amazing access to computer labs and networking rooms. We work with Cisco routers and switches, some of which cost $15,000 to $16,000 each, so it’s exciting to have an up-close look at the latest technology. 

The learning environment here is intimate. The professors have office hours in which they answer your questions, and they respond quickly to emails. Nels Ekornaas and Scott Rial are fantastic professors. They sit down and explain everything to make sure that you understand the basic concepts of network administration and build on that knowledge. In this field, you have to keep up with the material, or you’ll be lost. In my classes, the professors have always mentioned the Tutoring Center and other services designed to help students.

Outside of class, I enjoy working out at the Grayslake Campus Fitness Center. With my student I.D., I have free access to treadmills, weights and a full gym. You can learn in your classes all day, then work out without having to drive to a separate gym.

Socially, I’ve met quite a few veterans here through my classes, and I’ve made friends through my computer classes. There’s a very broad spectrum of students at CLC, not just people in their early 20s. At the Grayslake Campus, I like to hang out in the Technology Wing. The padded chairs in the hallway that connects the T Wing with the Library are comfy. I like to grab a cup of coffee, find a seat and do homework there. 

I’m excited to see all the new construction that’s taking place at Grayslake, with the new café, student services offices and Science and Engineering building. It’s great to see the college is constantly updating facilities. 

My advice to a new student is to make sure you schedule your classes weeks or months before the semester begins. Don’t wait until the day or week before the semester starts to register for classes. And stick with your plan to finish college. A college degree today is as essential as high school diploma once was decades ago.