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Lending out laptops, hot spots and calculators to keep students’ education on track

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Mar 17, 2021

When the pandemic struck and forced classes at College of Lake County (CLC) to go virtual, the change made it difficult for students to learn without internet or a proper computer at home. However, the college didn’t let those obstacles disrupt pursuit of life-changing education. CLC’s department of student development made an investment in technologies, allowing students to continue investing in themselves. 

Photo of Arlet Alcala“Our mission is to provide support services and resources to meet the unique needs of our students so they can achieve their goals. That doesn’t stop when the students learn from home,” said Vice President of Student Development Karen Hlavin. “Ensuring students have access to needed technology without the added expense is a priority for the college in these challenging times.” 

Photo: CLC student Arlet Alcala uses a laptop loaned to her for free by the college to complete coursework

Since the pandemic began last spring, more than 700 laptops, 400 hotspots and 200 graphing calculators were provided to students at no-cost. These loans kept nearly $350,000 in the pockets of students while ensuring they can properly continue their studies. 

“It has made a significant difference,” said Alyssa Tucibat, a nursing student from Mundelein. “I have a laptop at home from 2008 I was using prior to borrowing the laptop from the college, but my home computer does not have a camera and therefore does not support Zoom for class lectures.” 

Tucibat first enrolled at CLC in 2005 and has earned an associate in science, associate in art and two certificates over the years. Her most recent educational endeavor saw her enter the college’s nursing program with an expected graduation date of May 2021. Going virtual almost derailed the whole thing. 

“In the last year I have not been able to afford paying for internet, so the hotspot has allowed me to be able to attend Zoom lectures, complete my assignments and read my ebook,” said Tucibat. “Without being able to borrow the laptop, I would not be able to participate in class and my nursing program would have been delayed. Instead, I will graduate in May with my associates in nursing.” 

Mechanical engineering student Arlet Alcala (above) doesn’t have a computer at her Round Lake Park home. Instead, she has always come to the CLC library when one was needed. But then the library could no longer welcome her due to COVID restrictions. 

“Many of us do not have enough money to buy a laptop or computer,” said Alcala. “I have borrowed the laptop for two semesters now and it is a great help from CLC. I hope to graduate this year and that would not have been possible without this.”  

Current students can go to Lancers Keep Learning to learn more about all the resources available to them beyond technology loans such as health services, financial aid and counseling and psychological services. 

About College of Lake County: 

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation. Learn more at or call (847) 543-2000.