Skip Navigation

College News

College Success Seminar course helps set students up for successful return to college

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Feb 04, 2022

When Jordan Esparza came back to college in the fall of 2021, he had to get used to being a student all over again. After taking about six years to work and explore his creative interests in photography and videography, he returned to College of Lake County (CLC) to continue his education where he was able to quickly reacclimate thanks to College Success Seminar (CLC 120)

Jordan Esparza“For a person like me who never had studious habits, it was an introductory class about how to build my student philosophy and help me become a better student,” Esparza said. 

All new students seeking a degree or certificate that takes more than one semester are required to complete the College Success Seminar. 

Esparza first came to CLC in 2015 after high school, but at the time, school wasn’t for him, and he decided that he needed time off. 

He worked many jobs over the last six years, from lifeguard to a cook at Wendy’s to a bank teller and more. Esparza also did social media work and helped small businesses with social media and marketing strategies. However, he struggled to get more than an entry-level job because he didn’t have the necessary credentials. He decided it was time to go back to college.  

At CLC, he’s pursuing a degree in business and one day hopes to earn a master’s degree in education. Thanks to CLC 120, an eight-week, two-credit course he took last fall, he’s ready to achieve his educational goals. 

“I’m mentally prepared now for school,” he said. “The class helped me understand the things I must do to succeed. It gave me a big bag of tools so when I face an obstacle, I can look at my tools and see what I can do to get through it.” 

Key lessons Esparza said he learned from his instructor, Teresa Filicette, included the helpfulness of good notetaking, the importance of self-advocacy and where to look for financial aid and scholarships. 

“Jordan brought so much to our class as he was passionate about the topics discussed,” Filicette said. “He shared his life experiences and related them to our course so all his classmates could learn from them. Jordan was eager to learn about all the CLC resources we explored, and he immediately started accessing them and benefiting from their services. He soaked up all the techniques, skills and strategies taught and saw how applying them would aid in his success.” 

Along with the help he received from CLC 120, Esparza said that he feels welcomed by the staff and faculty at CLC. 

“All staff members I’ve encountered in every department have been really nice," he said. “I've run into people here who are looking to help me as a student as my journey unfolds. I'm not able to foreshadow every problem I’ll have, but as they come up, everyone has been helpful and enthusiastic about helping me.” 

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. 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.