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Mom takes second chance to pursue education at CLC

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Mar 24, 2022

Life can be unpredictable, and not everyone stays on the path they first set out on. For Kym Santos, this meant pausing her education after having her two daughters. College of Lake County (CLC) has given her a chance to continue, and very soon finish earning her associate degree at the age of 53. 

Photo of Kym Santos“It’s something I started when I was 19 and never finished,” Santos said. “My daughters are finishing their master’s degrees, and I want to show them mom can do it, too.” 

Santos works full-time while pursuing her degree and takes two classes at a time. She takes some classes online to fit into her busy schedule. CLC also offers evening classes so students like Santos who work during the day have an in-person option. 

“It’s 15 minutes away. It’s just outside my door,” Santos, who lives in Gurnee, said. “CLC also offers so much financial aid, and classes are already really affordable.” 

Santos is also earning a Health and Wellness coaching certificate on top of her degree. 

Taking general education courses and earning an associate degree at CLC instead of going to a four-year institution is a great way for students save money while getting their education. 

“CLC provides the same education, if not better, because of the small class sizes,” Santos said. “It’s cozy to learn here. I’d highly recommend it to someone coming out of high school, but CLC is welcoming of people of all ages.” 

At CLC, the average age of students is 26 years old. 

The best part of taking classes at CLC for Santos has been her teachers and classmates, with whom she formed strong friendships. 

CLC’s smaller class sizes, with an average of 13 students, made it easier for her to get close to people, and in turn which has strengthened her relationships. 

“I'm able to reach out to my teachers for things that I need help with life in,” she said. “Even though most of my classmates are in their 20s, I'm still friends with them. I love to see their lives and what they're doing.” 

Santos is considering continuing her education and pursuing a bachelor’s degree program at a four-year school. CLC makes transferring easy for students with Guaranteed Transfer Admission in a variety of programs with numerous college and universities around the country. 

This April, join CLC in celebration of Community College Month. CLC serves nearly 700,000 residents in diverse communities throughout Lake County. The college is proud to be part of building strategic collaborative partnerships to establish innovative solutions that meet the diverse skilled talent pipeline workforce needs in its community. 

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.