Skip Navigation

College News

CLC runs in instructor’s family

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Jul 26, 2022

Math instructor Natalia Casper’s College of Lake County (CLC) journey started before her career as a professor, coming to the college as a student. Since starting her teaching job in 1998, the college’s impact on her life continued to grow after her husband and children all attended CLC. 

Photo of Natalia Casper's familyCasper took classes at CLC during the summers while she was a student at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Thanks to those credits she earned, she was able to graduate college early. 

“Before I went off to Marquette, I’d never taken calculus,” Casper said. “I wanted to know what calculus was like, and my mom actually suggested I take a class at our local community college during the summer.” 

Her mother was the first in her family to attend CLC, taking ESL classes after immigrating to the United States from Peru. 

Casper started dating her husband while they were both taking classes at CLC. He stopped after receiving a promotion at work but came back and earned an associate in general studies after taking one more class in 2019. He currently works as a manager in the IT Service Center for Blue Cross Blue Shield in Waukegan. 

“When my husband interviews potential new employees, if they mention they attended CLC, he always talks to them about how great of a place it is,” Casper said. 

Casper and her husband have three children, and all of them have taken classes at CLC. Besides everything they’ve heard from their mother, Casper’s children all spent time at the college growing up. From staying at the on-campus daycare facility to joining their mother’s classes, they all had a chance to get to know the college and the people early. 

These interactions were big influences on their decisions to attend CLC. 

Casper's daughter, Gabi, originally attended North Central College on a volleyball team invite, but after an injury, she moved back closer to home and started taking classes at CLC. Gabi earned her bachelor’s degree in human resource development at Northeastern University through the University Center of Lake County at CLC. 

Casper’s oldest son, Ryan, knew he wanted to get into a trade at CLC. He started in the automotive collision repair program before switching to HVAC. This past May, he graduated with three certificates. 

“CLC was an easy choice for me,” he said. “It’s affordable and close to home. I never felt the need to go away for school.” 

Ryan’s brother Nathan also graduated this May. He completed an associate degree and is transferring to Illinois State University to pursue a degree in finance. 

Learning about the college from a young age helped ease the pressure that comes with post-high school decision making. 

“Nathan, in his junior year, told me it was supposed to be the pressure year, and all of his friends were panicking and applying to schools,” Casper said. “He didn’t have to go through that because he already knew he was going to CLC.” 

While Casper never got to teach her children in the classroom, she’s been there for them at home. 

“I've been their soundboard talking out situations, tutor and proofreader,” she said. “But I also wanted them to go and use the resources here, too. I would encourage them to talk to their instructors because I want students to come and talk to 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.