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Photo of Adam Fritzshall

Degree or certificate program at CLC: A.A. in special education, 2017.

Transfer school and degree: Elmhurst College; majoring in communication sciences and disorders.

Hometown: Gurnee, Ill.

High school: Warren Township High School, 2015.

Interests and hobbies: Writing poetry, listening to music, biking, swimming, hiking and playing video games.

Adam Fritzshall

Attending CLC and becoming a successful college student truly has been life-changing for me.  In high school, I did well academically but struggled personally, as I lacked self-confidence and was not involved in school clubs. I wasn’t sure of my career plans, either, but in my senior year, a counselor told me about CLC. Specifically, she mentioned two programs: Honors and CLC Scholars.  Both offer academically rigorous courses. The Scholars program is for students interested in graduate school, and its policy of free tuition, fees and textbooks is great for families of limited income. In addition to specialized counseling and advising, the CLC Scholars program offers intensive academic experiences, an on-campus job and more.

I’m a first-generation college student, and when I found out I had been accepted into both the Honors and Scholars programs, I was overjoyed. The Scholars program is set up into modules, with a different professor covering each module. In a series on American history, we covered frontiers of exploration, examined the media’s influence on our American ideals and explored western U.S. settlement and the American dream. All of the professors were excellent, and I had several eye-opening revelations. One concept that has stuck with me is that though getting good grades in college is important, there is so much more to it. The ability to be intellectually stimulated, partake in a range of opportunities and interact with diverse individuals are just a few of the benefits of college.

All of my Honors classes were discussion-based and I learned from fellow students as much as from the professors. The smaller class sizes (no more than 16 students) helped create a friendly, supportive environment. My friends who started out at large, four-year universities often have classes in lecture halls with 200 other students. CLC’s smaller course sizes allowed me to receive the individual attention that I needed.

Outside of class, I made friends by joining clubs such as CLC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international two-year college honor society. It was an honor to be named, along with fellow student Pia Pauline, to PTK’s All-Illinois Academic Team in 2017. To achieve the award, we both attained at least a 3.5 GPA, enrolled in at least 12 credit hours, participated in school and community organizations, and received recommendations from several faculty members. Besides serving as writing tutors, Pia and I were co-vice presidents of public relations for the chapter.

Being a member of CLC’s forensics team also helped me grow. I joined after completing an introductory speech course, which helped me gain more self-confidence. I now enjoy giving speeches, whether in a forensics competition or in a formal event such as the CLC Foundation’s Scholarship Gala. To have overcome my fear of public speaking is so incredible.

In fall 2017, I’ll be attending Elmhurst College as part of CLC’s Guaranteed Transfer Admission program, which offers a seamless transfer of CLC credit to partner institutions. I’m not sure how many other community colleges, if any, offer this program, and it’s great to have advisors at both institutions help you plan courses for your major. Through copious amounts of effort, I was awarded the full-ride transfer scholarship to Elmhurst College from the heads of the Honors Program at CLC.

I want to be a tri-lingual speech pathologist working in elementary schools, helping students develop language and cognitive skills. I already know English and Spanish, and will be beginning to learn American Sign Language next fall at Elmhurst College. It’s my way of giving back to all types of individuals. At a younger age, I struggled with my own speech and had completed intense therapy. Now that I have overcome these speech limitations, I have been able to use my voice to make great change.