Community colleges have a rich history of cooperation. This is part of our history at Waubonsee, as well as our present. Our collaborations and connections with the community take on many forms and involve many staff members. In my role as the director of government and community engagement, I sit on various non-profit boards and am involved in various community efforts.
During the 2016-2017 academic year, Waubonsee Community College celebrated its 50th anniversary. For decades, Waubonsee has been an integral part of the local community. Many don’t realize that the Waubonsee Community College Foundation has been in existence for nearly as long, providing support to Waubonsee students. This year, in 2018, the Waubonsee Community College Foundation will celebrate its 40th anniversary.
Like many college instructors, when I enter the classroom I often begin my lecture in this way. In my Survey of the Humanities class, an arts survey course, I begin the second half of the term asking my students, “How many of you listen to music on a regular basis?” Unlike similar queries about viewing sculpture or reading poetry, I always get a nearly unanimous response; in fact, most listen to music on a daily basis.
Often, when one thinks about college student life – activities that happen outside of the classroom – the mind automatically pulls up images of Greek Life, athletics, or maybe a coffeehouse musician. While these are some of the typical options for involvement in college, they don’t represent what truly happens when students get involved during their college years.
A common analogy used to describe athletics departments at colleges and universities is that they are the “front porch to the college.” Many people’s first encounter with an institution of higher education is through something that has to do with sports.
Waubonsee has a structured way to think about disasters and prepare ourselves for the most likely emergencies and the ways to prevent, mitigate, respond and recover from these risks.
The ancient proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” is similar to the idea behind the Resources to the Rescue program at Waubonsee Community College. This program highlights the many resources available to assist students in achieving their educational goals. Services are readily available throughout the year but may not be important until the need arises at a specific point in the students’ journey. Resources to the Rescue provides the help students need, when they need it most.
"Full scholarship” are the two words that college-ready students and their parents dream of hearing. Thanks to Waubonsee Community College’s Gustafson Scholarship, a very fortunate, select group of in-district graduating seniors hear these special words every May.
When I walked across the stage at the Geneva High School graduation ceremony two short years ago, I was excited but nervous. I had already decided to continue my education at Waubonsee Community College, but I was uncertain this would all take shape. While I have crammed plenty of learning into the short time since then, it is the connections I made with my professors and peers that truly defined my time at Waubonsee, and will continue to influence my life down the road.
Across the country this month, the sounds of Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance” will be followed by the cheers and throwing of caps as millions of new college graduates celebrate the achievement of a higher education degree. And while obtaining a degree has its many challenges, the new graduate now faces an even bigger hurdle: Competing for jobs in what remains to be a tight job market. But a prepared few will have a leg up on their peers – those who have completed internships are more likely to get hired.