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Ethel Bartelt: ECC prepared me for a career

Ethel Bartelt

Ethel Bartelt, ECC graduating class of spring 2016

I started looking at Elgin Community College just a few years ago when our boys were getting ready for college. At that same time, I started looking into getting my associate degree of applied science in industrial manufacturing technology. I started looking into other community colleges around the area and found that ECC would work with me.

I was very surprised at how ECC designed the program to be more hands-on. The equipment the college uses to train students actually simulates on-the-job training. I have to admit, I was interested!

I needed to know how basic electronics work, so, I signed up for the electrical control circuits course. I also was curious about how motors work, and how to operate a Bridgeport and a lathe, so I signed up for additional classes. ECC designed a degree to meet my needs and interests.

What also amazed me were instructors like Associate Professor Jesse Bader. Both classes I took with him are self-study, but I did not feel isolated. He was always reachable and responded to emails almost instantly. I even asked him to critique a writing project that was not for his class just because I know he would respond quickly. He got back with me the next day! He probably doesn't remember it, but I do and greatly appreciate it!  

Don't get me wrong, going back to school was not easy. Family life is put on hold sometimes. I was doing homework at midnight or 5 a.m. because those are the only times the house is quiet. I was doing psychology homework at lunch time or while waiting for someone in the doctor's office.

We always make it a point to eat dinner together. Needless to say, I have missed few family dinners. I took ethics on a Saturday to help ease my running around during the week! Who wakes up early on a Saturday? With snow on the ground! Forget about TV and movies. Sometimes, forget about sleep!

My point is that going to school is hard. It takes a lot of dedication and motivation.

~Ethel Bartelt, Elgin

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