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Student Testimonials

On campus, you'll find a diverse student body and a host of cultural opportunities. You'll encounter something to enrich your life everywhere you turn, because our mission is to improve people's lives through learning. Read what our students/alumni have to say and learn how ECC can help you create your bright future.

Image of June Lynch

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

masters the language of success.
Because I come from China and live in Crystal Lake, I was studying English as a Second Language at another community college. But I didn’t like their approach and decided to try ECC. The program at ECC was more professional, with better instructors and facilities. The success I had led me to stay at ECC to pursue my associate’s degree. With ECC’s help, I know I'll have even more success in the future.

June Lynch — Crystal Lake

View elgin.edu/adulteducation


Image of Rachel Ferguson

As a double major at Bradley University, I take summer classes at ECC, so I’ll graduate on time and stay within my family's budget. It’s not just ECC’s low tuition that helps. Bradley has overload charges when you take too many credit hours, like in my double major. I avoid those charges by coming to ECC, and I learn the same material I would at Bradley.

Rachel Ferguson — Plato Center


Image of Jasmine Cuevas

ECC’s faculty really care about their students. They are very approachable, stay late to help, and keep many hours in the labs and their offices. They’re understanding when that’s called for and tough when it’s needed. Their dedication helps me learn the material well, which is important since I’ve been accepted into NIU to continue toward a doctorate degree.

Jasmine Cuevas — Gilberts


Image of John Clark

When I retired, I decided to try a new career by getting a degree in hospitality at ECC. At my age, I wasn’t sure I’d find work, even with a new degree. But I did find a job—before I even graduated—working at the front desk of Pheasant Run Resort. Though I’ve graduated, I continue to take classes at ECC, so I can stay as involved in life as possible.

John Clark — Bartlett


Image of Erika Elizalde-Lamadrid

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

launched my passion for helping others.
I moved to Elgin after getting married. One day I read about ECC’s Basic Nursing Assistant Training Program, and I knew it was for me. My professors and advisors helped guide me throughout college. The courses were challenging, and the instruction was equal to any university. I was hired at Presence Saint Joseph Hospital as a certified nursing assistant and was promoted four months later. I’ve come back to ECC for more training because this is a place that boosts my confidence, my skills, and my career.

Erika Elizalde-Lamadrid

View elgin.edu/nursing


Image of Ashton Wilson

I was shy when I first started at ECC, but the surprising number of Student Life activities and clubs—and the incredible support the staff gives us—made it easy to become involved and meet people. It helped me overcome my shyness and gain confidence. I found out I’m a natural leader. I don’t think that would have happened at any other school.

Ashton Wilson — Bartlett


Image of Sam Gill

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

is full of honors.
I’ve taken six honors classes at ECC, and I’m glad I did. The classes let me delve even deeper into subjects. Each time I took an honors class, my good grades enabled me to get a tuition waiver for the next class. The program not only helped me get accepted into U of I Urbana-Champaign; I believe it prepared me to shine in the classes I’ll take there.

Sam Gill — Pingree Grove

View elgin.edu/honors


Image of Tara Steurer

With three kids, a husband, and a job as a lead ER tech, I have a very busy life. Even so, I’m determined to become an obstetrics nurse. ECC’s schedule lets me fit the classes I need into my life, and I can still make it to my kids’ sports games.

Tara Steurer — South Elgin


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Image of Betsy Mendez

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

starts with a bachelor's degree earned close to home.
After graduating from ECC with honors, my next step is to stay on the ECC campus and earn my bachelor’s degree through the university partners program. Columbia College of Missouri offers coursework through ECC, which means that I can earn my degree and remain close to home for my family. That means a lot to me.

Betsy Mendez — Elgin

View elgin.edu/advancedstudies


Image of Kevin Stack

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

cooks with the nation’s culinary stars.
I was right to choose ECC’s culinary program over other schools, like Le Cordon Bleu. My ECC instructor knows the famous Chef Jimmy Bannos Sr., owner of The Purple Pig, and had me cook for him. Bannos hired me that very night. Now I work directly for co-owner Chef Jimmy Bannos Jr., who was named a James Beard Foundation ‘Rising Star Chef of the Year.’ I don’t think that would have happened through any other school.

Kevin Stack — Elk Grove Village

View elgin.edu/culinaryarts


Image of Joel Perez

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

has no dead ends.
I came to ECC to get my GED® for a good job to support my daughters. It was there I learned about the Accelerating Opportunity program which trained me for a career as a computer numerical control operator. My teachers and advisors helped me review class materials and even assisted with my résumé and mock job interviews. They helped build the confidence I needed to get the good job I wanted.

Joel Perez — Elgin

View elgin.edu/acceleratingopportunity


Image of Elizabeth Ramirez

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

empowers young minds.
I love my work as a teacher’s assistant, but I dream of becoming a teacher. I’m fortunate to study with the faculty members at ECC. They lead the most interesting discussions and encourage us each to come into our own. I not only learn the most important, current material from them; I model my own teaching behavior on them.

Elizabeth Ramirez — Elgin

View programs of study


Image of Garrett Shaw

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

powers millions of homes and businesses.
Although I was a business major at ECC, the low tuition allowed me to experiment with math and engineering classes. Now I’m an engineer for URS Corporation, working in the power industry. ECC was crucial to my success. The classes have the same coursework as big universities, but the small-class setting lets you ask questions of instructors and form relationships with other students in a way I didn’t experience after I transferred to U of I in Champaign.

Garrett Shaw — Wayne

View elgin.edu/academics


Image of Sarah Wiese

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

transforms the whole world into my stage.
I was training to become a ballerina in Boston, New York, and Moscow. For me high school was entirely independent-study. When I broke my knee and had to change my plans, I went to ECC. Their Honors Program connected me to other people passionate about learning. It’s helping me get ready to re-enter the world stage and a career in international studies and human rights.

Sarah Wiese — St. Charles

View elgin.edu/honors


Image of Luis Enriquez

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

is the picture of success.
I’ve been interested in radiography since an illness at 23 made me the subject of x-rays and CT scans. After I lost my job in a different field, I spoke to numerous radiographers and learned ECC has the best radiography program in the area. The curriculum is tough, but the faculty really helps you through it. ECC even offers career development assistance beyond the classroom and clinical work.

Luis Enriquez — Elgin

Learn about the program


Play button for Andrea Andrada video testimonial.

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

is based on opportunities big universities don’t offer.
There are leadership opportunities at ECC that many students at four-year schools don’t receive. Those opportunities helped me win national awards such as Coca-Cola’s New Century Scholar, and to be named part of USA Today’s All-USA Community College Academic Team. Those are things that made me stand out when I transferred to U of I in Urbana.

Andrea Andrada — Elgin

View elgin.edu/universitytransfer


Play button for Christopher Jakob video testimonial.

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

benefits from a team approach.
Connecting back to civilian life from the Marines wasn’t easy. But the resources at ECC—like veteran services, tutoring, and test-taking prep—are phenomenal. The people here sincerely care. They more than prepared me for when I transfer to UIC. In fact, I don’t think I would have been accepted at UIC without their help. With them on my side, success is the only option.

Christopher Jakob — St. Charles

View elgin.edu/veteransservices


Play button for Pedro Burns testimonial video.

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

proves it’s never too late to start over.
In my fifties, after quadruple-bypass surgery, I wondered what my future would hold. I decided to go back to school, but I was nervous. I went to ECC’s Admissions Office and asked if they would help me no matter how many times I stopped by and asked questions. And they always did—with open arms.

Pedro Burns — Elgin

Learn more about becoming a student at ECC. View elgin.edu/students


Leona Ball

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

breaks barriers.
I was the only female in my class at the ECC Fire Academy. But my instructors and classmates didn’t treat me any differently. They encouraged me as much as they encouraged everyone else. And with their support and my own effort, I developed the skills I needed to help others. You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it, and the staff at ECC will help you do it.

Leona Ball — South Elgin

Learn about the Firefighter Training Program


Robert Cedillo

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

adapts to life’s changes and comes out stronger.
I really believe in education. So when the economy caused my plumbing jobs to dry up, I went back to school. Now I’m training to be a Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) Operator. In just one year at ECC, I’ll be the equivalent of a third-year apprentice. To me, that’s evidence an ECC education has power.

Robert Cedillo — South Elgin

Learn about the program


Faiza Rahim

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

shares all the knowledge I’ve been given.
I’m studying to be a teacher. When I was researching colleges, I made appointments with professors at big universities. None would say they’d help me during non-office hours. At ECC, they told me they would—and they kept that promise. I had two jobs, so that kind of flexibility and support made all the difference.

Faiza Rahim — Hanover Park

Learn about student success at ECC


Michael Tifah

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

includes everything I can imagine.
When I went to Career Services at ECC, they didn’t just help me choose a major and career plan. They helped me develop a new perspective on overcoming obstacles in life. They even let me come back anytime I needed a pep talk. Now I don’t let anything stop me, and I’m much closer to my dream career.

Michael Tifah — Elgin

View elgin.edu/careerservices


Mateo Garcia

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

could inspire yours.
"When I saw the injuries sustained by fellow soldiers and civilians in Iraq, it awakened a passion to learn about prosthetics, including neuroprosthetics — devices that are controlled by brain waves and fight diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. ECC’s National Institutes of Health Scholars — a partnership with Roosevelt University — gave me the opportunity to conduct research that very few undergraduates anywhere get to do. I’ll stand out when I transfer to a four-year university."

Mateo Garcia — Streamwood

View elgin.edu/universitytransfer


Daniel Boynton

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

never required me to leave ECC’s campus.
"I wanted to work full time while I got my bachelor’s degree in HR management. Through ECC’s University Partners program, I was able to take 81 of my credit hours in regular ECC classes — for regular ECC prices — and take the rest of my classes through Columbia College of Missouri, right at ECC and online. I never had to go anywhere else."

Daniel Boynton — St. Charles

View elgin.edu/advancedstudies


Diane Novak

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

doesn’t require a high school diploma.
"I was a waitress with two jobs, no high school diploma, and no benefits. Thanks to ECC, I received my GED and a National Career Readiness Certificate, obtained two grants, took a pharmacy tech course, got certified, licensed, and landed a job as a pharmacy technician — all within one year. The staff at ECC even helped me with my résumé."

Diane Novak —South Elgin

View elgin.edu/adulteducation


Cedric White

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

will help others find theirs.
"I owe my GPA (3.66 out of 4) to the tutoring department at ECC. They really care. They’re helping me work towards my future as an academic counselor, so I can help other people improve their future."

Cedric White — Elgin

View elgin.edu/tutoring


Jennifer Rieger

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

gives the Ivy League a run for its money.
"I served as captain of ECC’s Mock Trial Team when we were the only community college invited to Harvard’s Crimson Classic Mock Trial Competition, and we beat Yale. This year Harvard challenged us, and we tied them! I’ve even won $15,000 in scholarships for law school through competitions for individuals, because of what I learned on this team. I honestly don’t believe we would have had this experience at any other school in the country."

Jennifer Rieger — Wayne

View elgin.edu/studentlife


Carlos Granda

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

is a challenge I can meet.
"I took several Advanced Placement courses in high school, and I wanted to keep up that rigor when I went to college. ECC’s Honors classes and instructors let me think deeply and draw my own conclusions. I know I will continue to benefit from this level of thinking in my career in computer technology."

Carlos Granda-Ocampo — Elgin

View elgin.edu/honors


Ashley Deithloff

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

succeeds sooner than I ever thought possible.
"I enrolled at Elgin Community College because I didn’t make plans to go anywhere else. When I got here, I was surprised by how supportive and encouraging the faculty and staff were. I was recommended for scholarships, the speech club, the honors society, and more. I felt so lifted up that I became a Student Ambassador, too. Now I tell high school students about all ECC offers."

Ashley Deithloff — Hampshire

At ECC, we're committed to your success. View elgin.edu/students


Christopher Hulslander

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

is easier with summer classes at ECC.
"When I couldn’t get into all of the classes I needed at ISU, I took some during the summer at ECC. It turned out, a bunch of hometown friends who go to other universities did the same thing. We saved money compared to our usual tuition, and we earned the exact same credits. Now I’m back on track to graduate on time. That’s important because I have a job lined up for after graduation."

Christopher Hulslander — Algonquin

View elgin.edu/summer


Matthew Gebben

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

was energized by support from my instructors.
"ECC instructors really believe in their students. One of them chose me to give a presentation on geothermal energy to science teachers from the school district I attended. We used Sherman Hospital’s geothermal lake as our example. After the presentation, the hospital’s director of facilities offered me a job. I now work as a heat pump mechanic on one of the largest geothermal lakes in North America."

Matthew Gebben — Algonquin

ECC has many options. View elgin.edu/academics


Sandra Hoston

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

is a long way from where I started.
"I’ve gone through some difficult things in life. I was even destitute more than once. I wanted to change my life, and work in the same career as the people who helped me at the women’s shelter. The social services education I’m receiving at ECC is excellent. The instructors are experienced, wise, and helpful. They even helped us find internships. ECC has changed my life forever, and I haven’t even graduated yet."

Sandra Hoston — Elgin

View elgin.edu/humanservices


Tony Gomez

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

shines with awards and a career I love.
"I was downsized out of a job in 2008. I sent out 2,000 resumes and got three interviews. I decided I needed to change careers, so I entered ECC’s culinary program. Since then, I’ve won honors in the ECC Grand Victoria Casino Burger Competition and ECC Fisher Nuts Recipe Competition, and my team won first place in an American Culinary Federation competition — even beating two teams from Le Cordon Bleu. Best of all, I’ve found a job I love."

Tony Gomez — Crystal Lake

View elgin.edu/culinaryarts


Aaron Kane

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

includes my own business with hundreds of employees and it all started at ECC.
"The faculty and staff at ECC have what I call ‘mentor personalities.’ They always went out of their way to help keep me on track. Now I have my own business in the telecommunications industry, and I employ hundreds of people. We were even named the Fastest Growing Business in the Chicago area by the Business Ledger. Since I know first-hand the kind of education ECC offers, I hire ECC graduates to help foster that growth."

Aaron Kane — Hampshire

We'll help you achieve your goals. View elgin.edu/facultyandstaff


Karen Gonzalez

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

turns limited options into boundless opportunities.
"ECC was my only choice after graduating from high school, but later proved to be my best choice. I received so much support from instructors wanting to work with me, scholarships that make college affordable, and opportunities for student and community involvement. After my first degree, I was accepted into nursing programs at other schools, but I’m returning to ECC. I know it’s an excellent decision!"

Karen Gonzalez — South Elgin

A vibrant campus life awaits you! View elgin.edu/tourecc


Bijal Jadeja

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

could inspire yours.
"Massage therapy heals your mind, body and spirit. That knowledge has been a part of my culture for centuries. I experienced it firsthand after the birth of my children, when traditional massage for mothers helped sustain me. I decided to share that wisdom with the world. At ECC, I learn the proper techniques from experts in an accredited program I can afford. Now I realize motherhood isn’t my final role; it is just my inspiration."

Bijal Jadeja — Crystal Lake

View elgin.edu/massage


Chris Doss

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

is something worth fighting for.
"My plans to attend a large university fell apart once I learned that veterans have to pay for college classes before they’re reimbursed by the GI Bill. I don’t quit that easy. At ECC, I can afford to fulfill the GI Bill requirements as I make progress toward becoming a history professor. I knew the value of wisdom, and I’ve learned the wisdom of value."

Chris Doss — Elgin

View elgin.edu/veteransservices


Manuel Villarreal

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

started with one good decision.
"When I was younger, I was headed down the wrong path, until I found positive ways to cope with my problems. Now I’m studying to become a psychologist, so I can help other people do the same thing. At ECC you find plenty of support to do right. I use the Tutoring Center, counseling, and more. I’m proof that one good decision can lead to a future of them."

Manuel Villarreal — Elgin

View elgin.edu/services


Rose Stamps

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

has no finish line.
"I’m 68 years old, and I’ll never stop learning. When I’m in class, I feel alive. Right now I’m working toward a degree in criminal justice. In fact, I’m so excited taking classes at ECC that I’ve successfully convinced several other adult students to finish their college education. It’s never too late."

Rose Stamps — Elgin

View elgin.edu/criminaljustice


Juan Carmona

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

arrived before I even graduated.
"I was hired and promoted before I even finished school. That’s because I learned from people who have their hearts and hands in my industry: heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration. My instructors spent every Saturday for months coaching me for a state-wide skills competition, and I won a silver medal. My employer knew the kind of training I was receiving. They have seven ECC students/graduates working for them right now."

Juan Carmona — Hanover Park

View elgin.edu/hvac


Cassandra Dumoulin

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

is much more than a hoop dream.
"My basketball skills led to plenty of offers from four-year colleges, but ECC turned out to be the right choice. My coach helped me become the leading scorer in our conference. He made sure I focused on my education, too. My GPA is 4.0. I made the All-American Student-Athlete team. And my jersey is hanging in the hall of fame. I’m a high scorer on and off the court."

Cassandra Dumoulin — Hampshire

View elgin.edu/athletics


Aljon Ferrer

MY BRIGHT FUTURE

is easy on my family.
"Paying for college seemed like an overwhelming problem. I wasn’t sure I could work part-time and keep up my grades. Then ECC connected me to two scholarships through its foundation, and everything fell into place. I don’t have to burden my family. I can do this."

Aljon Ferrer — Streamwood

View elgin.edu/scholarships


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