Hobson takes the ECC community to heart

  • Tags: Administrator Profile | Newsletter
Published 03/08/2021
Dean of Adult Education Elizabeth Hobson, PhD

Dean of Adult Education Elizabeth Hobson, PhD


Elizabeth Hobson, Ed.D., dean of adult education, started her ECC career in 2007 as an adjunct faculty member. She fondly remembers a former colleague who jumped into action to help her when she had a bit of trouble teaching a College 101 section on her first day.

As students were coming in the first day, it became clear there were more students than seats,” she remembers. “I wasn’t familiar with Building O, so I went to the first open door I found. It was the office of a now-retired faculty member, Andy Erbach. I explained my situation, and without missing a beat, he jumped up and told me to start my class, and he would bring in more chairs. Thank you, Andy!”

This was one of many experiences that have shaped Hobson’s fondness for working at ECC. As she put it, “I’ve always loved coming to work and partnering with so many fantastic coworkers who strive to make ECC a positive experience for students, staff, faculty, and administration.”

Read on to learn more about Hobson and her life on and off campus:

What would help others understand your job?

I provide leadership for the adult education division. The term adult education is often confusing because it has different meanings depending on the context. At ECC, adult education is an umbrella term describing programming for students seeking to increase their English language skills, increase their literacy skills, or prepare for a high school equivalency exam, like the GED. In addition to helping students increase their basic academic and career readiness skills, our programming also encourages students to transition to college-level coursework. I am fortunate to work with incredible faculty, staff, and administrators as part of the Adult Basic Education Center (ABEC) team in Building K. 

What is your greatest accomplishment since you’ve been at ECC?

I’m honored to have been selected as one of two program administrators in Illinois invited by Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) state adult education leaders to participate in and deliver the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education College (OCTAE) College and Career Readiness Standards-in-Action Project, with teams from 11 other states. This national project led to the development of Illinois’ Adult Education Instructional Staff Professional Pathway Framework and related statewide training.

Name a job or role at ECC that you would like to try for one day and explain why.

If I could try a role at ECC for one day, it would be in Institutional Research (IR). I am fascinated by how much information they have at their fingertips. However, I would need one of the Data Rangers to sit with me to compute the data into meaningful information.

If you could instantly be an expert in one thing, what would you choose?

Just as IR would be the role I would love to try out for a day, it is also the area in which I wish I had more expertise. Having so much data and the ability to glean answers to questions from across the college is something I’d love to have the expertise to do.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work (i.e., hobbies/interests)?

I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, biking, and walking my dog.

If you could live in a TV show, which show would it be and why?

I’m not a big TV watcher outside of college football, and I definitely would not want to be in one of those games!

Where is the best place you’ve traveled to?

I have been to many beautiful states and countries, but up north in Michigan at my family’s lakeside cottage is the best place I have traveled. I have so many wonderful family memories from my childhood and now with my children at “Grandma’s Cottage.”

You have to wear a t-shirt with just one word on it for an entire year. What would that word be, and why?

Those who know me well would know my answer would be kindness. One of my favorite mantras is “It’s better to be kind than to be right.”

Share a fact about you that might surprise people to learn.

Growing up, I wanted to be a cultural anthropologist. When I would tell people that, they usually looked at me with surprise.   

What job have you held (besides ECC) that was the most fun, interesting, or difficult? Explain why.

When I was a teenager, I worked at a bakery. It was a fun job because everyone who came in was happy.

Name someone you admire and explain why.

The person I admire most is my mom. She handles everything with strength, grace, and positivity. My mom is one the most supportive and encouraging people I know, always willing to help out in any way. I admire my mom every day.

What was your most valuable life lesson?

My most valuable life lesson was losing both my dad and my older sister to illness when I was a young adult. Those losses taught me to take nothing for granted. I miss them both every day.

Complete this sentence: “I enjoy working at ECC because…”:

People go out of their way to support and encourage each other.