Moving Forward with Excitement: Experience All That ECC Offers

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Published 03/29/2022
Lauren Nehlsen, Ph.D., associate dean of recruitment and outreach services and Center for Global Engagement

Lauren Nehlsen, Ph.D., associate dean of recruitment and outreach services and Center for Global Engagement


The world is a much-altered place than it was two years ago, and with it, we have all changed a bit along the way. Our priorities, desires, and dreams have changed; how we spend our time, money, and energy is different. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

As we come out of the incessant stress, pain, and unknown of the pandemic, we know that the best thing we can do is move forward as we see the light of day in hope and wellness. We are ready to move beyond what was and look upon the future with optimism and courage. Because now is the time to move forward, to think about how the last two years have changed you and your dreams. Now is the perfect time to start (or restart) your college education, take hold of all that hope brings, and say, “Today is the day I move forward.”

And how fortunate are we as a community to have one of the top community colleges in the entire nation right in our backyard? Not only is Elgin Community College leader College of Distinction, but ECC is also one of only 150 institutions eligible for the prestigious Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, an award recognizing the high achievement of two-year institutions (or, as President Obama said, “basically the Oscars for great community colleges”).

ECC is moving forward in providing our community with access to affordable, high-quality education by offering classes in various ways to meet you where you are. You can take courses online, in person, or in a hybrid format. There are generous financial aid and scholarships available to help pay for tuition, fees, and books. Our financial aid advisors will help you every step of the way to affording the education you need to move forward.

We’re also offering new academic programs and innovative ways to get a degree. Starting in Fall 2022, the college will offer new programs in Medical Assisting, Recovery Support Specialist, and Ophthalmic Technician, among others, such as the option to complete an associate of arts degree entirely online. ECC also offers guaranteed transfer admission to several high-ranking universities, including the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Northern Illinois University, Arizona State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The community at ECC is one of its best-kept secrets. Here you will find a welcoming and diverse environment dedicated to student success, equity, diversity, and inclusion. We pride ourselves on our award-winning faculty, committed staff, and staunch support of quality academic programs. But most of all, we are a community of kindness and steadfastness. Our one goal is to support our students, community, and neighbors in improving their lives and moving forward through learning. ECC offers excellent student support services to help you meet your academic goals. We provide free tutoring, professional academic advising, wellness services, disability support services, and everything you need to succeed.

ECC also has one of the most vibrant student life communities in the state. There are dozens of co-curricular and athletic opportunities available to students, including baseball, basketball, soccer, student government, cultural groups, Phi Theta Kappa, and the Honors program. You can gain valuable leadership experience and discover a passion in our service-focused organizations or join a positive competitive environment as a student-athlete.

As we look towards the future with a renewed sense of hope, I ask you: Is today the day you move forward? Look at ECC as your first choice in attending college, knowing that the academic excellence and support services offered are among the best in the nation. I invite you to join us to experience all that community college can be by attending our Experience ECC virtual open house on April 6 from 5-7 p.m. We warmly welcome you to join our community and move forward with ECC!

Lauren Nehlsen, PhD, associate dean of recruitment and outreach services and Center for Global Engagement