David Western of Rochester is LLCC’s 2016 Outstanding Graduate. A member of the LLCC Honors Program, he served as president of LLCC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa academic honor society and the Robotics Club, and was named to the Phi Theta Kappa All-Illinois Academic Team.
When I was a senior in high school, I had difficulty in selecting which college I wanted to attend. I looked at some big universities, but ending up choosing Lincoln Land Community College. Why? It offered me the widest range of options for the lowest risk out of any of the colleges I looked at. Lincoln Land offers inexpensive classes, flexible schedules and chances to do what you love.
Fortunately, Lincoln Land dollar per credit amount is a fraction of the price of nearby colleges. On top of that, Lincoln Land offers many scholarships to students based on needs and merit. Most of the students I knew had some form of financial aid to help them obtain their degree. There are many scholarships, some of which go unclaimed. Fortunately, I received a scholarship, awarded to members of the Honors Program at Lincoln Land, that paid for my tuition. This opportunity saved me tens of thousands of dollars that I would have spent at a four- year university. Even without scholarships, I still would have saved tens of thousands of dollars. This is how amazing the price of Lincoln Land’s education is.
With great cost, also comes great flexibility at Lincoln Land Community College. As an engineering student, I have seen this great flexibility firsthand. At Lincoln Land, my engineering-related classes are small. Really small. There was one class of mine that even had a grand total of two students in it! With such low enrollment, a class would be typically cancelled. However, due to the elastic nature of Lincoln Land, the course was kept open. In the event that there isn’t enough students to hold a class, the student can usually set up a directed study. For example, I had a friend that wanted to take a course on circuits that wasn’t on the schedule due to low sign-up. He was able to work out a directed study for the class. These are just a few examples of the resilience of Lincoln Land’s scheduling.
For the finale of options at Lincoln Land, the college offers the ability to do what you love. Best of all, it can help you find things that you love that you didn’t really know you loved! For me, this obviously happened when I started working at the Center for Academic Success, a part of Lincoln Land’s services that offers academic assistance with math, writing, counseling and peer tutors. I worked as a peer tutor and then a worker in the Math Center. I started the positions because I had free time and wanted to earn money. Soon, it became much more than that. As someone who is not a morning person, I was shocked to find that I was happy with waking up early to work at 8 in the morning. I discovered that I loved to teach. This would not have been possible without this great opportunity at Lincoln Land. In addition, I was able to do something that I have always loved: setting things on fire. Thanks to Lincoln Land’s Chemistry Club, I was able to perform chemistry demonstrations for children several times throughout the year at events such as Haunted Lab. At these demos, I was also able to teach children the wonders of chemistry. Again, I would not have had these opportunities if it were not for Lincoln Land.
In conclusion, I cannot fully express my gratitude toward this college and the opportunities it has given me. Lincoln Land has offered me a multitude of life-long friends, leadership development, easy access to pianos, networking, club involvement, excellent professors and the chance to give back to the community. If I had the chance to go back and choose again, I would still pick Lincoln Land Community College. It is a wonderful place to start and finish the first two years. At a place near, I was able to go far.