MCC Touches Two Generations of Johnsburg Family
Three members of the Rodgers family take a break during finals week at MCC. All three are pursuing health care careers. Pictured are, from left, Claire with her parents, Colleen and John. Colleen graduated in December with an Associated in Applied Science degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant and John is enrolled in MCC’s Registered Nursing program and will graduate next December. Claire is enrolled in health science classes.
The Rodgers family of Johnsburg understands the value of a community college education so much so that up to four family members were attending MCC at the same time within the past few years.
“We encourage our children to take advantage of the community college for its financial savings and educational benefits,” said Colleen Rodgers, mother of three college students, who herself graduated last month with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA). She previously earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Loyola and had worked in customer service and human resources for many years before raising a family.
“I was a stay-at-home mom for 15 years, so I wanted to do something personally rewarding and make myself marketable at the same time,” she said. “There’s great opportunities for occupational therapists in our area, so I thought an OTA degree would lead me to a great job.”
Both Colleen and her husband, John, said they have enjoyed being in classes at MCC, especially the health care classes, which have a diverse blend of adult learners and traditional-age students.
When John Rodgers, a former firefighter/paramedic with 20 years’ experience, became injured on the job, he switched careers and took real estate pre-licensure classes at MCC. He worked in real estate sales and appraisal for 13 years, but when home sales slumped with the economy, he decided to leave real estate and pursue a career in health care. He returned to MCC to train as a certified nurse assistant and landed a job as a monitor technician at Centegra Hospital in McHenry, where he has worked since 2010. Currently, he is enrolled in MCC’s Registered Nursing program and plans to complete his Associate of Applied Science degree in nursing in December 2014.
“I enjoy people in general, and I wanted to go into the medical field,” John Rodgers said. “I have a curious mind, and I enjoy learning. The core sciences and nursing program at MCC have excellent teachers and I’m receiving a good education at MCC that is very cost effective.”
Rodgers also attended the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn for a year after high school and earned a degree at North Park University.
The Rodgers’ oldest, Sean, age 23, attended MCC for two years and transferred to Northern Illinois University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and is now attending law school at Northern Illinois University. Daughter Lauren, 22, completed two years at MCC in health sciences and transferred to UIC Circle Campus, where she is finishing a degree in kinesiology with hopes of pursuing a physician’s assistant program. Their youngest, Claire, 19, a 2012 graduate of Johnsburg High School, earned one semester of college credit while still in high school through MCC’s High School Plus program. Now, she attends MCC full-time, pursuing studies in the health sciences.
“We value the education at MCC,” John Rodgers said. “For us adults, the real benefit is that with economic and life changes, we needed to update skills and education and there’s no better place than a community college.”