Student Spotlight: Erin Planek Contreras
Erin Planek Contreras
Major: Associate in Science
When Erin Planek Contreras was in high school, a young woman pursuing her degree in medicine addressed her AP Biology class.
“After listening to her talk about the benefits and the hardships of being a medical student, I knew that I wanted to be in a health care profession,” Contreras explained. “It was not until I was able to explore various aspects of the health care industry that I decided on pursuing a degree in physical therapy.”
Selecting College of DuPage was an easy choice for Contreras, and earning an Academic Excellence Scholarship helped defray the cost of tuition.
“Another factor that I acknowledged when considering my future education was location,” she said. “I wanted to attend a school that was close to home and my workplace. Financially and practicality-wise, COD was the best decision for me.”
Contreras received her Associate in Science degree from COD and earned her bachelor’s degree in health sciences from Benedictine University. While she originally wanted to work as a pediatric physical therapist, she decided to help children in another way and earned her Master’s of Elementary Education from Lewis University. Having earned her elementary teaching license, she is now working as a fourth grade instructional assistant.
As for COD, she is thankful for the opportunities she pursued, particularly being a part of the Student Ambassador Program with Rio Almaria and Chris Miller.
“Through this program, I learned invaluable skills, especially communication,” she said. “I also learned a great deal through the academic courses I took. The teachers at COD come to know their students on a personal level and are available to answer any questions a student may have.
“COD gave me a sense of belonging. I will never forget the friends and educational experiences I have had the pleasure of being introduced to.”
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL
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2016 College of DuPage