Student Spotlight: Dawn Regnier
Dawn Regnier has worked in the loss prevention field for more than 20 years, with 14 of those years in supervision.
But in order to move further with her career, she realized that she needed a degree.
“Most people in my field have criminal justice degrees, but a criminal justice degree limits you to a career in security, law enforcement or the legal field,” she said. “I decided as long as I was going to pay for my own education, I wanted my education to open as many opportunities for me as possible. So I decided on a management degree. The classes are used in all businesses, whether it is a non-for-profit, small business, large corporation or everything in between.”
In researching bachelor degree programs, Regnier found the average cost was about $75,000. Then she looked into College of DuPage, and after checking the web site, she was impressed with both the academics and the tuition.
“The classes offered were just what I was looking for. I could obtain an associate’s degree for a fraction of the cost most colleges were going to charge me for a bachelor's degree. I could also take classes to earn certificates in other fields outside the associate’s degree to help me in my current career,” she said. “COD also offers a 3+1 bachelor’s degree program with Benedictine University at a reduced cost, so if I decide to continue my education, it will be at COD.”
Regnier could have applied for possible credit based upon life experience, but she wanted to take advantage of the knowledge that the faculty brings to the classroom.
“I wanted to learn everything the teachers want to teach me, and that decision worked well for me,” she said. “I also learned that I don't know as much about management as I thought I did. Their knowledge has made me a better supervisor and has given me an appreciation for other departments like HR and upper management.”
During her time at COD, she received several scholarships through the College of DuPage Foundation, including the Foundation Need Scholarship and the Returning Adult Scholarship, which she has won twice. These have helped with her overall college costs.
Regnier took two classes per semester and received an associate’s degree in Management, graduating with high honors. While unsure of her ultimate career goal, she completed her first class toward a bachelor’s degree through the College’s 3+1 program with Benedictine.
She is positive that her decision to attend College of DuPage was the right one.
“If I do decide in the future to be promoted, I know my education at COD will better enable me to handle any challenges given to me,” she said. “My advice for others students is to listen and respect all the teachers by coming to as many classes as you can, even if you don't feel like coming to class. Soak up the knowledge. What you learn will help you in the future.
“The teachers are your bridge between your high school years and the ‘real’ world. If you get a hard teacher, rise up to their expectations and do your best. If you happen to get an easy teacher, be thankful and use that opportunity to get an ‘A’ in the class. You are responsible for making your college experience what it will be.”
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