Major: Library and Information Technology
While volunteering at her children’s school, Patricia Cosgrove discovered a field that interested her as a second career.
“I knew that I wanted to return to work once my children were all in school full-time and I wanted to work at something I had a passion for,” she said. “I was volunteering in the library media center and as an art awareness lesson leader, and I found that I enjoyed all aspects of it – from helping students locate books to shelving to researching and preparing a lesson about an artist and assisting students with a related project.
“Since I was enjoying what I was doing, I decided to look into what additional training I could get to make the leap from volunteering at a library to a career in the field.”
Cosgrove enrolled in the Library and Information Technology program at College of DuPage and loved studying for her classes.
“I mostly took online classes because they fit my life. I was able to complete class work at times that were convenient for me, usually after my children were asleep,” she said. “I also found the Library and Information Technology program to be a collaborative and interactive learning environment via class discussions on Blackboard. I really appreciated that the program is focused on developing real-world practical skills that are immediately transferable to the workforce.”
Shortly after earning her certificate, Cosgrove found a job in the Learning Resource Center at Community High School, District 94. She is now at Naperville Central High School in the LRC. It’s exactly what she wants to do, and the job also allows her to continue developing her information technology skills while helping others develop theirs.
“Every day, I use the skills I learned at COD in my job. And one of the best things is that I can talk to students who are deciding to do after high school about the educational value of COD’s programs,” she said. “I think COD is a great value, whether you’re a first-time student or one who is pursuing a second career as I did. COD’s educational programs, like the Library and Information Technology program, are designed and taught by faculty who have worked in their fields. It’s not just theory; students learn the skills they will use in their careers.”
Since 2017, Cosgrove also has volunteered as an ESL tutor with the People Education People (PEP) program at COD. It’s a rewarding experience and one that reinforces her opinion about COD.
“From my perspective, College of DuPage has a wealth of certificate and degree programs, like the Library and Information Technology program, that meet the educational aspirations of a large cross-section of students. It is a valued educational partner of high schools and provides many students with an affordable path to higher education. I think it’s a true community treasure.”