The University Center of Lake County received a Reflejos Reflecting Excellence Award in a ceremony held at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates by Reflejos Publications, LLC on October 24, 2012. The award recognizes service to the Latino community and was bestowed in the Education category. Of more than 25 regional awards given, only two others went to Lake County organizations: Mano a Mano of Round Lake Park won in the Community Services category and Abbott Laboratories of Libertyville won in the Workplace category.
Assistant Dean for Academic Services and Programs C. Myra Gaytan-Morales accepted the award on the Center’s behalf, accompanied by Coalición Latinos Unidos de Lake County (CLULC) President Elizabeth Rosiles. “It was an honor to receive the Reflejos award,” said Gaytan-Morales. “The Center strives for excellence of our student services. We work hard to respond to student needs and to eliminate many of the barriers that first generation and adult students face when they seek to pursue their higher education dream. I am very proud of the University Center of Lake County, not only because I work here, but also because I am an Illinois State University Ph.D. student through the Center.”
University Center reaches out to the Latino community in various ways. It has taken the lead in coordinating a series of free financial aid workshops across Lake County each spring, in collaboration with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), the College of Lake County, CLULC, and numerous high schools. At these events, bilingual volunteers trained by ISAC assist students and families to complete and submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) electronically. The Center also hosted a recent Deferred Action workshop. In addition, member institution Illinois State University is currently running two grant-funded programs through the University Center that provide bilingual paraprofessionals with full scholarship support to become fully-certified elementary education teachers with bilingual approvals in high need school districts.
University Center offers programs from 19 Illinois colleges and universities designed to enable adult students to complete a bachelor’s degree, earn a master’s degree, or pursue professional development. Classes meet in the evening and on weekends at University Center facilities in Grayslake and Waukegan, and at Great Lakes Naval Training Center in North Chicago. Other classes meet via online study, eliminating any commute and providing maximum scheduling flexibility. Free pre-admission advising is available to help students choose the program that best meets their needs.
For more information visit www.ucenter.org or call (847) 665-4000.