Student Spotlight: John Batke
John Batke's first grade teacher, Mrs. Allmart, prompted his interest in aviation.
"I remember her telling stories about her sons in the Air Force and showing us their aircraft," he said. "I recall this one book she kept which I became almost addicted to. The book had pictures and details about a multitude of military planes and I tried to find the ones Mrs. Allmart mentioned in her accounts. I even remember dressing up like a pilot on a career day we had in the class. Her teaching helped me discover my passion for aircraft. In fact, if you were to go through a few of my notebooks from middle school, you would see pages of airplane doodles. Hopefully in four years those doodles will be a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering."
Batke attended College of DuPage because of his engineering interest and the Pathways to Engineering program, which provides guaranteed admission for qualified students to the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also was named a Presidential Scholar, which comes with a full-tuition scholarship and enrollment in COD's Honors program and the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.
"Being a Presidential Scholar is an honor," he said. "Besides the full tuition scholarship, the service learning in my community has been fun! I am making some great connections with other scholars.
"Every class that I have taken has been beneficial and interesting. The classes are helping to prepare me for an eventual transfer to a four year college, my ultimate goal, and the professors are supportive. If help is needed to understand a concept, the Learning Commons has tutors available to go over things step-by-step to clarify."
He's also part of the Engineering Club and is currently working on a bridge-building competition. While he's not sure where his career will take him, Batke knows he made the right decision to come to College of DuPage.
"COD is an exceptional starting point for higher education and has so much to offer students, as long as you can transcend your own conventions," he said. "College of DuPage is, honestly, a first-class education. With the way four-year universities have been changing over the past decade, choosing COD is a smart decision. The tuition is reasonable and there are many options for personal growth. Even though COD has a large student body, it has a small community feel to it. There are many people willing to help students succeed, so be proactive."
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