Student Spotlight: Joshua Schweitzer

Joshua Schweitzer

Joshua Schweitzer
Major: Criminal Justice

After Joshua Schweitzer graduated from high school, he enrolled at Illinois State University.

Unfortunately, he didn't pass most of his classes, so he decided to take time off from school and instead joined the Army. While at basic training, he was called home due to a family emergency.

“I returned home a college dropout and a military separatist. In only two short years I managed to dismantle any reasonable expectation of success,” he said. “Uncertain about my future, I started working part-time washing dishes at Edward Hospital. While demeaning and tiresome, the work ultimately proved valuable. It reaffirmed my discontent with minimum wage and served as a catalyst for personal change. With revitalized inspiration, I approached College of DuPage with an unparalleled drive to succeed.”

Wanting to stay close to home, Schweitzer started at College of DuPage because friends and family spoke highly of its programs. What he found was so much more.

“College of DuPage has helped me toward my goals by providing excellent teachers, engaging courses, and a system of meaningful support,” he said. “It has been beneficial to be able to openly talk to teachers and receive advice when pursuing out-of-class endeavors, such as internships.

“Honestly, one of the most beneficial things I developed at COD was the ability to engage and voice my opinion. I enjoyed providing my input during discussions and the time I usually spent talking to teachers after class. Being a leader in the classroom required flexibility, careful listening, speaking when appropriate, and treating others with respect. A good leader knows that they are accountable for their words and actions; a good leader can admit when they are wrong.”

One of Schweitzer's most memorable experiences was having two separate teachers approach him to use his papers for two different reasons – one for the school news and another for a writing competition. 

“Each teacher said that this was his or her first time submitting a student’s work in the 16 or 17 years they had been in the profession. It was rewarding to be recognized and for each teacher to set aside time to congratulate me on my success,” he said. “Maintaining a 4.0 GPA, receiving incredible feedback, meeting wonderful people and finding a renewed love for education has made my experience at College of DuPage parallel to none.”

In 2014, Schweitzer was named an Outstanding Graduate finalist and graduated with highest honors. He has since enrolled in the College's 3+1 program in Criminal Justice with Lewis University and has successfully completed three internships, thanks to the help of such faculty members as Theo Darden, Tom Brady and Sara Kirby. Most recently, Schweitzer was selected for a federal law enforcement position with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. He also interned with United States Liability Insurance and Cook County Sheriff's Department.

Schweitzer has interviewed for a fourth internship with the Secret Service beginning fall 2015. If not selected, he has submitted applications for the Office of the Inspector General, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and United Airlines.

“I’m in a period of mental transition, so I am trying to envision future goals and work toward those – and I know I will continue to receive excellent advice from the teachers at both the College of DuPage and Lewis,” he said. 

Schweitzer is pursuing a career federal law enforcement but has found interest in the business areas of risk management, fraud prevention and privacy protection. He believes in continuing education as he finds endless value in learning.

He encourages anyone considering college to attend College of DuPage.

“College of DuPage offers engaging classes, helpful teachers and unique programs, but more importantly, the faculty recognize you as a person,” he said. “There is nothing engaging about a 200-person lecture, nor is there time or serious concern for the individual student. If you don’t want to get lost in the crowd, are uncertain about your future, or desire a rewarding educational experience, then I would seriously consider applying to College of DuPage. This school is foundational. It challenges you to be the best student and community member possible.

“I refuse to ever fail again. The road toward redemption has been long, but every day has been worth it. College of DuPage has offered many wonderful opportunities and I'm excited for my future. I am forever grateful for my parents' continuing support, my wonderful family and brother, and for my wife’s constant encouragement.”

More about the Criminal Justice program