Student Spotlight: Rocco Zucchero

Rocco Zucchero

Rocco Zucchero
Major: Associate in Science

Rocco Zucchero advises prospective students not to believe the stigmas about community colleges.

"College of DuPage is a really great place," he said. "Before I came here, I thought to myself that I would be at a university and not 'just COD.' But now that I'm here, I realize thinking like that was kind of silly, especially given all the benefits of choosing COD."

One of the benefits is the Scholars Awards program. Zucchero is a Presidential Scholar, which provides full tuition for two years and enrollment in COD's Honors program and the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.

"It's really great on one end because I don't have to worry about paying my way through school right now," he said. "On the other hand, it's probably just as stressful from the angle that I have a pretty high standard to maintain and that can be a little overwhelming at times, especially with the amount of school and work I'm doing at the moment.

Zucchero was well-prepared when he arrived at COD, thanks to three of his high school teachers -- Jennifer Wolf, Isabelle Menke, and Kierstin Thompson. All had a great impact on his life, having taught him for multiple years and encouraging him to see his own potential.

"Senior year was a difficult year and I actually had all three of these teachers for AP classes. These were some of the most difficult classes I had ever taken to the point where I was heavily considering dropping some of them," he said. "Thankfully, these teachers knew what kind of student I was better than I knew myself. If it weren't for them, I know for a fact that my mindset going into college would be completely different, and not likely for the better. I'm so grateful that they were able to see in me what I couldn't and allowed me to continue to achieve great things in my academic career."

While Zucchero is still working on his full college plans, he wants to earn at least a master's degree. He's unsure about a major but is leaning toward Psychology, because he's always found how people's minds work to be an interesting topic, especially when it comes to those who are a bit harder to read than the average person. Regardless of his choice, he's happy to be at College of DuPage and earning a strong education.

"COD provides a great environment that allows me to feel comfortable with what I'm learning while also teaching me new things. I've met a lot of new people and the professors are always great at being open and available to the students, which helps a lot," he said. "I really feel like being at COD has moved my career and educational goals forward while also making me grow socially."

More about the Associate in Science degree