Jonathan Bagnall originally turned to College of DuPage to obtain his High School Equivalency/GED.
Then he received the Jump Start Scholarship, which the COD Foundation awards to students who complete their GED and want to begin their college education. Bagnall has never looked back as he now pursues a degree in Psychology.
“Originally, being able to work in an urban community setting with people who have experienced trauma drew me to psychology,” he said. “However, as I continue to learn about the field, I have become fascinated by its application to the sciences, specifically how the brain is related to human emotion and reason.
“The partnerships that College of DuPage has with local, academically rigorous universities help to prepare students for graduate-level work. This was most important to me because a career in psychology requires a doctorate-level degree.”
Bagnall received two additional scholarships through the College’s Foundation: The Certificate of GED Scholarship and the Naperville Rotary Club Scholarship. After COD, he transferred to the University of Illinois at Chicago and is now in its Honors College in the applied psychology program.
He has worked in a linguistics laboratory analyzing data related to phonology and language development. Currently he is a lead research assistant in a psychology laboratory studying the usage of handshakes as a form of nonverbal communication.
After completing a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Bagnall plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. He then he would like to obtain an internship accredited by the American Psychological Association and become a licensed Clinical Psychologist.
Bagnall considers COD an institution full of opportunities and advises new students to think about what’s right for them.
“I would encourage anyone considering COD to first take a deep look within themselves to find what they truly feel called to do,” he said. “The next step is talking to an academic advisor. Then strategically plan your educational pathway and apply to every scholarship available to you. There are so many resources available at COD, so utilize them and graduate with momentum.
“COD made it possible for me to further my education. First, it enabled me to obtain my GED in a free program as an adult learner. Second, the partnerships with local universities make pursuing a degree in psychology readily accessible. Finally, the counseling I received from COD guided me into the right program for me.”