When Bridget Kingston enrolled at College of DuPage, she was uncertain what path she wanted to take.
After a severe dance injury altered her path of becoming a professional ballerina, she decided to pursue her other passion—writing. During her first semester, she began writing and editing for COD’s student newspaper, The Courier.
“It was through my time at The Courier that I learned how to work with a creative group, tackle social justice issues through print, and tighten my writing and storytelling skills,” she said. “Even though I wasn’t pursuing journalism, my time at The Courier taught me that there are innumerable careers in writing, publishing and editing. It opened the door to a career field that had previously seemed untouchable and gifted me the skills necessary to eventually pursue it.”
Kingston, who earned an Associate in Arts degree, was unsure of her next step. Then she learned about COD’s transfer agreement with Columbia College Chicago that includes nearly 20 degree programs. This meant she could earn 75 transferable credits at COD to save money on tuition costs and receive guaranteed admission into Columbia to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in English.
“I was feeling lost and overwhelmed, but at the exact right moment, I was handed a roadmap,” said Kingston, who was the first COD student to take advantage of COD’s Columbia AA to BA in English Transfer program. “COD gave me a path to follow to get me closer to landing my dream job as an English teacher, and I received so much support and guidance from my COD counselors and professors. Each bump I’ve experienced along the way led me to Columbia’s front steps, and I owe every last ounce of that to COD.”
Kingston was also awarded a $12,000 scholarship by Columbia through the Transfer Award program. Having earned her bachelor’s degree in English, she is working as an editorial assistant for the Austin Chronicle and looking into MFA programs for creative writing.
As for COD, she is thankful for everyone who helped prepare her for her career.
“It was through a handful of phenomenal COD professors that I began to see what I wanted my future to look like,” she said. “Their intelligence and devotion to their craft made me realize I didn’t have to sacrifice what I loved in lieu of a predictable career path. One English professor in particular, Professor Jason Snart, not only pushed my creative writing past countless self-inflicted barricades, but also remains a fundamental reason I am proud to have pursued an English degree at Columbia.”