Coming to College of DuPage made sense to Gabe Wozniak.
He was accepted into the Engineering Pathways program, which offers guaranteed admission to qualifying students interested in transferring to The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Wozniak also received a scholarship from his high school that paid for his two years at COD.
“I saved $32,000 and I will still get the same degree from UIUC. Then the pandemic happened, so I feel like I didn’t miss out on anything,” he said.
Wozniak also did not miss out on a high-quality education at COD.
“The professors in the Engineering and Math programs are fantastic,” he said. “They are passionate about the material they teach and are always willing to spend additional time with students who request it. In addition to giving me a strong academic foundation, my classes also helped me to develop the mindset that I needed to be successful at UIUC.”
The professors are passionate about the material they teach and are always willing to spend additional time with students who request it.
While at COD, he was a member of the Robotics Team, an offshoot of the Engineering and Technology Club, which participated in NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition, Lunabotics, against four-year schools. The team won two top awards: placing third in Caterpillar Autonomy and earning special recognition in Systems Engineering.
“My experience with the Engineering and Technology Club was very formative,” he said. “As a sophomore, I was the project manager for the Engineering and Technology Club and, with COD’s support, we were able to build a mining robot and travel down to Cape Kennedy to participate in the NASA Lunabotics competition. It wasn’t easy, but I wouldn’t trade the experiences for anything else.”
Influenced to become an engineer by his parents, both engineers, Wozniak hopes to motivate other students to enroll at COD.
“If you are graduating from high school and split between COD and a four-year institution, it’s important to keep everything in perspective,” he said. “Consider the total costs of both options and calculate how much you would save by going to COD. How long would you have to work to pay off that amount of money and what could you potentially buy with that money? COD won’t be the right option for everyone, but if you consider the costs and what you get with it, you can make the best decision for yourself.”