Published on February 1, 2024
Studies have shown that students who begin at a community college do better in their final two years at university than those who start at the university. With an Engineering Pathways Program at the University of Illinois, students can take foundation courses at John A. Logan College that form the building blocks for more advanced STEM courses. Current and former engineering students at JALC are finding success at the University because of the foundation they are getting in physics, chemistry, and mathematics at John A. Logan College.
John A. Logan College is participating in the University of Illinois Engineering Pathways, offering students interested in beginning their college education at an Illinois community college a streamlined transfer experience and guaranteed admission to The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Students admitted to the Pathways program must follow a designated plan of study, earn a B or better in required courses, maintain a 3.5 GPA overall and in technical coursework, and participate in a mandatory advising program.
According to Dr. Prachi Parashar, Assistant Professor of Physics and Engineering at John A. Logan College, her students are leaving John A. Logan College prepared to succeed at the University.
“We teach the basics in mathematics and physics and give students the experience they need in the core courses,” said Parashar. “I am really very proud of our students. They have been transferring with a high success rate after completing their Associate’s degree at John A. Logan College, and it is exciting to see them succeed.”
Parashar added that the environment at John A. Logan College has been one of the keys to her students’ success.
“I absolutely love teaching in a smaller environment. I can connect one-on-one as we progress through the course, which is important in these courses.”
Brennen Thomas of Carterville began taking classes at John A. Logan College while still in high school. He will graduate from the University of Illinois in May with a degree in chemical engineering. After graduation, he will pursue his doctoral degree in biomolecular and chemical engineering. He has fully funded acceptance offers from Columbia University, Vanderbilt University, John Hopkins University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Colorado-Boulder.
“John A. Logan College taught me the strong work ethic needed to succeed in an engineering curriculum at a university. I felt much more prepared because I had taken classes at John A. Logan College before my freshman year at U of I,” said Thomas.
Thomas added that it was the instructors that made the difference at JALC.
“The instructors were always available after class and wanted to ensure you grasped the material before moving on.”
Mason Norris of Marion is a current student at John A. Logan College. Norris is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and plans to transfer to the University of Illinois next fall. Norris is confident that attending JALC first was the best decision he could have made, both academically and financially.
“My instructor for all my Physics courses, Dr. Prachi Parashar, cares so much about us learning and understanding the material. She isn’t here to get us through the classes. She really loves for us to be in the classroom and constantly learning,” said Norris.
In addition to the excellent instruction, Norris believes attending John A. Logan College made the most sense financially.
“With the number of scholarships and other opportunities like student work, I not only feel prepared academically but also financially to transfer to U of I.”
One of the scholarships available to students interested in engineering and other STEM programs is the John A. Logan College STEM Scholarship. The application for the scholarship is open until February 16. Twelve $6,000 scholarships for fall 2024 will be awarded to full-time students enrolled in a John A. Logan College STEM program. For a complete list of requirements and eligible majors, visit https://jalcfoundation.org/scholarships/. Scholarship information can also be obtained by visiting jalc.edu and clicking the Scholarship tab.
To learn more about the Pathways Program at the University of Illinois, visit www.grainger.illinois.edu/admissions/undergraduate/pathways. To learn more about John A. Logan College STEM majors or to schedule a tour, visit www.jalc.edu.