Ever catch yourself wondering what the future holds for yourself or a loved one? Imagining the future can be a powerful drive for change. This kind of visualization can help us be positive, enhance a sense of purpose and begin to set goals. When it comes to turning these thoughts into reality, sometimes the hardest part can be taking the first step.

Lincoln Land Community College helps many students explore options and take that first step toward reaching their goals — whether a student is looking for hands-on career training, for one specific class or to earn an associate degree that transfers to a four-year university.

One of the reasons we offer a wide variety of options and services is because we don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. We recognize that everyone has different goals and ways of learning.

We offer an array of personalized services to help students take not only that first step, but other steps in their journey as well — from choosing a major and identifying support resources to making the transition to college and helping you succeed.

If your goal is to get a job in the health care or skilled trades, we offer a wide range of hands-on training for in-demand jobs. As a community college, connecting with businesses and employers is an essential part of what we do. We value their input as we keep our health care and workforce training relevant to job opportunities and employer needs.

In health care, we currently offer 25 different programs. In addition to nursing, some of our other training programs include diagnostic medical sonography, radiography, respiratory care, surgical technology, occupational therapy assistant, phlebotomy and dental assistant.

The Workforce Institute at LLCC is the home of training programs such as diesel tech, welding, industrial maintenance, construction and hospitality and culinary arts.

We also offer associate degrees designed for transfer to four-year universities. If you are interested in earning a degree, start here at LLCC. We have always worked to keep our tuition costs low, and that is even before factoring in financial aid and scholarships, which lower the cost even further.

While some students want to earn a degree or certificate, others are looking to upskill — to take a specific course to become more proficient in a certain area, perhaps in computer science, business or world languages.

If you’re not sure but know that you are ready to look at what learning and career opportunities are available, we’re here for you, too.

I encourage you to take a first step toward the future you imagine by visiting LLCC. Visiting a college campus is an exciting step in the journey to reach your educational or career goals.

LLCC will be hosting a campus open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19. It is a free event and will be held at our Springfield campus at 5250 Shepherd Road, and at our Outreach Centers in Jacksonville (32 N. Central Park Plaza), Litchfield (1 Lincoln Land Drive) and Taylorville (800 S. Spresser St.).

You can get to know us by speaking with faculty and staff, viewing exhibits, touring select areas of campus, learning about the basics of college and choosing a major, and can also apply for admission.

Registration for the event is available at www.llcc.edu/open-house or by calling 217-786-2292. Walk-ins are welcome.

Now is a great time to take the first step toward reaching your goals. Explore the opportunities by joining us at LLCC’s open house on Feb. 19. We look forward to seeing you!

Charlotte Warren is president of Lincoln Land Community College.

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