When Eric Laskowski completed his bachelor’s degree, he knew he wanted to come back to St. Clair County Community College, but in a much different role.
“I enjoyed being a student at the college and when I saw there was an opportunity for an adjunct position I figured I would apply for it because it would be my opportunity to give back to the college that gave me my start,” he said.
In addition to teaching computer information systems at SC4, Laskowski, of Riley Township, works for Schwab Industries as an IT Manager where he spends his day doing various tasks, ranging from network administration to fixing a broken mouse.
Laskowski knew he was going to pursue a degree involving computers when he graduated from Memphis High School, and said he started classes at SC4 in 2002 because it was the closest and the most cost effective school in the area.
In the three years he was at the college, Laskowski earned both a computer information systems applications degree and the computer information systems networking degree.
“I chose these degrees because I thought they would offer me the most flexibility in the IT industry,” he said. “I ended up only having to take one more semester worth of classes to finish up both degrees at the same time because the classes were in alignment.”
The computer classes at SC4 offered Laskowski hands on training, which he feels greatly prepared him for work at the next level.
“We got to experience doing things first hand and not just reading a book,” he said “It’s a credit to the instructors, they have extensive knowledge of what they are teaching and I have to attribute a lot of the knowledge I gained from them.”
Laskowski credits computer information systems instructor Carol DesJardins in particular with helping him achieve his academic goals at SC4.
“I had so many of her classes and she offered a lot of her knowledge to me because she knew I was a student who cared,” he said. “We built a strong student/teacher relationship; where she knew she could help point me in the right direction and I would be receptive.”
Laskowski is now in a position to make a similar impact on students in his CIS 115 Microcomputer Applications class where he teaches students how to use programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
“I enjoy it immensely because I have the ability to give students a perspective on what the industry is like,” he said. “I teach the common uses for programs and I can bring in real-life examples and give them the opportunity to see where and how they will use these programs.”
Laskowski is also active in SC4’s Symphonic Band which he joined while in high school, nearly 15 years ago.
What is Laskowski’s advice to students?
“Keep moving forward and don’t give up,” he said. “Don’t let other things get in the way of your education. There is plenty of help available at SC4 for any student who needs it; be it help with classes, tutoring or the financial assistance side of things. With how important it is to get a degree, it’s important to keep moving forward regardless of what bumps you hit.”