CLC experts share lessons to learn about cybersecurity 

 

As you work, learn and shop online, tune in for tips from College of Lake County’s cybersecurity experts this October. During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, CLC continues to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity online. This is one of the many services the college offers the local community to ensure Lake County has the resources it needs. 

 

“As consumers shop more online this year, keep in mind the bad things that can hide behind Black Friday offers,” said CLC director of cybersecurity Byron Sosa. As a 20-year cybersecurity professional, Sosa is experienced at protecting internet-connected devices and the vulnerable personal information at risk. “Someone is always trying to kick down the door.” 

 

Sosa is among the presenters discussing ways Lake County residents can reinforce their “virtual doors” during Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Learn the secret to conveniently developing strong and unique passwords with CLC chief information officer Greg Kozak and listen to tips about building a secure home network with a college cybersecurity engineer. All sessions are listed below: 

 

·         Oct. 7 at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. 
Being secure in a “stay at home” world 
Presented by Byron Sosa, CLC Director of Cybersecurity 

·         Oct. 14 at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. 
Getting passwords right: A simple way to achieve the nirvana of easy to use, secure, strong and unique passwords on every site 
Presented by Grey Kozak, CLC Chief Information Officer 

·         Oct. 21 at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. 
Four tips for protecting your home from cybersecurity attacks 
Presented by Przemek Wozniakowski, CLC Cybersecurity Engineer 

·         Oct. 28 at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. 
How to protect your online identify from current cybersecurity threats 
Presented by Detective Corey Kemp, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Criminal Investigations Division 

 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us to change our daily routines by requiring us to work and attend our classes from home,” said Sosa. “This shift places a greater importance on ensuring the appropriate steps are taken to protect ourselves, our families and our home devices from cybersecurity threats.” 

 

If the words compromised account, ransomware and phishing scare you, tune in for these free virtual information sessions in October. Email cybersecurity@clcillinois.edu to register for these events.  

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Free Preschool For All program available at Lakeshore Campus

The Children’s Learning Center at College of Lake County’s Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan offers free childcare starting Aug. 31 through the Preschool for All program for Lake County families who qualify. Students ages three through five engage with nine months of learning to prepare them for kindergarten.

“The Children's Learning Center Program offers high quality programming that include fun tasks, and interactive learning activities that are essential to their intellectual growth and development,” said program director Carlotta Conley. “Families can be assured that their children spend their day in a safe, structured, and supervised environment where they learn how to problem-solve, share, play, and learn together. Our program helps your child adjust to formal schooling and help develop the skills they need to succeed later in life.”

Funded by a federal grant, the Preschool for All program offers a full academic school day focused on developing a child’s social and emotional skills, self-regulation skills, physical development and the cognitive skills needed for kindergarten. Qualifying parents or guardians bring their children to the Lakeshore Campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

This program is led by certified teachers in a classroom dedicated solely to these students. Applicants must reside in Lake County, but do not have to be CLC students.

To attend an information session, call the Children’s Learning Center at (847) 543-2190 to schedule an appointment. Spots are filled as first come, first served for those who meet criteria. For more details on the program, please contact Marie Schreiber at Mschreiber1@clcillinois.edu or (847) 543-2150.

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Flexible course formats for fall includes new FlexPath scheduling 

 

College of Lake County (CLC) will be open in the fall with various flexible course formats. In accordance with Restore Illinois and college transition plans, students can take online, in-person and blended classes when the semester starts August 24, 2020.  

While many college classes will now be online in either a live class via Zoom format or online anytime, CLC will offer 8- and 16-week in-person classes. These focus on course work with unique needs such as labs or other exercises requiring specialized equipment. Additionally, the college will provide general education classes in a face-to-face format, including the new hybrid FlexPath classes.  

 

To help students who have a hard time finding classes that fit their busy lives, CLC created FlexPath. This new 8- and 16-week class schedule blends online learning with in-person classes one day per week. Utilizing smart scheduling, each class rotates across different time blocks term by term. For example, if a student is available Monday evenings, they’ll get a different course option in that time frame each 8-week period. Instead of rearranging work, family or other obligations every semester to make room for when a class happens to be available, FlexPath ensures there’s always a course ready when students are.  

 

“I believe FlexPath is going provide access to the classes our students need for degree completion and advancement in a manner that maximizes their learning while also fitting into the rest of their lives,” said communication, humanities and fine arts dean Sheldon Walcher. “The research is pretty clear: students learn best in programs that combine aspects of traditional and online instruction. With that in mind, FlexPath courses have been carefully designed to provide a rigorous, highly engaging learning experience by blending the best elements of hands-on learning with outstanding online tools and resources.” 

 

Students with in-person classes this fall should expect social distancing in the classroom will continue to keep everyone safe in the new COVID-19 reality. CLC has prepared plans to transition students back to campus with safety and social distancing in mind. Fall in-person classes and labs will commence with social distancing of at least six feet apart, face masks, extra hand sanitizer, modified work and student spaces with deep cleaning on a regular basis of classrooms, restrooms and campus spaces. 

 

To help ready campus for students to return, an interdisciplinary college taskforce created a college transition plan. The plan is a gradual phased approach to prepare CLC’s campuses for the delivery of fall classes, designed to maximize health and safety of our campus community based on public health guidance and aligns with the Restore Illinois plan. The plan is built for flexibility based on new information from the governor, Illinois Department of Health, Lake County Health Department and Illinois Community College Board. 

 

 

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College of Lake County begins limited in-person summer classes 

 

Just like change, learning never stops. College of Lake County (CLC) will be different as students return to campus starting in July. Pending the current health climate, CLC will offer a limited number of in-person 5-week classes for students who need to complete hands-on learning to continue their career program and general education requirement classes.  

 

Students should expect social distancing in the classroom will continue to keep everyone safe in the new COVID-19 reality. CLC has prepared plans to transition students back to campus with safety and social distancing in mind. Summer Boost classes will commence with social distancing of at least six feet apart, face masks, extra hand sanitizer, modified work and student spaces with deep cleaning on a regular basis of classrooms, restrooms and campus spaces. 

 

Students should also expect extra support as they continue their education. Students affected by COVID-19 can access $2.4 million of federal CARES ACT funding. Additionally, CLC and its Foundation earmarked $267,000 for the Lancers Keep Learning fund to help students who aren’t eligible for federal grants. The college also offers students many additional remove support services including mental health support and virtual tutoring and advising. 

 

To help our community, an interdisciplinary college taskforce created a plan to transition back to campus. The plan is a gradual phased approach to prepare CLC’s campuses for the delivery of the Summer Boost session. It is intentionally designed to maximize health and safety of our campus community based on public health guidance and aligns with the Restore Illinois plan. The plan may need to change based on new information from the governor, Illinois Department of Health, Lake County Health Department and Illinois Community College Board. 

 

“CLC’s priority remains to uphold the health and well-being of employees and students, while also ensuring the delivery of a high-quality education for students and a workforce pipeline for Lake County,” said CLC President Dr. Lori Suddick. “Decisions for fall semester will be guided by the Board of Trustees and the Governor’s Restore Illinois plan. It will also be informed by Illinois and Lake County health data, as well as employees.” 

 

In preparation for fall semester, CLC is planning for the ability to offer most of its courses virtually to be responsive to the pandemic as needed and has plans to offer classes in-person should the status of the Restore Illinois plan allow for this. A determination of the circumstances for delivery will be dependent on the information forthcoming on COVID-19 trends in Lake County.   

 

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Online training for contact tracing certificate begins at CLC

 

As a partner in the Lake County workforce ecosystem, College of Lake County (CLC) is providing career training to help our community contain the spread of COVID-19 as we enter new phases of the Restore Illinois plan. Certificate of Contact Tracing Proficiency (CCPT) is an online instruction course through the college’s learning partner 4Med.  

 

“Contact tracing has been identified as a crucial component to navigating, and recovering from, the COVID-19 virus,” said CLC vice president of Community and Workforce Partnerships Ali O’Brien. “In support of this effort, CLC is delivering a key workforce solution by training individuals and helping connect them to employment opportunities.” 

 

Contact tracers interview people recently diagnosed with COVID-19 and notify their close contacts of potential exposure so they can get tested and quarantined, limiting further spread of the virus. Anyone can register for the six to eight-hour self-paced online training, although it is best suited for people who are organized and effective communicators. The CCPT course covers all the guidelines and protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control in preparation for a contact tracer job. 

 

The Lake County Health Department is among two Illinois health departments selected in Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Illinois Contact Tracing Collaborative, a locally-driven approach to scale up contact tracing in Illinois. The Lake County Health Department is now hiring COVID-19 Case Investigators. These jobs are funded by federal CARES money and hourly pay will be determined in accordance with salary rates in Lake County. 

 

The CCPT certificate is a $49 investment and you can apply the code CLC20 to receive a 20 percent discount. Enroll online today

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Small business help continues as new recovery task force forms

 

Lake County small business owners continue to navigate through these challenging economic times. College of Lake County’s Small Business Development & International Trade Center (SBDC/ITC) has the resources and support they need. Manager Mitch Bienvenue and the SBDC/ITC staff offer assistance to guide through the ever-changing aid and relief packages available to businesses impacted by COVID-19 outbreak.

 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently provided guidance on how to apply for forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The SBDC/ITC is developing a webinar to explain the steps small business owners will need to take. According to Bienvenue, “Technically 100 percent of the PPP loan can be forgiven if 75 percent of loan proceeds are used for payroll and payroll related expenses.”

 

Access to additional funding and recovery resources will remain available until the economy rebounds. This is being addressed by a newly formed Lake County COVID-19 Recovery Committee; Bienvenue is chairing a subcommittee to address the unique needs of Lake County businesses and economic development. Key Lake County industry representatives, government officials as well as Lake County Partners and the Workforce Development Department will collaborate on this task force.

 

Small business owners should email or call (847) 543-2033 the SBDC/ITC for one-on-one assistance and for answers to questions on the many resources that are available.

 

The Illinois SBDC International Trade Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and the College of Lake County.

 

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$5M CARES Act increases student emergency grants

 

College of Lake County (CLC) was awarded more than $4.9 million in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed March 27. Emergency cash grants are now available to CLC students whose lives have been affected by the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 in support of continuing their educational goals.

 

As required by the act, at least half the monies go directly to CLC students in the form of emergency cash assistance grants up to $1,500 to pay for housing, food, course materials, technology, health care and childcare. The remaining portion will pay for the college’s added expenses that resulted from the COVID-19 impact, such as the remote increasing demand for cybersecurity, training, cleaning and delivery of instruction.

 

“We appreciate the support of our legislators and government to provide resources for those impacted, and to help them continue toward their goal of earning a degree or certificate,” said CLC President Dr. Lori Suddick. “This will greatly expand the reach of our initial Lancers Keep Learning funds, helping the students with financial assistance and resources to cover critical basic needs, such as food, utility bills including rent and cell phone bills and technology costs and tools to continue to learn from home.”

 

The college and CLC Foundation established an initial $267,500 fund for immediate availability. For details, visit www.clcillinois.edu/lancerskeeplearningfund. These funds include a $50,000 gift from the Julian Grace Foundation for emergency needs and $25,000 from the John and Kathleen Schreiber Foundation for undocumented students.

 

“The emergency aid from CLC reduced the stress that my family is going through during this crisis,” said student Miz Hernandez. “Not everyone was lucky enough to receive the $1,200 stimulus check that excludes undocumented immigrants like myself. I'm thankful for the college’s help during these harsh times.”

 

The roughly $2 trillion CARES Act, designed to support industries affected by COVID-19, includes $14 billion in emergency higher education relief. The funding for colleges and universities is administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

 

 

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CLC spring commencement ceremony postponed until December 2020 

 

To help stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, College of Lake County has taken student feedback into consideration and will postpone the traditional Spring Semester commencement ceremony in the Physical Education Center until December 2020. 

 

The ceremony, originally scheduled to take place in person on Saturday, May 16 at the Grayslake Campus’ Physical Education Center, was postponed based on a survey of students, said Jennifer Maller, CLC registrar. “Of the students who have petitioned to graduate, about three times as many preferred a delayed, in-person ceremony to a ceremony conducted virtually,” she said. 

 

CLC President Dr. Lori Suddick said, “When planning commencement or any event, the college’s top priority is the health and safety of our students, their families and all stakeholders. At the same time, we understand our students’ desire to have a meaningful commencement ceremony, with family and loved ones present in person to show their support. Commencement, more than anything else, recognizes the students’ hard work and the college’s commitment to student success.” 

 

Holding the ceremony in December provides an opportunity for those graduates who have already transferred to be home and participate in ceremonies, as well as an opportunity to engage summer and fall 2020 graduates, Maller noted. “There are many details to work through with this option, and more decisions will be made in the coming weeks,” Maller said. “We at CLC want the December commencement celebration to be as amazing as our students. They have been extremely flexible and hardworking throughout the COVID-19 precautions.” 

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$140K Lancers Keep Learning Fund aids students during COVID-19
 

To help students economically impacted by COVID-19, the College of Lake County and its Foundation allocated $140,000 for special emergency relief. The Lancers Keep Learning Fund was established with donated money through the Foundation and matched by the college. These funds are immediately available to students who need help paying for college classes, rent, bills, food and other needs.  

 

“CLC and the Foundation are working diligently to make access to scholarships and emergency resources available to our most vulnerable students impacted by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Kurt Peterson, executive director of the CLC Foundation. “Like millions of Americans, our students are worried about their financial security.”  

 

Funds are quickly being dispersed to students who experience hardship as a result of the recent pandemic, stay at home order and alternative delivery model transition. Many have lost their jobs and are having a hard time managing schoolwork with new household realities like homeschooling and childcare. The Lancers Keep Learning Fund helps them face these direct threats so they can continue their education. 

 

“We are deeply committed to meeting student needs through support, guidance and emergency funding,” said Peterson. “We will remain focused on immediate needs while keeping an eye on long-term scholarships for students.” 

 

The college also offers students many additional remote support services such as mental health support and virtual tutoring and advising. Students can apply for a scholarship, grant and other emergency resources online.  

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March 16, 2020 

 

UPDATED: Campus closes, college continues classes with alternative delivery  

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, College of Lake County recently modified the alternative delivery plan with additional precautions. Effective March 17, CLC campuses are closed to students, community members and non-essential employee functions. Select employees will conduct the essential work needed to continue college business on campus.  

 

“While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the college, we've taken these actions to uphold our part in the public health responsibility of containing and slowing the spread of the virus,” CLC President Dr. Lori Suddick said. “Protecting the well-being of our students, employees and communities while ensuring high-quality learning is our priority.” 

 

Faculty members are preparing for instruction in alternative learning formats this week. While alternative delivery for students will continue as originally planned, all in-person labs and other exceptions are no longer allowed on campus. Additionally, all healthcare clinical sites are suspended until further notice. While college campuses will remain closed through April 12, 2020, core operations and learning will continue.  

 

To maintain access and success for students, the college has shifted to virtual support services including tutoring, advising and counseling to minimize the risk of transmission.  

 

“I encourage everyone to be flexible as we make these transitions in support of students and our faculty,” Suddick added. “I am confident we can navigate emerging issues together in ways that can achieve the best outcomes for learning.”   

 

CLC will continue to monitor COVID-19 updates from the CDC, Illinois Department of Health and Lake County Health Department as the college navigates the best way serve its community and progress learning in the ongoing circumstances.   

 

Visit www.clcillinois.edu/coronavirus for more information. 

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