CSC Learning Center Open House August 16

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Carl Sandburg College Learning Center will host an open house from 3-6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 16, at the new Learning Center located at Sandburg Mall, 1150 W Carl Sandburg Drive, Galesburg. The open house is designed to familiarize Learning Center students with the new facility. The Learning Center recently moved from the College’s Main Campus to the former Educational Technology Center host facility at Sandburg Mall. The open house will include tours, refreshments, and a meet and greet with instructors.

Tobi Dickerson plans to attend the event. The 48-year old Galesburg native is making her third attempt at earning a GED. “It’s time – I set a goal for myself,” said Dickerson. “I was on drugs for over 20 years but I’ve found a good man that has helped me get off the drugs; I’m involved in church and my family and friends have been so supportive, and I’ve turned things around. I’m open about it – people out there may read this and I hope it inspires them. I’m going through with this – I’m not stopping until I get it this time.”

Her attempts to earn a GED in 2004 and 2008 were short-lived, each lasting a couple days before she would talk herself out of it. “I thought I was too old,” said Dickerson. “But my sister reminded me as long as you have your family and your kids behind you 100 percent, you shouldn’t worry about what anyone else says.” She has a large support system, including her fiancé, four sisters, two sons, and three grandchildren – with a fourth one on the way.

An extension of her support system includes her instructors. “The teachers here are wonderful,” said Dickerson. “When I started back at Carl Sandburg College, it was like a family – they welcomed me with open arms. If you need one-on-one support, they will help you, one-on-one. I was scared coming in here at the age I am, but I learned there are others my age. You can talk to the instructors and confide in them – I’m comfortable with them.”

She is excited about the upcoming eight weeks and then her opportunity to take the exam. “People tell me a wonderful feeling comes over you when you earn it. I would encourage anybody that doesn’t have it to go and get it.”

Dickerson recognizes the importance of having a diploma. “You can’t do anything without it – even when looking through a newspaper or going to the unemployment office, if you don’t have that diploma or a GED…” and shakes her head. Upon earning her GED, her goal is to work with mentally challenged children.

As far as the move from the Main Campus to Sandburg Mall, Dickerson is supportive of it. Currently residing in Wataga, she said the move saves her time and gas by coming to Sandburg Mall instead of driving to the campus. And with a laugh, she adds “and who doesn’t want to go to school and then go shopping.”