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Student Story

Cassandra Costantini
2008 Graduate; Degrees in General Education Transfer & Social Science

"The professors, the students, and the collaborative community were what brought me to and kept me at Folsom Lake College."

Cassandra Costantini

When did you start taking classes with Folsom Lake College (FLC)?

I began taking classes at Folsom Lake College in 2003 when I was in middle school. I also took classes throughout high school, which enabled me to graduate from high school a year and a half early. I then went to FLC as a full-time student in 2007 and received my AA in Social Sciences & General Education in 2008. This allowed me to then transfer to UCLA as a Communication Studies major.

What was your major?

I did not have a specific major, but my interests from the courses were in law, writing, and business.

Why did you choose FLC?

I chose FLC by default because it was close to where I lived, but it could not have been a better fit. FLC gave me the opportunity and supported me in taking college classes at such a young age. Being in a college environment was, on its own, nerve-wrecking, but everyone was supportive and made the transition smoother than I had expected. The professors, the students, and the collaborative community were what brought me to and kept me at Folsom Lake College. It was, by far, the best decision for me.

What was the best part of your experience with FLC?

The absolute best part of my experience with FLC was the connectedness I felt to the FLC campus and with the other students. I was involved in a few clubs, including Phi Theta Kappa and SIFE, which really allowed me to feel like a part of the campus. Through my involvement on campus, I gained many lifelong friends and had memorable, hands-on experiences not feasible on a larger college campus.

What are you particularly proud of that you accomplished with FLC?

I am proud that I fully embraced the entire experience FLC had to offer and became immersed in the many opportunities that were made available. It would have been a lot easier to go to classes and leave, but I would not have gained nearly as much from my time at FLC otherwise.

How do you feel Folsom Lake College helped prepare you for the future?

Community college, in general, has a bad reputation of being an extended form of high school, but the experience at FLC opposes these preconceived notions. I would not have been nearly as successful at UCLA if I had not got the individualized, one-on-one help from the professors in order to take my academic skills and specifically my writing to the next level. The professors really had high expectations of the students and it really motivated me to do my best. Without this transition, I do not think I would have the confidence to write the endless research papers required in graduate school. FLC established my foundation in order to grow into an academically successful student wherever I have gone to school.

What are you doing now?

I am currently a graduate student at Sacramento State in the Communication Studies department. I currently teach two Intro to Public Speaking classes, while also finishing my coursework. I plan to graduate in Fall 2012 with a Master's in Communication Studies. I also interned at the local public television station, KVIE, recently working in the Education Outreach Services department. I have presented research papers on a wide range of topics in New Orleans and New Mexico at conferences. In addition, I am in the process of publishing a research paper, written in collaboration, to an academic Communication Studies journal.

What are your plans for the future?

Once I have completed my Master's, I am hoping to teach a variety of Communication Studies courses at a community college. I would LOVE to come back to Folsom Lake College; it has an amazing environment. I would come full circle! Also, I remember only taking Public Speaking while at FLC, but I would love to expand the curriculum available to students in this area. Communication studies provides such essential knowledge that can be applied to everyday life and relationships. I love the opportunities that teaching opens up and I would love to contribute outside the classroom involved in clubs, the sites where I flourished the most when I was in community college.

Cassandra Costantini
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