Alumni in Action: CCA Alumni Says It’s Never Too Late To Go Back To School

Alumni in Action: Maria Sparks

Maria Sparks calls her time at CCA “Amazing.” She used what she learned to help guide her to a new career path, and now she plans to keep on going. She now encourages other students to do the same, saying it’s never too late to go back to college.

Video by: CCA Dept. of Strategic Communications



If you’ve ever wondered when might be the perfect time to go back to school, Maria Sparks says the time is now! 

Sparks is a Community College of Aurora alumna, who is planning on attending CCA once again to take her career even further. 

She is no stranger to the impact community college can have on one’s career and life. Before enrolling at CCA to study IT, she already had her master’s degree and a career working in administration. After a five year stint abroad in Europe with her husband, she came back to the United States, and realized she wanted to move in a new direction. 

Sparks decided CCA was the best place to make that happen, saying “When I saw my grandson going through everything so easily, and I said ‘Oh, I am too far back,’ I needed to come back up to speed, so I decided to go to school for that.”

Sparks says a career in IT is just what she needed to to make a difference, and CCA was the place to make it happen. With its vast resources, helpful staff, welcoming community and high quality classes, she recalls CCA’s helpful environment. 

“My experience going back to CCA was amazing. I had help beyond belief. The staff was fantastic. The teachers helped. I felt at home.”

With her IT background solidly in place, she is back for another round of education at CCA. This time, focusing on networking and cyber security. She has her eyes set on an internship that will take her to the next level. 


In addition to the high-level instruction she received, she credits CCA’s inclusive and welcoming community as the aspect that puts it over the top for those looking to come back and get a credential that can change their lives. 

“The feeling is that you are included, that they care about what you think, that they care about what you say, that they help you. People will be there to help you and support you. I felt supported,” she said.

Sparks’ CCA pride runs deep,and she says her experience is proof that people who want it can accomplish their goals at any age. She was even recently featured in CCA’s “Welcome Home” commercial, highlighting here positive experience, and encouraging others to pursue their own goals. 

“Any student who wants to go back to school, they should. They can change careers, they can keep their brain active. They can do anything they want,” she said, adding that for her own life, there was never a better time to go back. “Throughout my years, I always felt like ‘I can go back, I can do this.’ It’s a beautiful time for me to do it, and this is the right time. I needed to do it now.”

Click HERE to learn what programs are available at CCA that can take your career to the next level, and click HERE to enroll today!