Westlake's Alex Pavlo earns degree from Tri-C after detour in Tennessee

Alex Pavlo

A year in Tennessee brought Alex Pavlo home to find academic success at Cuyahoga Community College.

The Westlake resident will receive an associate degree in business marketing at Tri-C’s Fall Commencement. She will be among 1,500 graduating students in line for degrees and certificates.

“Tri-C has affected my life in such a positive way,” said Pavlo, 20. “Looking back from when I first enrolled, I have matured as a student and as an adult. I have a better grasp of who I want to be and what I want to do.”

Her path to self-discovery took a detour through the University of Tennessee, where she enrolled after graduating from Westlake High School. The school didn’t seem like the right fit, though, and she remained undecided about a career path. She returned to Northeast Ohio and enrolled at Tri-C as a reverse-transfer student to figure things out. A friend recommended the College to her as a way to explore her interests.

“I took a lot of classes [at Tri-C] that would not only transfer to another university, but classes that ranged from all different areas of study,” Pavlo said. “I took that opportunity to take different classes as a means to uncover things I liked and rule out the ones I didn’t.”

Pavlo’s “a-ha” moment at Tri-C came in a class that introduced her to business marketing, which became her focus of study. She’ll receive her associate degree during the College’s commencement on Thursday, Dec. 17.

The route that led Pavlo to Tri-C is not an unusual one. A report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center showed that nearly 15 percent of students attending four-year schools transferred to a community college at some point in their studies.

“At Tri-C, I finally recognized what truly interested me and how I could apply those interests to a career,” Pavlo said. “The College gave me a place to lay everything out on the table, organize my thoughts and options and make a plan for myself.”

That plan now includes a transfer to the University of Cincinnati in spring 2016, where she’ll pursue a bachelor’s degree in business marketing.

John Horton

Media relations manager at Cuyahoga Community College

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:43 AM, 12.15.2015