Bill Pate is advancing his career as a successful network engineer thanks to Lorain County Community College’s University Partnership. Pate earned his bachelor’s degree in technical applied studies from Ohio University through the program that allows students to work toward a four-year degree while taking classes at LCCC.
Pate had been working as a network engineer for more than ten years before starting the program, but had always wanted to earn his degree. He credits the value of the unique program, as well as the convenience of online coursework, to his academic success.
The cost of taking classes at LCCC and Ohio University was very affordable, Pate said. The classes also worked with his schedule. “I am really glad I found this program because I was really discouraged at how difficult working full-time and going to school was” at another college.
“Both schools made it very easy to complete my coursework online,” Pate said. “Due to my line of work it can be very difficult to stay on a brick and mortar school schedule.” Ultimately, he was happy to finish his bachelor’s degree from an accredited university without the restrictions of a physical classroom.
After experience studying online and in college campus courses, Pate said online classes require the same amount of hard work and students will get just as much knowledge from the classes.
Pate said skills such as statistics, marketing, management and technical applied studies helped him prepare for his new job in networking engineering. Being in the program also majorly inspired him to start his real estate business in 2010. Today he has seven rental properties.
Pate works full-time as a network engineer at OEConnection, an online original equipment replacement parts solution company in Richfield. “Eventually I would like to teach information technology at the community college level and once I complete my graduate degree this should be possible,” Pate said.
Pate, 42, lives in North Ridgeville and completed the UP program in 2012.
LCCC is the first community college in Ohio to have a University Partnership program. Students can select from over 50 different associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees offered by leading universities. On-campus university partners provide the faculty and curriculum for all University Partnership courses. Degrees cover a wide range of specialties, including business administration, biology, computer science and engineering, nursing, public health, education and more.
Classes are held in the LCCC University Center building, a facility designed specifically for students enrolled in University Partnership degree programs. Some courses are also held at the University Partnership Ridge Campus in North Ridgeville.
For more information about the University Partnership at LCCC, visit www.lorainccc.edu/up.