Ohio Community College Grads Find Further Success at WGU

Craig Baranovic
Graduate, Cuyahoga Community College
WGU student, M.S. Information Technology Management

“I really thought my days pursuing a post-graduate degree were over. The moral of the story is: You are never too old to learn, and never too old to continue your education.”

Craig Baranovic My story begins in 1972, when I was 18. My dad passed away suddenly of a heart attack. I was enrolled at Case Western Reserve University, but being the oldest son and now having to help raise two brothers, support my widowed mom, and my 78-year-old grandmother, I had to drop out of school and go to work.

In 1973 I started at Cuyahoga Community College (also known as Tri-C). But again, life got in the way, and I had to drop out and contribute to the finances of my family. I went back to Tri-C in 1987, but still did not finish—I started my own IT training and consulting business in 1989 and that business required my full attention.

When my oldest son graduated from Tri-C, I decided it was time for me to do the same. I graduated from Cuyahoga Community College with an associate’s degree in humanities. In 2010 I returned to school and earned my B.S. in organizational management from Remington College online. I was 60 years old.

I currently work at Tri-C as a full-time IT lecturer. Last year, at the age of 64, I enrolled at WGU and I will complete my master's in IT administration this year. I am a senior student. I really thought my days pursuing a post-graduate degree were over.

I chose WGU because it was recommended to me by the dean that I work for at Tri-C. The online format was something that I had success with at Remington College while I pursued my B.S., and it was really affordable. If someone is considering going back to school, I would tell them do not make a decision until you talk to someone at WGU. WGU is a great opportunity to receive a quality education at an affordable price. Their accreditation is what you will need to move forward in your professional career or further educational pursuits.

WGU fits into my busy life as a father, grandfather, employee, spouse, educator, and student. It works for me because of the flexibility of the schedule, my incredible Student Mentor, and the Course Mentors I have had the pleasure of working with. The experience at WGU is unique because even though you are online and never go to the school, you feel it is right around the corner from home.

When I graduate, I can pursue a permanent full-time tenure track position and online teaching positions. It also means that I will continue to be able to do what makes me happy—teaching other people.

All of my post–high school degrees will be earned after I turned 50. I could not have done it without the support of my family, especially my wife Joanne. The moral is of the story is: You are never too old to learn and never too old to continue your education.

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