Press Release
Posted April 1, 2022

By pursuing her passion for childhood education through the University Partnership, Nicole Miller inspired her three daughters to find their career aspirations at LCCC through its College Credit Plus program 
 
Nicole Miller came to Lorain County Community College at age 25 knowing exactly what she wanted to do. 

“I always wanted to be an educator,” Nicole says. “When I looked into programs in the area, it was a perfect fit to start at Lorain County Community College because of their partnership with Ashland University.”  Nicole Miller and two daughters sitting 
The Avon mother of three says LCCC’s University Partnership program, which gives students access to more than 100 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs from 14 colleges and universities, made earning her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Ashland University possible. The campus was conveniently close to home and LCCC tuition rates were affordable.  
 
“I started as a nontraditional student and LCCC was very supportive,” Nicole says. “I had young children and it fit perfectly into my lifestyle.” 
 
The University Partnership was such a good fit that a few years after earning her bachelor’s degree, Nicole went back to earn her master’s degree in speech pathology.  
 
“I was very interested in speech pathology because all of my children had needed some speech therapy when they were younger,” she says. “I was interested in researching more about it and also pursuing it as a career.” 
 
Today Nicole is a speech language pathologist at North Ridgeville City Schools, as well as an adjunct instructor at Ashland University teaching future intervention specialists in the University Partnership. 
 
“I was excited to get an opportunity to come back and teach at Ashland University so I could help foster the passion and excitement I have for teaching young children,” she says. 
 
But Nicole has done more than motivate the students in her classrooms; she has inspired her daughters to discover their own career paths at LCCC.  
 
“My daughters all chose to start at LCCC because it was close to home and they were able to start in while they were in high school,” Nicole says. “They started here and then transferred to the state universities that they went to.”  
 
All her daughters took College Credit Plus courses while attending high school. The program allows students to earn free college credits while in high school, which can be used at LCCC or transferred to another college or university. While Nicole is a staunch advocate of the University Partnership, which she says makes higher education accessible to students who are at different points in their lives, her oldest daughters both transferred to four-year universities. Her youngest plans to as well. 
 
“Lorain County Community College makes it so easy to transfer their credits right into a program to earn a bachelor’s or a master’s degree,” she says. 
 
Nicole’s oldest daughter, Alexa, transferred to Miami University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and is now an engineer at Blue Origin in Seattle. Her middle daughter, Hailey, who attended LCCC full time during both her junior and senior years of high school, transferred to the University of Cincinnati as a direct admit into their Bachelor of Science in nursing program. She’s since earned her Ph.D. in nursing from John Hopkins University and is now working on her post-doctorate studies at Duke University.  

 

And her youngest daughter, Grace, is a senior at Avon High School and will be earning her associate of science degree with a focus on mathematics from LCCC, along with her high school diploma this spring. She also enrolled at LCCC full time during her last two years of high school. And much like her mother, Grace developed a passion for educating others during her time at LCCC. At just 17 she is a supplemental instructor for a pre-calculus and calculus course and is a tutor in the math lab.  
 
“In both of these roles I help struggling students to break down and better understand the material,” Grace says. “I work with classes ranging from college algebra to higher level calculus courses.” 
 
Grace plans to attend Cleveland State University this fall and has accepted a scholarship into the university’s Honors Program. Nicole says she and Grace had heard from many people that it’s difficult for students who take advantage of CCP opportunities to earn university scholarships, but she wants to help dispel that myth. 
 
“I think it’s important that parents and students know all the advantages to taking CCP courses, including still being eligible for four-year university scholarships,” Nicole says.  
 
At CSU, Grace has her eyes on the 4+1 master’s degree program in mathematics. Then she’d like to earn her doctoral degree and eventually work as a math professor. 
 
“I was able to determine what it was that I wanted to do with my life at LCCC,” Grace says. “I realized how much I enjoyed working with students and helping them learn. This encouraged me to look into academia as a career.” 
 
Nicole agrees that LCCC has been an ideal place for all her daughters to uncover their strengths and spark their future career interests. 
 
“When I started my education, I had an idea of what I wanted to do. But my daughter’s being in high school, they didn’t have a passion yet,” Miller says. “By taking classes here, they were all able to develop a great idea of where they wanted to go with their careers.”