When Braydon Dobos, the youngest of three siblings, enrolled in College Credit Plus courses at Lorain County Community College during his junior year at Oberlin High School, he was simply “following suit.” Both his older siblings, Megan, 20, and Cameron, 25, took College Credit Plus classes during high school, earning 58 and 69 credits respectively.
Braydon, 17 and now a high school senior, is in stride with his siblings, having already earned 42 college credits. Altogether, the program has saved the family thousands in college tuition.
“Supporting our kids taking College Credit Plus classes was a critical step toward making their bachelor’s degrees more affordable later on,” says their mother, Amanda Dobos.
The financial benefit of taking College Credit Plus courses is undeniable, but for these siblings, it was just the beginning. Each has used their first LCCC introduction to make lasting career connections.
“We love the collaboration LCCC has with local employers,” says their father, Ed Dobos. “Our kids have been educated in skills that have a direct, positive impact on them and our community.”
A snapshot in time today shows just how well LCCC has prepared each student for their future, no matter what it holds.
High school senior with a post-grad plan
Braydon’s siblings say he’s the most mechanically minded of the three. As children, his LEGO® creations took first place in the family.
“He would be making fully constructed battleships,” Cameron recalls. “I’d been so happy with my little creation, but then I’d look over at his and think, oh, he knows what he’s doing.”
That mechanical mind, coupled with career exploration through LCCC’s College Tech Prep, led Braydon to an early post-graduation plan. In fall, he plans to enroll in LCCC’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Microelectronic Manufacturing (MEMS) program. The pathway, which is an industry-tailored, hands-on program with core content in Printed Circuit Boards, is the perfect fit.
“I like that it’s precision work; it’s mechanically centered,” he says. “And as soon as I learned I could earn my bachelor of applied science in the program, I knew it was something worth checking out.”
Because of College Credit Plus, Braydon has done more than check out the program – he’s got a solid head start.
“I’m taking technical problem solving and electrical circuits on campus, while also taking some online classes,” Braydon says.
Braydon added that he’s already preparing his MEMS-focused resume. Not because he needs it to get into degree program, but because he’ll put his classroom and lab lessons into practice with the program’s required work-based learning credit.
Luckily, his sister Megan knows all about work-based learning.
University Partnership student with opportunities knocking
In the Dobos family, Megan is known for trying lots of new things, and excelling at just about everything she tries.
“She played tennis and basketball, and ran cross-country,” Braydon says. “She would try everything to find out what she enjoys doing.”
So, when Megan needed to apply her aptitude for experimentation to work-based learning, she was prepared. With the help of a STEM-focused Choose Ohio First Scholarship, Megan enrolled in The University of Toledo’s Computer Science and Engineering program through LCCC’s University Partnership. Like so many LCCC career Pathways, the rigorous engineering program requires at least one year of work-based learning. Megan recently began her second internship, this one with the NASA Glenn Research Center, where she’s working on two research projects. One is focused on regenerative fuel cells and the other on time-triggered Ethernet.
“I’m definitely learning a lot every day,” Megan says.
Beyond the day-to-day learning, Megan is getting a better sense of what she’d like to do after graduation. While she’s not sure where she’ll land, Megan’s mentor has some ideas.
“My mentor is encouraging me to consider NASA as a career,” she says. “We’ll see how it goes.”
Megan, who expects to graduate in spring 2024, has time to mull over her options. And she learned from her older brother Cameron that it’s never too late to pivot.
Multi-degree graduate making an IT impact
Among his siblings, Cameron is the best with computers; if only he’d known he didn’t like programming them. He’s a 2020 University Partnership graduate, earning a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering from The University of Toledo.
But about halfway into the program, Cameron decided against a career in programming. Instead of switching majors, he added an associate of applied science degree in computer maintenance and networking to the two associate degrees he had earned through his College Credit Plus coursework.
“The University Partnership is so flexible and convenient that I was able to get my associate degree while taking part-time Toledo classes,” Cameron recalls.
He did all this while confirming his pivot through the required work-based learning.
“I found more enjoyment fixing things that already existed, rather than creating my own things,” Cameron says.
Three months after graduation, Cameron landed a full-time job continuing to do what he learned he loved. He’s now an information technology support analyst with Avient Corporation, a sustainable material solutions company headquartered in Avon.
As his younger siblings follow in stride, earning high-quality degrees that prepare them for in-demand jobs, Cameron knows all three have made the right higher education choice.
“We were interested in gaining learning experiences and skillsets for the careers that we wanted,” Cameron says. “We came to LCCC, and we found opportunities we wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise.”