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corrina hanyes standing with kelley petresino on graduation day

The Non-Traditionalist – How Corrina Haynes Explored the College Route Her Way

By George McCarthy

Attending any university as a full-time student can be a daunting prospect, and for many, this path isn’t always the best way to achieve the end-goal of graduation. For Corrina Haynes, pursuing the ‘traditional college experience’ interfered with her plans to work full-time, so the DragonNext Dual Enrollment Program was the perfect program to accommodate her lifestyle and career goals. Having worked between 50 to 60 hours a week at the time of enrollment, Corrina now stresses her gratitude to the affordability and flexibility of the DragonNext Program, which enabled her to attain her bachelor’s degree. She even graduated Summa Cum Laude. The DragonNext Program, an initiative between Terra State Community College and Tiffin University affords capable future professionals who declined the route of a traditional college education a useful alternative.

After taking some classes at Terra State Community College while in high school, Corrina embarked on her college journey in the fall of 2016 before finding herself unable to decide on a major. Ultimately, she decided to take a break from school for a semester. Corrina enrolled in the TU DragonNext Program three years later in 2019 and now credits the advisors who helped her navigate a range of complex processes from transferring credits to financial aid.

Corrina majored in Marketing at Terra State Community College, and was able to transfer said credits toward the completion of a BBA in business management from Tiffin University. All of this was made possible by the DragonNext Program. These qualifications, alongside having the experience of working a full-time job in-between have since helped Corrina in aspects of her current job as the Operations Manager for the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership – a role she earned after completing an internship while being in the DragonNext Program. The balance of work and student life furthered Corrina’s cultivation of critical leadership skills within a professional setting.

“I could not have had a better support system,” was the high praise Corrina had for Kelly Petrosino and the rest of her advisors as the process of being a DragonNext student progressed. Corrina quickly realized the quality of resources that were made accessible to those in the program, as Kelly Petrosino, Manager of the Northwest Academic Centers, was Corrina’s primary point of contact.

One of the program’s greatest strengths? It cares about the DragonNext students. Corrina acknowledges the commitment of the staff and advisors that provide advisees with educational and professional support, citing their acknowledgment of each student’s situation. The road to success is subjective, and the advisors that are made available to students are fully aware of and understand each student’s lifestyle and personal situations, working to fit coursework around each student’s schedule. Another strength identified by Corrina that made the DragonNext Program so comfortable and convenient — seamlessly adding the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree into the already hectic daily schedule of working full-time and maintaining a family and social life.

Damon Linder and Owen Fritz were two of the professors Corrina worked with to achieve the goal of her DragonNext journey, and she cites them as two integral resources accredited to helping her through the experience. 

“They constantly offer you support and boost your confidence to help you strive for constant success and can help point you in the right direction once they understand a student’s abilities and skillsets.”

The commitment and dedication shown by Corrina to successfully navigate the DragonNext Dual Enrollment Program brilliantly embodies the principles of our Dragon Community, and we are incredibly proud of what she has and will continue to accomplish. Despite taking a route that many others would have veered from, it is our honor for Corrina to sit on our deep and diverse list of alumni and celebrate and share her success story. We can’t wait to keep track of Corrina’s professional endeavors as she puts her DragonNext experience to good use.