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joey england standing with kelly petrosino at graduation
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The Perfect Fit – Joseph England’s DragonNext Story

Like many who participate in the DragonNext dual enrollment program through Tiffin University and Terra State Community College, Joseph (Joey) England knew his schedule wouldn’t allow him to take on too much at one time. Already working an average of 65 hours a week, attending college the traditional way was out of the question. While Joey wanted to prioritize his education, he felt stuck, as if he couldn’t choose one without sacrificing the other.

Luckily, he didn’t have to. Thanks to Kelly Petrosino, TU’s Manager of the Northwest Ohio Academic Centers, Joey learned about the hybrid associate-to-bachelor’s degree track offered through the two schools. Immediately taken by the freedom this would afford him, Joey jumped at the chance to enroll.

“I decided to enroll in DragonNext because of its flexibility,” Joey explained. “Attending classes only once a week allowed me to work multiple jobs while still earning my education. It was a much better fit because I was only taking two classes every six weeks, and this model allowed me to move through the coursework at an accelerated pace.”

Joey began his time at Terra in 2019, and notes how seamless the transition was, especially with Kelly’s help.

“She was able to grant me early admittance and met with me frequently to make sure I was taking the right classes as a transfer student,” he said. “Kelly quickly became my biggest mentor, and I always appreciated her honesty. Though she did say I could enroll early, it would require me to take additional courses in order to graduate in 2021 as I’d hoped. She was upfront about how much work it would be, but motivated me often. Her encouragement is a big part of why I was able to complete the program within my preferred time frame.”

According to Joey, his personal favorite aspect of the program was its hybrid design.

“I quickly realized how much I enjoyed not having my classes drag on over 15 weeks like they do with traditional semesters. I felt I was getting the most out of my investment in the most efficient way possible, and without having to give anything up. The online format, coupled with once-per-week meetings in person helped me balance the other important parts of my life with schoolwork.”

Joey graduated from TU through DragonNext in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and is grateful to both schools for doing an outstanding job in preparing him to meet the demands of his field.

“I’ve recently started a job with Sodexo as a retail manager on their national team. The position requires me to travel nonstop, so I’m grateful to my professors and mentors for teaching me how to effectively budget my time and juggle multiple responsibilities,” he said. “The program helped me immensely. Each of my professors had extensive experience with and knowledge of the business world, and was able to transfer their wisdom to me in an engaging and useful way.”

For more information about the DragonNext program, visit tiffin.edu/admissions/transfer-students/dragonnext.