Randy Cheng’s family always told him he had an engineering mindset. So, at 23, when he left a four-year university after a pathway toward pre-dentistry didn’t work out, he decided to take his family’s insights seriously.

Cheng enrolled in The University of Toledo’s Computer Science and Engineering program through Lorain County Community College’s University Partnership. Beyond affordability, the North Ridgeville High School graduate, who had taken several College Credit Plus courses at LCCC, knew he would get a quality education.

“I chose LCCC and UP because it had a great reputation for the Computer Science and Engineering program,” Cheng says. “And a high rating for the professors who taught the classes.”

While Cheng says the transition from high school to four-year university was rough, he had a completely different experience at LCCC and in the CSE program. Adrienne Aguilar, associate director of the program, noticed a change in his demeanor, which helped lead Cheng to academic success.

“Randy definitely found the right major,” Aguilar says. “And I think that being back home, having the support of his family and the close-knit environment that the CSE University Partnership offers, he was able to thrive.”

Cheng didn’t just thrive in the classroom. He landed co-op opportunities at Green Circle Growers in Oberlin and, after graduating in May 2022 with his Bachelor of Science degree, was offered a full-time position as a System Integration Analyst. He’s now helping transmit files to and from the business and its vendors. Cheng has long-term goals with the company.

“As technology continues to evolve, I plan to keep up with the ever-growing world of computer science and programming,” Cheng says. “I am hoping to transition into a software development role.”

It turns out Aguilar was right about the positive impact family has had on Cheng’s academic accomplishments. And that idea of family has extended to include an academic one at LCCC.

“I would have to attribute most of my educational success to my supportive family and the supportive staff at LCCC and the University Partnership,” Cheng says.