Student found Stark State accessible, affordable and transferable

Patrick SmarandaStark State has seemed as comfortable as a second home, Patrick Smaranda says, one that’s given him a solid foundation for moving on for a bachelor’s degree.

Born in Romania and adopted at age 2, Patrick graduated from Jackson High in 2007. Although recruited to play volleyball at a Division III school, he chose Stark State instead.

No matter his major, Smaranda found Stark State a good fit. “First of all, it was affordable,” he said. “And it was really easy to register for classes, which made the transition from high school easy. Plus, the location so close to home was great.”

Initially he was eyeing Stark State’s physical therapy assisting program, but changed direction to avoid a wait list. He held jobs in the restaurant industry during school, then after graduating in 2010 with an associate degree in business management, he worked three years in telecommunications. While working full time, he took a few more SSC classes before deciding to give the PTA program another shot.

Although he ultimately decided it wasn’t the career for him, many of his Stark State classes transferred easily to an online baccalaureate program which he plans to finish in just 18 months. After earning a degree in business administration he’s eyeing a master’s degree for a career in human resources.

“That’s the kind of love I get from Stark State,” he said. “It’s always an easy transition, even if you’re not sure what you want to do. If there’s one word for Stark State, it’s flexible.”