Mathurin Feels Right at Home in CSCC's Advance Program

Mathurin Feels Right at Home in CSCC's Advance Program

Holly Vincent
Friday, March 23, 2018 12:00 AM
Students, Academics

For Cleveland State graduate Liz Mathurin, Cleveland was many miles away from her hometown in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, but she felt right at home in CSCC’s Advance Business program.

Advance Business is the college’s accelerated program that offers students a quick and convenient way to obtain a college degree. This option is suitable for highly motivated and mature adults that are seeking an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Business with a Business emphasis. Many business students obtain their A.A.S. in 15-18 months at Cleveland State and a bachelor’s degree in two additional years at a selected four-year college or university.

“I really enjoyed the program and only had to go one night a week,” stated Mathurin. “I had such great classmates and instructors. Coming from so far away, I feel they were all very understanding of my deficiencies. They were patient and kind, very nice people…I had such a good experience.”

 According to Candice Patterson, Assistant Professor/ Co-Director of the Advance Business Program, the majority of Advance students are working adults and really thrive in this program because they are enrolled with their peers, those with similar responsibilities and obstacles. “Since students go through all of their classes as a group, they form really strong bonds and connections. At times, we have even seen these connections lead to job opportunities and / or job advancement.”

 The schedule was so accommodating that Mathurin was able to work and go to school. During three of her semesters at CSCC, Mathurin had an internship in the CougarTech Repair Center on campus. The CougarTech Repair Center is a free call-in support center offering free assistance to the local community with a wide range of technical issues including PC repair, virus removal, software and App problems and email support. Mathurin handled all of the accounting, answered the phones, ordered supplies, greeted customers, and took inventory for the shop.

 “Although the work load is heavy, it is only one night a week, which gives you a lot of flexibility to try to manage your time at work and still get your school assignments done.”

One proud moment for Mathurin happened this past December when her three children were able to see her graduate from Cleveland State.

“They were excited to see me graduate,” stated Mathurin. “That felt really good, especially since I kept pushing it (going back to school) for so long.”

Her ultimate goal is to receive her Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Management and return to the Virgin Islands to serve her community in the healthcare system there. She is currently enrolled at Tennessee Wesleyan where she is majoring in Business Management with an emphasis in healthcare management. She plans to graduate in May of 2019.

Mathurin stated, “I would do the Advance program all over again in a heartbeat! I tell everyone to take a chance. Come to CSCC and see what the program has to offer, sit down and talk to the instructors and get feedback from people like me who have already gone through the program. Take a chance on yourself—we take a chance on everything else. Do it!”
According to Patterson, the common factor for all Advance students is the relentless pursuit of a degree and the willingness to do what it takes to be successful. The benefits of the Advance Business program include attending class one night a week, completing the degree in a fast-paced format and working with the same group of students throughout the program. In a recent survey conducted of 2017 Advance students, 46 percent said that during the program, they had received a raise or promotion, which 62.5 percent anticipated receiving further incentives upon graduation.
            Cleveland State will also be offering the Cleveland State Reconnect Scholarship, a scholarship for adults to earn an associate degree or technical certificate, tuition-free. In addition, CSCC has recently added many new and convenient scheduling options that are specifically designed for adult students, such as evening, weekend and online classes, as well as block scheduling.
            For more information on the Advance program, visit the CSCC website at or call (423) 473-6224 for the main campus or (423) 745-8486 for the Athens Center. For more information on the Cleveland State Reconnect, contact Natalia Williams at (423) 478-6217 or email her at



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