Many Paths: Markena’s Story

Markena Robinson ’20 first enrolled at Alverno in 2002, coming directly from high school to pursue her dream of becoming a psychologist.

For financial reasons, however, she withdrew and entered the workforce. Later, “a nagging feeling that I wanted to complete my education” led her to try online classes elsewhere. It wasn’t the right fit.

“It did not fit into my schedule,” she recalls. “I had certain times where I had to log in, certain times when I had to complete assignments, certain times when I had to log into discussion boards and participate.”

While Robinson kept working, she couldn’t shake a feeling that she wasn’t where she was supposed to be. Colleges told her it could take her two years to complete her bachelor’s degree. When she called Alverno, however, it was a different story.

“I was told about the Accelerate program and its flexibility,” she says. “Then I was told that all of my college credits would transfer, and I would be completing my degree in one semester.”

That’s just what Robinson did, starting classes in August 2020 and earning her bachelor’s degree that December. In the process, she became the first graduate of Alverno Accelerate, an innovative online program that provides a fast, convenient and affordable path to a bachelor’s degree.

“It is life-changing,” she says. “I have to continue to work. My family life is going to stay the same, so I really needed something that was going to allow me to complete my education and fit into my time. And Alverno Accelerate does that and beyond.”

What’s more, every learning unit was immediately applicable to Robinson’s personal and professional life. “It changed the way I interact with people and made me a better leader,” she says.

Rather than taking the next two years to complete her bachelor’s degree, Robinson has enrolled in Alverno’s graduate psychology program to become a licensed professional counselor.

“There’s a big stigma regarding mental health, and a lot of times people deal with it in private,” she says. “I want to help alleviate some of that stigma and help our community.”


Ready for a faster path to a bachelor’s degree? Click here to learn more about Alverno Accelerate.

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