First Gator Grads via PaCE in Spring of 2018


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – This spring, the University of Florida is proud to celebrate the graduation of the first students admitted through the PaCE program. In just three years, 10 students from the inaugural PaCE cohort have earned their bachelor’s degrees and will graduate ahead of their class a year early.

Pathway to Campus Enrollment (PaCE) launched in Fall 2015 with a cohort of 200 students. The program provides first-year students with the opportunity to earn their degree in a hybrid format. PaCE students begin their studies in UF Online and after completing 60 credits, transition to the residential campus full-time to complete their UF degree in Gainesville. In addition to taking courses offered by UF Online, the students may apply accelerated credits earned in high school and/or residential credits earned in state colleges toward the 60 credits required to transition from UF Online to the residential campus. PaCE students also have the option to remain in UF Online for the entire duration of their studies at UF. However, this first group of graduates chose the option to transition to campus after beginning their studies online.

“The PaCE program has proven to be a remarkable innovation that has allowed UF to increase access to the main campus and allows undergraduates to accelerate their progress to graduation,” says UF Provost Joseph Glover. “We congratulate this first cohort for achieving their baccalaureate degrees in record time!”

These graduates made the most of the flexibility of the PaCE program, pursuing opportunities they were only able to experience because they were taking online courses. While living in their hometowns for the first year, one graduate trained for the New York City Marathon and another spent quality time with his grandfather, who passed away his senior year. Another graduate, who moved to Gainesville for her first year, juggled responsibilities in several extracurricular organizations while studying online. All of these students also enjoyed the affordable, lower tuition and fees levied in UF Online thanks to the State of Florida investment in the program.

“We couldn’t be prouder of these Gator graduates,” says Evangeline Tsibris Cummings, Director of UF Online. “These inaugural PaCE graduates show future graduates what is truly possible. Their hard work is inspiring and their accomplishments demonstrate the value of the PaCE program and the flexibility and rich student experience it offers. Best of all, UF faculty are with them each semester, each step of the way. Congratulations, Gators!”

The following is a list of the graduates, their majors, and colleges. Read some of their stories by clicking on the graduate names.

  • Alexa Tirse, English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • V. Amber Sowell, Business Administration, Warrington College of Business
  • Spencer Thompson, Journalism, College of Journalism and Communications
  • Zachary Silver, Sociology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Ines Acosta, Digital Arts and Sciences, College of the Arts
  • Ian Tygar, History, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Alexa Trout, Public Relations, College of Journalism and Communications
  • Michael Brignola, Business Administration, Warrington College of Business
  • Sydney Spaulding, Linguistics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Grecia Peralta, Health Education and Behavior, College of Health and Human Performance

Contact: Kathy Harper, 352-294-0546, Kathy.harper@ufl.edu