Mandy-Kennedy graduated in 2023 through the Degree Completion Program.

Degree Completion

For Mandy Kennedy '23, enrolling in the Degree Completion Program was a 'no-brainer'


Mandy Kennedy graduated in May 2023.

Why did you enroll in the Degree Completion Program?

I had an associate degree and put my bachelor’s degree on hold 24 years ago. At the time, I was engaged to be married, was working full time and was going to school part time. I had lost my focus and my drive to complete my degree. In 2022, I was taking a class for my professional license in real estate appraisal and starting to contemplate whether I should go back to college. I was about to be an empty nester, and I had climbed about as far as I could with an associate degree. I was looking on the Bellarmine website for some information for my daughter and stumbled on a link to the Degree Completion Program. Dr. Laura Hartford reached out to me and set up a meeting. She made me feel at ease, explained in detail what the program was and assured me that it was a “real” degree.

The college experience the second time around has been much more meaningful. 

Once I submitted my transcripts, Laura told me that I could get my degree in as little as 12 months. I was blown away: The university that I had attended prior told me that going part time would take me another four years! Deciding to enroll in Bellarmine’s Degree Completion Program was a no-brainer.

How was your experience in the program?

Initially, I was a little scared. I had never taken a strictly online class before, and technology has changed so much in two decades. The first couple of weeks were a bit overwhelming. However, I figured out a schedule and managed to make it work. My first semester I only took one class just to get back into the groove of school. The following semesters, I took two classes every 7 weeks. Since the students are adult learners of all ages, I have been exposed to many different points of view and backgrounds, which has been quite an education in itself. The college experience the second time around has been much more meaningful.  

How has your program prepared you to succeed in your field?

The program has enhanced what I have already learned through my many years in the work force. I decided to pursue my bachelor’s degree to further my 24-year career. This program has given me the tools and the opportunity to be a better writer, listener and observer of human behavior.  


Tags: Degree Completion



Located in the historic Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky, Bellarmine University is a vibrant community of educational excellence and ethical awareness that consistently ranks among the nation’s best colleges and universities. Our students pursue an education based in the liberal arts – and in the distinguished, inclusive Catholic tradition of educational excellence, the oldest and most rewarding in the western world. It is a lifelong education, worthy of the university’s namesake, Saint Robert Bellarmine, and of his invitation to each of us to learn and live In Veritatis Amore – in the love of all that is beautiful, true and good in life.