Jessi Jones ’23 graduated in May 2023.
My current field requires a bachelor’s degree for me to advance further in my organization. Completing a degree while working full time is not something I thought I would ever be able to accomplish, especially since my husband and I have four young children. I had been giving some thought to finishing my degree online for quite a while. As I was starting to put out feelers, I got a targeted ad from Bellarmine in my newsfeed and sent in an inquiry. A degree completion specialist patiently answered all my questions and mapped out my possible degree paths, with a comprehensive breakdown of the costs and the time involved. The Degree Completion Program is less complicated and less expensive than similar programs at public colleges throughout the state, which was a really wonderful surprise!
I went from thinking I'd never finish college, to thinking I'd finish in a few years, to wrapping up in about 12 months.
How was your experience in the program?
As I was just about two traditional semesters shy of graduating, most of my courses have been degree-specific. The professors have been conscious of student needs regarding time management and outside commitments like work and family. The accelerated courses (about 7 weeks for spring and fall; options as short as 3 weeks in the summer) mean that I can take more classes per semester while still only taking a courseload that I'm comfortable with, allowing me to finish faster than I expected and qualify for more financial aid from the government. I also feel that I learned a lot in most of my classes, even those that were not specifically related to my current career or my degree program. They have helped me find new interests and a renewed focus for my vocation.
What advice would you give to others considering the program?
You really can do it. There's no rush. Even taking one course at a time, you could knock out 7 classes in a calendar year! I went from thinking I'd never finish college, to thinking I'd finish in a few years, to wrapping up in about 12 months. College may not be for everyone, but Bellarmine makes it a lot easier for everyone to finish college.