Lifelong Learner Jaina Bellanca Is Earning Her Degree Online So She Can Launch Her New Career

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Jaina Bellanca describes herself as a self-driven person. She likes to “set ambitious goals and achieve them,” and it’s this mindset that drives her to keep acquiring new skills and knowledge. She’s long been an active learner, earning an associate’s degree in 2014 and taking courses on Coursera in her free time in more recent years. “Lifelong learning has been my goal from the beginning.”

When Jaina decided to pursue a career as a strategic project manager, she knew she’d need to acquire some new skills. As a lifelong learner, that wasn’t a challenge—but price and timing were. Earning a bachelor’s degree made sense for her career plans, but finding a program she could both afford and fit into her busy schedule wasn’t proving easy.

She turned to Coursera and discovered the Bachelor of Applied Arts Sciences (B.A.A.S.) program offered by The University of North Texas (UNT). It was just what she needed.  “The fact that it was online helped me, and they validated all of my previous classes, which was great, because I had taken a lot.” 

Jaina is now pursuing her degree and learning the essential business skills necessary for success in her newly chosen field. She’s already thinking ahead about her career path, as well as her learning journey. “I have expanded my business skill set and am looking forward to my first strategic project management internship,” she says, “but I also want to pursue higher education through a master’s or a doctoral program.”

Even as she’s closely focused on her project management career goals, she’s still finding time to explore other topics as well, and she’s enjoying being able to include non-business courses in her studies. “I love my history and politics classes,” says Jaina. “They really expose you to different things. It is a great opportunity to expand my knowledge. This program is a perfect match for me.”

The Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (B.A.A.S.) degree accepts and builds on student’s past credits, combining them with coursework in eight distinct concentrations so students can meet their individual and career goals.

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