Awar Ongach knows that a life-changing decision can be made by clicking on an “apply” button.
Ongach had been studying in a nursing program that didn’t feel like the right fit. After hearing about Saint Mary’s from her uncle, she investigated program opportunities further.
The B.S. (Bachelor’s Completion) program in Healthcare Management caught her attention. “I liked that you could complete the program at your own pace and tuition was less expensive than other schools I looked at,” she said. “It was between Saint Mary’s (and another school in the Twin Cities), and Saint Mary’s had more to offer and more certificates. I knew I didn’t want to just stop at the B.S., so there’d be different opportunities for growth.”
Ongach also liked that the B.S. in Healthcare Management curriculum was broad enough, it would apply well to a variety of career paths. When she completes her degree in August, she hopes to obtain a certificate in healthcare analytics from Saint Mary’s as well — while she uncovers what area of healthcare she’s most interested in for a future career.
“I’ve always been an education-driven person,” she said. “Eventually I want to move on to get my master’s as well. With a bachelor’s degree, you have more opportunities to find more jobs, so that’s why I wanted to complete my degree.”
Ongach currently works for Twin Cities Orthopaedics as a patient service representative, checking in patients, registering new patients, doing referrals, and scheduling appointments. She has already found her courses applicable to her job, particularly a cultural competency course, which she said has helped her see things from a different perspective.
“I would recommend Saint Mary’s because it’s a good school. I tell my friends all the time this is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life, to switch schools,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot in a short amount of time. And I’m taking classes that I’m interested in. I actually enjoy completing school work and completing classes, so I would recommend it to many people.”
Ongach said the things that set Saint Mary’s programs apart also include faculty, whom she describes as super nice and helpful and the flexibility of the course.
“The staff, you can tell, they actually like their job, and they’re willing to help students,” she said. “I like that you can complete the program at your own pace. Many people may think that completing all the work in eight weeks is too much, but I’ve found it’s a good amount of time to complete work. I do work full time, so I would say it’s very manageable. They give you your syllabus and you can plan ahead. It’s very flexible, so as long as you communicate with your teachers, they’re open to helping you succeed and find a plan that’s best for you.”