Alumni Spotlight: Kevin Ward

Passed Over for a Promotion, Kevin Ward Decides to Finish His Bachelor's After 25 Years

By Cheryl Balassone |   July 2009

Kevin Ward , Alumnus

In the summer of 2006, Kevin Ward was the leading candidate for a managerial position with his current employer, a major defense contractor in the D.C.-metro area. During the final interview, he was told that the position would go to another candidate—one with a college degree.

“That’s when I finally convinced myself that this would be the last time I would be passed over for a job because I didn’t have a degree,” he says. He enrolled at UMUC the next semester and never looked back.

Kevin chose UMUC because of its convenient location, the appealing selection of undergraduate program offerings and abbreviated length of the Bachelor of Science in Management Studies curriculum. “It was a bit tough in the beginning because I had been out of the classroom for over 20 years,” he says. “But I did very well academically my first semester, making the Dean's list,and I have maintained those same academic standards since my first semester.”

Of course, it wasn’t easy. Working full-time in a demanding career, caring for his family and attending school was taxing, and extensive work-related travel added to the challenge. Kevin credits his perseverance, coupled with the faculty at UMUC, as integral to completing his degree. ”If I had aconflict with my classes due to travel for my job, the faculty was flexible and understanding; they worked with me to ensure that I met all of the class assignments. It really reduced the stress of juggling school and work life.”

Currently a facilities manager with significant career aspirations, Kevin intends to obtain his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification next. His long-term goal is to complete his Master Science in Information Systems, and says he will most likely attend UMUC for his graduate education, as well.

“It’s a dream come true,” says Kevin. “After all of these years, I’ve finally completed my course requirements and will be walking across the stage to receive my undergraduate degree. Attending UMUC has truly been a rewarding experience.”