Carolynne Beal

My educational journey with Ashford has been enlightening and uplifting.


Manchester, Maryland’s Carolynne Beal attended college right out of high school. However, when her father suddenly passed away from a heart attack, Carolynne finished her semester and returned home to be with her mother after this tragic incident. “I made a promise to myself and my parents, even though my dad was deceased, that one day I would graduate and walk across the stage to receive my Bachelor’s degree.” 

As life went on, Carolynne got married, raised a family, and became an entrepreneur in the home improvement business, putting off continuing her education. It wasn’t until her mother suffered from a stroke and severe brain damage that Carolynne realized, “The time was now. 

“I began searching for schools to find out where I would be making good on my promise to my parents. I chose Ashford University.” Carolynne cited Ashford’s flexible online format and willingness to accept previous credits from other institutions as determining factors to enroll. Only eleven months later, Carolynne graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management degree. 

She not only reached her goal, but then pushed herself further by getting a Master of Arts in Organizational Management degree, also at Ashford. She graduated in February 2012 at age 41 and was even asked to join the Golden Key International Honour Society. When we spoke to her shortly before graduating, she said, “Once I complete my current program, I hope to be in administration or in the human services field, helping senior citizens have a voice and getting them the help and assistance they need. I may continue my education because, at this point, the sky is the limit!” 

Carolynne said she hoped that her story will inspire others to believe in themselves and follow their dreams. “The first step is the most difficult, but after that it becomes second nature. Not only have I surpassed my dream, I have gained a new sense of confidence and self-esteem. It has been an amazing experience and has helped me become the successful individual I am today.” 

To prospective students considering enrolling in Ashford University, Carolynne said, “My educational journey with Ashford has been enlightening and uplifting. Even though I no longer have my parents cheering me on, I constantly realize how proud they would be of me and of what I have become, thanks to Ashford University. I would definitely tell a prospective student to give Ashford a try. After all, if you don’t try, you will never know how far you can go!”

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