Graduate Determined Not to Give Up


Michelle Bidwell is a determined working mom who doesn’t give up. So it was that when she lost her job in retail management due to a back injury, she turned to American National University’s $$South Bend Campus looking to reinvent herself. She enrolled in the medical coding and billing diploma program in search of a new career.

Not having been in school in 20 years and finding herself challenged by new technology (she admits she hadn’t even had an email account before coming to National), Michelle liked the environment at National. “I liked the class size, I liked the flexibility,” she explained.

Nonetheless, college was a bit of a culture shock at first. “When I first started I was very overwhelmed,” she admitted. Thanks to her instructors—“the teachers were great,” she enthused—she was able to master her studies. One favorite instructor—Director of Healthcare Education Renee Neldon—she found particularly challenging for her Anatomy and Physiology class. Known as a caring but tough instructor, Renee had never given an “A” in this class before—until Michelle came along. “I got the first ‘A’ from her, so that was a huge achievement,” said Michelle.

“Don’t give up,” is the advice Michelle offered for new and current students. “I made dean’s list and I graduated with honors,” she said, “so I think that if I can do it, as a mom who had two teenagers and was working part time…just don’t give up.”

As a busy mom of two teenagers, Michelle Bidwell liked National’s small class size and flexible schedules.

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