Bonnie Jean Gallagher

Bonnie Jean Gallagher is a counselor in the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services, where she enjoys helping students figure out the degree program that best fits their background and future goals. Her motto is “all questions are good questions,” so email her your degree queries at [email protected]

Recent Posts

Should I Get an Associate Degree Before a Bachelor’s Degree?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I often hear a version of this theoretical question as it relates to earning a college degree. Of course, prospective applicants to the University ask me if they should earn an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree first, and not my theories on fowl evolution.

When it comes to which college degree to initially start, the most obvious answer is that one takes a shorter amount of time to earn than the other; an associate degree usually requires 60 credits, whereas most bachelor’s degree programs require 120 credits, or four years at traditional institutions. But does that mean you should pursue the shorter degree first? Or, at all?

Topics: Going Back to College

The Difference Between Applying, Enrolling and Registering


When you are heading back to college, applying, enrolling and registering are all terms that sound like they explain the same thing. So does it matter which term you use or when you use it?

Definitely, yes.

In fact, most applicants and prospective students are unaware that there is any difference at all. In fact, I often hear the terms used interchangeably. Someone might say they “registered last week” when they meant they applied and submitted the application. 

While other institutions may use the same terms, it’s important to note that even they might have a different definition for each one. Knowing the differences among applying, enrolling and registering at Thomas Edison State University and what they mean for you is essential to navigating your way through the administrative tasks of earning your degree.

Topics: Applying

The One Question To Ask Yourself If You Don't Know Which Undergraduate Degree To Earn


For some students, choosing a degree program is not always a cut-and-dry decision. With 40-plus undergraduate programs, and more than 100 areas of study, there are many options to pursue, and even more paths to take.

So how are you supposed to pick the one degree that’s best for you?

Everyday, I talk to people who are in your shoes. People who want a degree, but just don’t know what to study. And I get it. That’s why I always ask this one question that helps these now students breathe a sigh of relief and leave knowing they chose the degree that fits them.

With a little support and guidance, I promise, you can, too.

Topics: Areas of Study and Degree Programs, Applying

Top 3 Survival Skills All College Students Need to Master

compass in a female hand lost in the woods

You’ve been admitted to college, received your academic program evaluation, and registered and paid for your courses. You are excited to go back to school and complete your degree, but suddenly, panic begins to set as you wait for your term to begin. Thoughts whirl through your head:

What if I don’t have time to study?

What if I miss an assignment?

Will I fall behind so far I won’t be able to catch up?

How can I keep track of the assignments I need to complete?

You are not alone in having these thoughts! We all become a little nervous when starting something new. The key to staying calm and not panicking can be summed up in three words: motivation, organization and discipline. Mastering these three skills will help you create a game plan to steadily move forward toward finishing your degree.  

How can these three skills help you survive? Let’s start with the definition of each word as it pertains to your college career.

Topics: Going Back to College, Motivation