Casey Simpson 2016 Graduate, Master of Social Work"Without the online opportunity, I would not have been able to seek out my MSW degree."
How has earning this degree changed your career outlook?
Obtaining an MSW degree from LSU has opened many doors for me in the social work arena. The curriculum, as well as my field placements has equipped me with the resources and reputation that I need to be successful in my community.
What was your single biggest takeaway from the program?
My biggest lesson from the MSW program is that of self-determination. It is our first instinct to try and "fix" the families that we come into contact with. However, that is not our ultimate job; it is our duty to empower families and individuals towards their own success. Without this support, they may fall dependent on the system. We should advocate for those that are vulnerable, but need to do so in a manner that is healthy for them and their continued development.
How much time a week did you spend on your studies?
Describe how having an online option made a degree more accessible for you.
Without the online opportunity, I would not have been able to seek out my MSW degree. Due to financial concerns, it would not have been feasible to seek out the degree if not concurrent with full-time employment. I was able to move at my own pace while still meeting CSWE requirements.
What was one of the biggest challenges during the program, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest struggle was coordinating my internships. Due to CSWE standards, there are certain requirements that students and the institution are required to follow. Luckily, I was able to take proactive measures and secure financial support to carry me throughout my unemployment while I completed my field internship. This is definitely something you should start coordinating from day one of your foundation year.
Why did you choose LSU's online degree over the other options?
It had always been a dream of mine to be a part of the Tiger family. In the last year of my undergraduate education I was looking for the next step in my journey and I discovered LSU's online MSW program. I was sold by the opportunity to move at my own pace and continue my employment. Furthermore, I was captivated by number of social workers that LSU produced for this state and of all the accreditations that the university maintains. I knew that LSU was an investment for myself that I could believe in.
What advice would you give to a prospective student who is considering this program?
Prospective students should be prepared to put in the work. Reading is a must! Without ambition, you will fall behind and find yourself struggling to stay afloat in the program. Self-care and self-motivation are also key elements of finding success in this field of work, as well as in this program.
What helped you get through the program the most? What helped you make it to the finish line?
The support of my MSW peers was critical to my success. I was able to make life-long friends in this program that were always willing to stand behind me 100%. I felt connected in a way that I feared I would not be able to accomplish in the beginning.
Describe your family's thoughts and feelings about you earning your degree.
My family has been extremely supportive throughout my journey. I will be the first one in my family to have achieved a degree higher than the undergraduate level. I am very proud of this personal accomplishment and being a part of the Tiger family.
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Not a thing. This program has taught me that self-awareness is a great feature. Without failure, there would not be an opportunity for success.