IWU: Master of Social Work for Busy People

After Alyssa Osborn earned her bachelor’s degree in social work, she knew she wanted to pursue a graduate degree – but she wasn’t sure how it would fit into her schedule.

By: Bailey Gerber & Jake Hreha

After Alyssa Osborn earned her bachelor’s degree in social work, she knew she wanted to pursue a graduate degree – but she wasn’t sure how it would fit into her schedule. She was working full-time for the Department of Child Services, settling into newlywed life, and learning the ropes of adulthood. If she was going to get her MSW, she needed a program designed for a busy lifestyle.

Choosing to Pursue a Masters of Social Work

“I fell in love with the social work profession, and I knew I wanted to go back to school and get my master’s degree,” says Osborn. “My husband knew how important it was to me, and he encouraged me to chase that goal. I started looking for an MSW program targeted toward helping busy people get through grad school, and there weren’t any that compared to IWU.”

Osborn enrolled in IWU’s advanced MSW program, which is structured for completion in just 16 months. “Other than a four-month span in the middle of my program when I took two courses simultaneously, I only had to take one eight-week course at a time,” she says. “My husband and I are busy, and we travel a lot – but I could do everything online, no matter where I was. Even though the program was definitely challenging, I always felt like it fit easily into my work/life schedule.”

The online MSW program is a great option for those with a busy schedule that want to pursue an MSW degree. Whether you travel, have a busy work schedule, or just want to keep your mental health in check the master of social work education is made to fit your life. Graduate education is a big step in your career. Taking classes online for your graduate degree might be a great fit for you.

Life as a Professional Social Worker

Today, Osborn is officially an IWU graduate, and she’s using her MSW to change the lives of children in her community. “I’m in my second year as an elementary school social worker, and I work with about 450 students in grades K-6,” says Osborn. “I have always wanted to work in a school and was incredibly fortunate to be given the opportunity to do so. I love helping students work through their problems, walk through the stages of grief, and search for who they are.”

In her role, Osborn walks through students’ lives with them by providing in-classroom guidance, talking to students individually, working closely with the school resource officer, and even supporting parents and guardians. When she reflects on her experience in the MSW program, she can see how it informs her daily work. Osborn works in a direct practice role with students thanks to her education in community practice, human behavior, and clinical social work. The MSW program works to prepare students to work in social work and public health in a broad range of areas. The health care is in need of social workers in many areas.

“My program focused a lot on trauma, which was beneficial to my current role because students face more traumatic experiences than we often realize,” she says. “I’ve seen a high increase of food insecurity, inconsistency at home, and generational trauma in our students, and my MSW program showed me a lot of different avenues for supporting my students.” Osborn cares about child welfare and finding ways forward.

Why a MSW Program?

Osborn is proof that a master’s degree can be achieved even if you think you’re too busy. “It can be incredibly intimidating to begin a graduate school program once ‘adult life’ has started, and I was out of school for four years before I decided to go back for my MSW,” says Osborn. “This program really does cater to the needs of anyone who lives a fast-paced life.”

Are you looking for a graduate program that equips you to advance your career and still fits into your schedule? Social workers can take their education to the next level with our MSW program. Our online programs let you learn on your time. Explore your options today.

Bailey Gerber

Content Creator, IWU-National and Global

Bailey Gerber is a vocabulary geek and grammar enthusiast at IWU – National and Global, so she spends most of her time writing and reviewing webpages, video scripts, flyers, and – of course – blog articles. She loves all things involving words, and in her spare time you’ll find her buried in a book (probably with a cup of coffee in hand).

Jake Hreha

SEO Copywriter, IWU

Jake Hreha is a graduate of Ball State University, where he majored in advertising with a concentration in media presentation and design. He is passionate about design, and in his free time he enjoys cycling, traveling, and reading.

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