Why the MSW@USC is the Perfect Option for Military Spouses

With the first year of graduate school underway, I am excited and relieved to have finally found a Master of Social Work (MSW) program that fits my schedule and the unpredictable life of being a military spouse. I had postponed my higher education for the past 10 years following my undergraduate program because I knew my husband’s military career would require us to move around frequently, and I didn’t want to start a program and not be able to finish it in the same place. The MSW@USC was brought to my attention by a friend, and it sounded perfect! Since starting in January, I am amazed at the technology involved and the all-around “on-campus” feel you get through the program.

What are classes and “campus life” like?

The classes are very interactive and involved; you feel as if you are sitting in the classroom with your professor and classmates. The class size (usually not more than 10 students) really allows you to participate and interact with others through the class discussions regarding social issues. There are also plenty of opportunities for all MSW@USC students to participate in USC’s on-campus events, where a live feed is provided and discussion boards are posted for everyone to share their thoughts and ask questions. The platform also has a variety of groups that you can choose to join, depending on your interest. Group members are able to post thoughts, concerns, questions and feedback for others. For example, there is a group for military spouses, which featured a discussion topic about changes to the GI Bill. This is a great resource to ask questions and get feedback from others who can relate and may be dealing with similar situations or questions themselves.

A large number of students in my classes are either military spouses or veterans. Many have expressed satisfaction with the program because it is so different from other online education programs. The program can be continued if the soldier happens to get reassigned to another duty station, which has been the case with my husband. The MSW@USC is also great for those whose soldier has deployed; it allows that extra time to be spent with your children instead of having to be in a classroom on campus.

This program requires a different level of time management and self-discipline skills than on-campus learning, but I know these learned skills will also be helpful in the field of social work and any other post-graduate study. With various options of class times and schedules, the MSW@USC provides each individual the flexibility to meet the needs of so many diverse family and individual situations. I am so thankful I was made aware of the MSW@USC and have chosen to pursue my degree through an accredited MSW program at such a prestigious school of higher learning.

Karla Sweeney is a first year MSW@USC part-time student, originally from the northeast corner of Iowa. She currently works as a case manager for people with intellectual disabilities in Madison County, Alabama. She enjoys traveling and is a dedicated Iowa State football fan and animal lover. She is looking forward to pursuing a social work career in working with military families.

Learn more about USC’s online MSW program.