Caitlin Grogan (’23) knew she wanted to further her education after going to Iowa Central for her associate’s degree. After long discussions with a social work faculty member, Caitlin felt confident in her choice to attend Briar Cliff’s online social work program.
“The social work department has done an amazing job preparing me for graduation and my career going forward,” says Caitlin. “I aspire to be like all of the kind, successful social workers who lead my education here.”
Two of the social work faculty members Caitlin credits for impacting her decision to attend BCU are Melanie Berte-Hickey and Margarite Reinert. She says they have provided support and understanding throughout her time as a student, and been there when she needed it.
“I always felt cared for knowing I had them there if I ever needed help,” Caitlin says. “They helped me through some rough times and helped me grow and develop into a more confident and competent person and I will always be grateful.”
Currently, Caitlin is a Behavioral Health Intervention Services worker and Youth Advocate at Youth Shelter Care in Fort Dodge, IA, for her fieldwork placement. This opportunity has allowed her to experience social work firsthand and gain knowledge while in the field.
“They have allowed me to do a lot of real work that contributes to the agency and have given me opportunities to learn things I thought would take years,” she says.
As an online student, Caitlin’s experience has looked a little different from other traditional undergraduate students. She has discovered ways to engage with her peers and participate in campus activities and encourages others to form relationships even if it is difficult.
“After attending Iowa Central in person, I have realized that being an online student can be difficult and even lonely at times,” says Caitlin. “Make sure to reach out to your fellow students and form relationships even if you are an online student. Once I figured that out, I felt like a member of a community rather than someone sitting alone on the other end of a screen.”
Through the many lessons she learned during her time at BCU, Caitlin feels confident in the education she received and is proud of her achievements.
“I approach graduation now with great grades, relationships, and a solid path for my career path,” she says.