Part-Time MSW Program Student Spotlight: Katelynn Simpson

The Part-Time MSW Program allows students who are not able to pursue full-time study to work towards a master’s degree on a structured, time-extended basis with classes delivered in a hybrid manner. Some courses are designed as blended courses with a mix of online learning and in-person sessions, while others are taught as online courses. In-person sessions take place every other Saturday on our Madison campus.

White woman with red shoulder-length hair smiling
Katelynn Simpson

Job title and organization:
Children and Families Social Worker, Washburn County Health and Human Services

Year in the program:
2nd year advanced standing

Focus area:
Child, Youth, and Family Welfare.

Future job interest:
I’m not totally decided yet. So far, I love working with children and families!

Why did you choose the Part-Time Program?
I wanted to be able to maintain full-time work while working toward my MSW.

How would you describe your experience in the Part-Time MSW Program?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my classes, professors, and getting to know my fellow students. My courses have appropriately challenged me and pushed me to grow both as a social worker and a human. I am thankful to learn from my professors and peers who have so much knowledge and experience of their own.

What has been your favorite course so far in the program and why?
My favorite course so far has been my field seminar. I have learned so much from my fellow classmates and been able to build relationships in a way that I did not have the opportunity to in prior classes. Our weekly topics always provoke thoughtful discussions and I have enjoyed being able to learn from others and share my own thoughts and experiences.

How do you think the Part-Time MSW Program has prepared you for entering the field of social work?
This program has given me the opportunity to focus primarily on the population I am most interested in (children, youth, and families) while also giving me a well-rounded look at all the ways in which different systems and factors impact this population. The coursework has pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me fall in love with aspects of macro-level work that I never thought I would care for or be good at. This knowledge has also helped me in my direct practice skills and made me think critically about the systems I work within and the impact of those systems on the people I serve.

What would you say to someone who is considering the program?
Just do it! It will undoubtedly be a stressful couple of years, but it is temporary in the grand scheme of life and gives you so many more opportunities.

What UW support services have you used during your time in the program and how did they help you?
I have not used any of the supports, but the university and faculty do a wonderful job making sure that the information is out there and available for students to take advantage of.