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About RyanS

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  1. We have students come to our program from different backgrounds somewhat regularly. It's a small percentage of applicants, and in some cases they make a good case for why they want to move to the new field and show that they have the aptitude for it. It's not a barrier in and of itself, and in some cases the different background adds good diversity to our cohorts.
  2. Could mean anything. Nothing to do but wait and see.
  3. I don't think so. It seems like such an outlier I can't imagine it would matter. To be honest, there are many areas of your application that will get more attention than your transcripts.
  4. It doesn't seem as though research is relevant to the program, so I would leave it out. Spend time reviewing the program's goals and objectives and write to those. Your task is to show good fit between your interests and aptitude and what the program provides.
  5. It's so unfortunate that education has become so costly. It's a tough sell, but obviously it's your ticket to doing what you want. Find the salary statistics for the MSW based on the type of work you want to do, and then calculate your monthly costs for the loan. Also note that a lot of medical and social services professions have loan forgiveness programs for working in underserved areas. We tell our students that you just factor it in to your living expenses after graduate. That's what I did. It's like buying a house; it's an investment.
  6. Experience in this field might matter more to some programs and less to others as evidenced by the different responses you got. That being said, it would depend on your goals and what you want from your education. Are you interested in certain programs (revel in the process of your education)? Or do you want to get your degree and get on with your life (means to an end)? I understand that going through the application process can be time consuming and costly, but really it's the only way to find out.
  7. I know this post is old, but for the record: Yes, I would send a thank you in this situation. Always send a thank you and keep it brief.
  8. Yes, it's okay to ask for a letter from a few years ago, but I would mix it with more current letters from employers. Since you're applying to a professional field, the academic letter would be best from someone who can speak to your professionalism (particularly your people skills) and your likelihood of succeeding in the field of social work.
  9. It kind of depends on your work. Basically, letters of rec should be from people who can attest to your ability of performing well in graduate school. Having letters from employers can add professionalism to your application, especially if they talk about how well you work on a team, respond to demands, and meet expectations. We look for these things in our applicants because your success in grad school is more than just doing well academically.
  10. It may also be worth checking to see if they accept both credit transfer and credit waiver. With transfers, you don't have to retake the course and your credits count towards your degree. With waivers, on the other hand, you don't have to retake the course but you'll still need to make up the credits required for graduation (usually by taking extra electives). In our program we have different limits for each, but incoming students can use both.
  11. Agreed. I would assume that the MSW would include more training on navigating social systems where the counseling degree would be more therapy theory. You would have to compare the coursework to verify. Regardless, you could look for job advertisements for positions that you would want to apply to and then check the degree or license requirements (both "required" and "preferred"). I tend to see more MSWs in administrative positions.
  12. I tell my students that I don't expect them to be perfect. Rather, I expect them to be capable of growth. That means learning from mistakes and taking advantage of opportunities to demonstrate growth or further challenging yourself above and beyond what might be expected from your faculty. It sounds like you're taking a professional approach to the situation now: no excuses, no minimizing, and no blaming. To me personally, that means something, and I would imagine this would also mean something to your former professor if it were communicated. The request for letter would be such, "
  13. I have not experienced or heard of this in my circles.
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