Purdue University North Central graduate Susan Shoop recently started class to pursue her Master of Social Work degree.
When Shoop started her journey as a student, she knew that having a Purdue degree would be an asset in the job market. At that time, her daughter was two years old and the PNC sitter service, now known as Panther Cubs Child Care, played a major role in her decision, too
"The sitter service was small and well staffed, I felt safe leaving her there. Having her on campus with me was such a plus. But I would not have taken her if it would not have been a nurturing and learning experience for her," she explained.
And so, with her daughter safe and well cared for, Shoop felt comfortable pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies.
"I came to PNC for an education and I have no doubt that I have been prepared for my future career," said Shoop. "I enjoyed my college experience. I had professors who pushed me past what I thought were my limits . . . and found I could go so much farther. By getting to know the professors and staff, my education became so much more then just a degree."
Shoop intends to pursue a career in Social Work. She would like to work with the elderly, or perhaps go into macro social work - which considers the community as a client rather than an individual.
"You work on a particular problem or situation within a community and work to correct that," is how Shoop explained macro social work.
Interestingly, she initially ended up in a macro social work class because it fit her schedule. It soon became one of her favorite classes.
"So many of the faculty made life-long impressions on me. They become the background for how far I can go with my degree. They helped to make my time at PNC enjoyable, rewarding as well and life changing. They expected a lot from me, but that made me work hard and accomplish so much more."
Shoop's hard work paid off. She attained a high grade point average and earned various semester academic honors. She laughs when she admits that she pushed herself to excel "even in classes I didn't like." When she needed help with algebra, she went to Student Support Services for assistance.
Out of the classroom she was involved in activities that reflect her interests in training and showing miniature horses: the Mid-America Miniature Horse Association, the American Miniature Horse Club, the American Miniature Horse Registry and the American Welsh Association.
She credits her family with supporting her decision to earn her degree.
"When I started at PNC, my family was totally supportive; however, I do not think any of us had any idea how many changes that were to come," she said. "My schedule changed each semester, so everyone else had to change parts of their schedules also. My husband would have to come home a little sooner on different days and my mom would be around for my daughter when I needed her.
"But the sacrifices we all made have paid off tremendously. My daughter is now eight and has watched me strive to maintain my grades and has a very high value of education. She wants to go to Purdue when she gets to college. One of my favorite memories is picking up my daughter and having lunch in the cafeteria and then going back to my other classes. Many of the students came to know my daughter and would even say hi to her," she recalled.
"My daughter said that she will miss our lunches in the cafeteria and the craft activities in her class."
"Being at PNC was a wonderful experience," said Shoop. "I came to PNC for an education and I have no doubt that I have been prepared for my future career. "
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