Cassie Shepherd

June 13, 2011

Family Life Studies

I'm officially back in school!
I'll be finishing my bachelors on-line through Utah State University in Family Life Studies. Completing a degree in Elementary Education proved to be difficult. I couldn't find a well accredited program on-line. I can't bet on Mitchell and I being settled in any one area for longer than two years for awhile so an on-line route seemed necessary.

Working with my three girls has been such an experience that I am grateful for. When Mitch was accepted into PA school I never imagined "his" path would actually change mine so dramatically. I'm incredibly lucky to have been given such an amazing opportunity to learn and grow from the family I work with. I'm at lost for words when it comes to describe how thankful I am. I know my Father in heaven provided a way for me, but sometimes I still question if what I am doing and where I am going is real.
I don't think I would've explored a degree in Family Life Studies if it weren't for this job honestly. I hadn't realized how enjoyable it was to work on an individual basis and actually be able to (hopefully) make a difference. I don't think I'd be able to feel as much satisfaction in the classroom. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of satisfaction from teaching, but I think I'll be able to help others more in this direction.

All the core curriculum for FLS greatly appeals to me. I'll be taking courses on abuse and neglect, family and marriage relationships, crises and intervention skills, finances, economics, social policies, and various levels of human development. Fortunately, a number of my pre-requisites for the El. Ed program at UVU transfer over to fulfill some needed credits.
When all is said and done I should be able to finish by the end of next summer. If I fill too overwhelmed I can always stretch it out until the end of Fall 2012. Either way, I'll be done before Mitch graduates which is a relief. Originally, I was concerned I'd have to wait until he was completely done. Then, there is the whole children note that complicated that route.

What can I do with a degree in FLS? That was my only concern about going this route. However, ultimately, I can use it going various routes. I can always get endorsed to teach in elementary schools. It might take like a six month licensing program on-line while I'm teaching, but I could make it work. I'm also open to working in many social work type settings. Adoption agencies or counseling centers. However, I really plan to be at home with my children so if I go any of those routes it might be a part time position to help further my experience.
The ultimate goal is to go on to get my masters so I can teach at a college at nights or, ideally, on-line. My sister does this and it allows her to stay home with her children, but still practice what she loves to do.
At first, I wouldn't say Mitch jumped right on board. However, now he is fully supportive. Finances were a major concern, but we've been blessed in so many ways to make this possible. Again, I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father has provided a way for this to work for both me and Mitch.
I've told Mitch a number of times I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to leave Savannah for him to do rotations in Utah. We're still a year away from making those decisions, but right now I'm not ready to leave. I love my job and the path that we're on. We may just end up in Savannah for a little longer than we expected. Needless to say, he doesn't quite feel the same way. But, who knows? :)

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