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YDL Students Share Experiences

Pictured from left to right are: Stacie Thompson (Seneca, SC), Patrice Hawthorne (Anderson, SC), and Craig Walters (Clemson, SC)Online programs are excellent vehicles for learning for living far away from a university campus. Students living near campus also find advantages in online learning.

Three 2nd-year Youth Development Leadership students, Patrice Hawthorne, Craig Walters, and Stacie Thompson were among Clemson University graduate students who participated in the 2007 College of Health, Education, and Human Development (HEHD) annual Research Forum.

These three students all live in close proximity to the Clemson University main campus. They are involved with youth in different professional settings, and chose the YDL online graduate program to further their education objectives.

Pictured from left to right are: Stacie Thompson (Seneca, SC), Patrice Hawthorne (Anderson, SC), and Craig Walters (Clemson, SC)

In a brief interview, during the poster session of the research forum, they shared their experiences about Clemson's online Master of Science in Youth Development Leadership program:

Q: Why did you choose Clemson University and why the online Youth Development Leadership program?

A: (Stacie) I received my undergraduate degree in psychology at another university. I have worked with youth for 10 years and serve as Executive Director for a teen pregnancy prevention program. In knowing that my chosen profession is exactly where I want to be until I retire, I see the [YDL] program as an opportunity to heighten my level of expertise in my current profession.

(Patrice) I received my undergraduate degree in Health Sciences at Clemson University and currently work with youth as a program facilitator. I already knew about Clemson's excellent academic reputation. I chose the program to strengthen my understanding of youth development and amplify my role as a youth development leader.

(Craig) I have a passion for working with young people. I received my undergraduate degree at Clemson University and majored in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation. Being a husband, father, and counselor in psycho-social services for youth with severe behavioral problems, the YDL online graduate degree program is a perfect match. It affords me the best of both worlds because I am able to be at home with my family, maintain my current job, and further my education at a reputable university.

Q: How did you hear about the program?

A: (Stacie) I first heard about the program from a colleague who had seen an ad in one of the local newspapers.

(Patrice) I recall receiving an e-mail about the program from a friend.

(Craig) I stumbled across the program while on [Clemson University's] website. I was looking at Master's programs to determine what direction I wanted to take in furthering my education. Because of my family and an established career, the online aspect of the program was a major selling point for me. And, I had a great experience in going through the application process once I decided to apply for acceptance into Clemson's Graduate School and the Youth Development Leadership program.