Social Work is Preferred Path for Wausau Criminal Justice Grad

When trying to determine which career to pursue, there are a lot of questions to consider. What’s my earning potential? Will I be able to find a job?    What’s the work/life balance like? All of these questions are important to consider, but the most important question for Wausau graduate        Michele Weyer is whether or not she’ll be able to make a positive impact through her work.

Weyer has already completed the first step toward an impactful career as a social worker by earning a bachelor’s degree. This is how her experience at Rasmussen College exceeded her expectations while helping prepare her for a        lifetime of making a difference.

Looking to serve

Weyer’s enthusiasm to help others has been around since she was a child. As a young girl she was fixated on becoming a veterinarian, but as she grew older and learned more about the world around her she decided she wanted to focus on a career like law enforcement that would allow her to directly help the people who needed it the most. After completing high school she enrolled in a criminal justice program at Chippewa Valley Technical College.

Despite women only making up approximately 13 percent of the police force in the United States, Weyer says she wasn’t going to let her gender stop her from making an impact.

“I don’t get intimidated too easily,” she says. “I think it’s because I know that I can make a change and help people.”

Weyer earned an associate degree at CVTC but has her sights set much higher—she enrolled at Rasmussen College in 2012 to earn a bachelor’s degree and plans to eventually earn a master’s degree.

“When I was younger I’d tell my mom I’m going to the top—I’m getting my master’s degree so I can make as big of a change as possible,” Weyer says.

Getting adjusted

Before Weyer could reach the top, she had to adjust to life at Rasmussen College. She knew right away the biggest challenge she’d face was adapting to online courses. She admits to being skeptical about the value of a primarily online education and was concerned she wouldn’t be able to get the most out of her classwork if she studied remotely. Fortunately, her concerns were alleviated quickly after trying the format.

“Kids are more vulnerable than anybody, and if their parents aren’t protecting them they don’t have anybody else to look out for them.”

“I was surprised with how much the teachers and everyone else interacted with me and that they still could actually teach me while online,” Weyer says.

Weyer was pleasantly surprised with how engaging her online classes were, but encourages other online students to visit their local campus to find out which academic tools are available.

“There are so many resources available to students—I didn’t learn about most of them until I was halfway through school,” Weyer says. “When I finally sat down and went through them all it was like ‘I’ve been missing so much stuff’.”

The student support services like tutoring and academic writing reviews weren’t the only resources Weyer could count on—one instructor, Shauna Froelich, went out of her way to make sure Weyer made the most out of her experience. Froelich’s efforts weren’t just based in the classroom; she invited Weyer to attend a conference on domestic violence. Weyer says the conference was eye-opening and was particularly moved by one speaker’s story of domestic abuse and how it almost took her life. Weyer says she went into the conference not fully understanding the extremes of domestic violence, but left with a much different perspective—one that further reinforced her desire to become a social worker.

Next steps

Weyer’s preferred career has shifted some since starting school, but her motivation to help others in her community remains the same. Instead of working in law enforcement Weyer would like to begin a career as a social worker, preferably in child protective services. Weyer’s desire to work in child protective services stems from her desire to help those who really have no way of helping themselves.

“Kids are more vulnerable than anybody, and if their parents aren’t protecting them they don’t have anybody else to look out for them,” Weyer says.

Weyer earned a bachelor’s degree in 2013 and is planning to earn a master’s degree in social work from Indiana University. While she still has a lot of academic coursework ahead of her, she remains determined to make a career out of helping people in her community.

Make an impact

Earning an education doesn’t just have a positive impact on your life—it can help others as well. Whether you prefer the role of a social worker or that of a law enforcement officer, there are numerous ways you can make a positive impact on your community with a degree from Rasmussen College’s School of Justice Studies.

About the author

Will Erstad

Will is a Sr. Content Specialist at Collegis Education. He researches and writes student-focused articles on a variety of topics for Rasmussen University. He is passionate about learning and enjoys writing engaging content to help current and future students on their path to a rewarding education.


Related Content

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen University to support its educational programs. Rasmussen University may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit for a list of programs offered. External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen University does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne chart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors-masters 0 Credits 90 Credits 180 Credits 48 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE Start Here MASTER'S DEGREE PURSUERS End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE End Here MASTER'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 90 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 180 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-msn chart-credential-laddering-nursing-programs chart-credential-laddering-post-grad-np chart-credential-laddering-nursing DNP MSN RN to BSN LPN to RN Bridge Accelerated BSN Professional Nursing ADN Practical Nursing Diploma Pre-Licensure Post-Licensure icon-colored-outline-bank icon-colored-outline-certificate icon-colored-outline-circle-dollar-sign icon-colored-outline-folder-search icon-colored-outline-hand-heart icon-colored-outline-head-blocks icon-colored-outline-head-cog icon-colored-outline-head-heart icon-colored-outline-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-outline-hospital icon-colored-outline-lifelong-learning icon-colored-outline-light-bulb-analytics icon-colored-outline-location-pin icon-colored-outline-magnifying-glass icon-colored-outline-monitor-healthcare icon-colored-outline-monitor-paper-search icon-colored-outline-nurse-rays icon-colored-outline-padlock-shield icon-colored-outline-person-presenter-screen icon-colored-outline-scales ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-colored-advance icon-colored-arrows-cross-curve icon-colored-briefcase-star icon-colored-build icon-colored-bulb-analytics icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-development icon-colored-duo-chatbox icon-colored-folder-mortarboard icon-colored-forward-ribbon icon-colored-gears-clock icon-colored-globe-pen icon-colored-growth icon-colored-hand-bubble icon-colored-hand-stars icon-colored-hands-gear icon-colored-head-blocks icon-colored-head-cog icon-colored-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-hospital-building icon-colored-laptop-cbe-skyscraper icon-colored-laptop-checkmark icon-colored-laptop-webpage icon-colored-location-map icon-colored-location-pin icon-colored-monitor-paper-scan icon-colored-mortarboard-dollar icon-colored-national icon-colored-people-chat-bubbles icon-colored-person-cheer-star icon-colored-person-laptop-checkboxes icon-colored-person-screen-instructor icon-colored-person-whiteboard icon-colored-phone-chatbox icon-colored-police-light icon-colored-prep icon-colored-presenter icon-colored-regional icon-colored-save-time icon-colored-shirt-hat icon-colored-skyscraper icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-triangle-arrow-up-plant icon-triangle-calendar-pencil icon-triangle-clock-rotating-arrows icon-triangle-display-gears icon-triangle-hand-right-speech-bubble icon-triangle-laptop-coding-brackets icon-triangle-mortarboard icon-triangle-paper-ribbon icon-triangle-person-cheer-star icon-triangle-person-juggle icon-triangle-triple-people-chat-bubble icon-modality-campus icon-modality-field icon-modality-online icon-modality-residential icon-arrow icon-bank icon-camera icon-filter icon-general-chart icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-hat icon-general-heart icon-general-laptop-building icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-money icon-general-paperwork icon-general-people icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-head-heart icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-mglass icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-scales icon-share-square-o icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-spinner icon-tag icon-testimonial-quotes icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-circle-arrow-down icon-util-circle-dot icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x rebrand-arrows icon-social-facebook-colored icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram-colored icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p-colored icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-colored icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play graduate-cap-star-coin hand-coin hand-heart nurse-stethoscope-rays card-send-smile person-yoga-pose suitcase-star