Degree Completion Program Student Learns Skills to Help People Through Difficult Transitions

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Claire Bowen (’16) Appreciates Opportunity to Learn in a Christian Environment

Before enrolling in the Gardner-Webb University Degree Completion Program (DCP), Claire Bowen, of Stokes County, N.C., worked in a geriatric psychiatric unit and saw the important role of human services. She realized people need someone to listen and point them to valuable community resources where they can find more help.

Bowen decided to go back to school and earn her bachelor’s degree and work with youth and adults going through difficult transitions in life. She had a couple of reasons for choosing to finish her degree at Gardner-Webb. “My faith in God led me to Gardner-Webb, with its strong Christian foundation,” she reflected. “Also, my younger sister and her husband went to Gardner-Webb for their associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. With the knowledge and strengths they learned and adopted, they have become brilliant professionals.”

Bowen was able to major in human services and criminal justice because of her previous college credits. From her internships to her advisors, professors and classmates, Bowen appreciated her entire DCP experience. “My advisors were able to give me choices that fit my schedule,” assessed Bowen, who has a young son. “My classmates were serious about their education and about helping others with their knowledge. With God allowing the opportunities for my internships, I am able to see mental health from different perspectives. My professors cared about teaching their subjects to the fullest understanding and helping their students use their knowledge and not just apply the information to testing.”

Three professors who influenced her the most were Dr. Bill Greenwood, Professor Donald Taylor III and Professor Homer Craig. “Dr. Greenwood taught me in Old Testament during my first semester,” she shared. “He helped me build a trust in God and God’s word. Professor Taylor taught my Introduction to Clinical Practice and Group Dynamics classes. His goal was to show each student how to work in the clinical setting of psychology. Using a distinctive hands-on approach, he guided the students to their highest potential. Professor Craig has taught a few of my Criminal Justice classes. He inspires us to set higher goals and listen to God’s wisdom when deciding long-term goals.”