Student Access & Success

Carissa Rogers Raises and Treats Teens While Pursuing Her Master of Social Work Online

A headshot of Boise State student Carissa Rogers

It was awkward at first when a friend recruited Carissa Rogers to work at Imagine Boise, a treatment center for adolescents in Boise, Idaho — awkward, Rogers said, because she had teenagers of her own. 

“I didn’t think working with teenagers and having teenagers was such a good idea,” she said. Realizing she enjoyed working with young people, Rogers said she had to take the next step. “In order to help them, I had to go back to school.”

Rogers graduated from Boise State University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and looked to Boise State first when she started searching for graduate social work and licensed professional counselor programs. Initially, she was unsure if Boise State’s program would accept her: The SR Education Group ranked it 19th on its list of affordable, quality online programs in 2019; Best Value Schools ranked it 10th in 2021 for affordability; and listed it as one of the nation’s best in 2022. Competition for a slot in the program would be fierce.

But the program accepted her, and did Rogers one better. It gave her the Saint Alphonsus / Trinity Health Scholarship. Available to College of Health Sciences students who live in Saint Alphonsus’ service areas, it relieved her and her husband, who were paying for her schooling out of pocket, of a significant financial burden.

“I opened that email and cried for joy, it was such a huge relief,” she said.

The entirely online nature of Boise State’s program has been a boon to Rogers. As a working parent with little time to visit classrooms or the library, she said she needs the flexibility to learn and do coursework online. 

Attending Boise State’s Online Master of Social Work program has exposed Rogers to many of the professional possibilities a degree in social work provides. Though she hasn’t settled on what she wants to do with her degree, she’s likely to focus on working with individual clients using Empowerment Theory. 

“I’d like to work in a private practice. Maybe not my own practice, but doing individual counseling,” she said.

Scholarships are catalysts, empowering students to overcome obstacles, achieve their full potential, and contribute to our thriving learning community.  We aim to ensure that a quality education remains within reach for all students, regardless of their circumstances. We’re committed to breaking down barriers and empowering the next generation of Broncos as they shape the future of Idaho. To learn more, click here.

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