One student’s experience in SAU’s Master of Social Work program

A student's story

People, generally speaking, want to feel connected. We want to feel connected to other people, to something deep and meaningful, to a life-altering cause or truth. For students and alumni of Spring Arbor University’s social work programs (both undergraduate and graduate), finding and living out this connectedness is central to their education and remains crucial in their vocations and callings.

Danylle Wright is one such student. She earned her Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice at Jackson College and her Bachelor of Social Work at Eastern Michigan University. Danylle loves to learn, and she specifically loves learning how she can better help people. She holds empathy, compassion, patience and humility as her core motivational values. These drive her other-centeredness and motivate Danylle to pursue opportunities that allow for interpersonal connection and personal growth. Continuing her education was the next logical step in her personal, professional and vocational development.

Drawn to SAU’s intentionally values-based perspective for learning, Danylle discovered a program that both challenged her to excel and equipped her to succeed. Professors teaching the program’s online courses made themselves available in person to Danylle and her fellow students, meeting with them to provide guidance and aid. And though Danylle wrote 20+ page papers on a weekly basis, she always felt capable of doing so, thanks to the excellent instruction and clearly defined guidelines. Classes met once a week, and she only took one class at a time. Danylle was able to continue working and living her life, with ample time to study and complete her assignments.

The Master of Social Work program at SAU afforded Danylle a unique internship opportunity — working with Jackson, Michigan’s 12th District Court. There, she drew upon her education in criminal justice and answered to probation officer Kimberly Colligan (also an SAU alumna, and another graduate of the social work program). Working time-sensitive probation cases and meeting with sometimes combative individuals helped Danylle prepare for her post-graduation job in behavioral health in the Henry Ford Allegiance Health emergency room.

Thanks to her experiences in Spring Arbor University’s Master of Social Work program, Danylle is prepared to effect real and meaningful change in the world while simultaneously advancing her career. Every day she looks for opportunities to connect with her clients, entering into their worlds to both better empathize with and treat them. You can find out more about how SAU’s MSW program prepares students like Danylle — and you — for vocational success at, and you can read more about Danylle and other social work graduates at

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