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Suggestions for Writing a Letter of Intent


Historically, I’ve written several posts on writing a letter of intent and responding to essay prompts when applying to Speech-Language Pathology graduate school. But I have more to share. I have opinions and ideas based on my reading of 45 letters in the past 3 weeks. Ladies and you few gentlemen, read on to hear my opinionated ideas on how to construct an epic essay.

SLP graduate school letter of intent - info

 Tuck It In

Stop using 10 words when 5 will do. The first thing I do is read through a paragraph and ask myself, “Was that easy to read?” or “Did I use too many words?”. This is the first impression of your writing skills; don’t show off with fancy fluffy words —- Keep it tucked it! AKA, don’t go on and on about one experience. Use one or two sentences to elaborate, and move on to something else. This is your resume in paragraph form. Woo them with your wordsmithing.

Vary Your Topics

To further expand on the above, don’t over-elaborate on your reason for entering the field, experiences, and interests. Make sure to cover them all, but don’t be like that one family member who can’t stop talking about that one experience in 1970 that changed their life. People care, really they do, but they don’t need every detail. Show your passion for as many topics as you can; our profession is broad so show your breadth of knowledge.

Explain Your Experience, But Don’t Brag

The line between explaining your experience and bragging on yourself lies somewhere between humble confidence and overt suck-up type statements. For example, if you have been working as an SLP assistant for 2 years, a quality sentence of explanation might be, “The direct client intervention techniques I learned during my word as an SLP assistant give me real-word experience in preparation for graduate school.” For those who take it a bit too far, it might sound something like this, “Working under Mrs. Fancypants SLP at the Esteemed school district prepared me for the XYZ graduate program as she previously ran the program. Her recommendation and feedback has solidified my determination.” Name dropping is good if you do it correctly. Be careful, but be your biggest fan. Make it obvious you know what you know and you’re ready to learn more from their program.

Avoid Certain Verb Tenses

I had been reading essays from quality students, but if I had been reading less quirky verb tenses, I might would have perhaps been less confused. — Ok…that was blatantly confusing. But seriously, avoid past perfect progressive and present perfect progressive tenses. It makes sentences wordy, and it just muddles up a quality essay and response. This is obviously just my personal opinion, but it’s my blog, so there it is :)

Be Personal

I don’t want to know your deepest darkest secret, but if you mention you have an interest in bilingual language development or pediatric dysphagia, don’t create a cliff hanger. For example, instead of just saying you worked at XYZ foundation and finally realized your love of the profession, elaborate some: “My work with XYZ foundation furthered my interest for working with individuals from multicultural backgrounds. I met determined children who were mislabeled and misunderstood, and I felt impassioned to reach them on a much deeper level.” Short, sweet, and you can sense the impact.

Let Me Read It

Ok, it doesn’t have to be me exactly, but let someone read it. Someone who has some experience with professional essays and honest critiques. I’ve never met you and have no fear of offending or critiquing your work. Better me than a review board. Be open to feedback about your writing. It’s so competitive to get admitted, and if your writing isn’t spot on, you’re one step closer to the rejection pile. Write a stand-out essay or response and put one more thing in your favor.  Contact me on my About Me page and ask if I’ll review. I’m always happy to.

Happy Writing!

A resource for those starting SLP Graduate School


Just a few years ago, I was sitting in my un-classy apartment in West Georgia impatiently waiting to start SLP grad school. It’s been almost 3 years and I’ve learned one or 2 things. Last year, I wrote “Summer Reading List for New SLP Grad Students” . But, allow me to share something I wish someone had shared with me long ago…

SpeechPathology.com - ever heard of it? Maybe you have. I see their ads in my Facebook feed. Or in emails I didn’t realize I signed up for at an ASHA convention. But this one…this one is worth clicking on.

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Which SLP university should I pick? – At least consider the debt


I’ve had a few moments lately where I started thinking about what I was thinking, and how I came to think that way. It has little to do with the school’s name on my diploma or how much it cost me. It has everything to do with the supervisors and professors who taught me there. Obviously the university hired the professors and paid them, then I in-turn gave them all my money. So thank you University of West Georgia. But really….a degree in Speech-Language Pathology is a 2 year mentor-ship, littered with independent studying and sleepless nights. Conveniently located on a campus where everyone else is just as mentor-dependent. 

The quality of a mentor does not directly correlate with the amount of debt you have to incur in order to achieve a degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

debt slp

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Letter of Intent: The first date of SLP Graduate Admissions


If you are applying to a Speech-Language Pathology graduate school program anywhere in the country, you may need to submit a statement (or letter) of intent. Did you already Google “How to write a letter of intent for Speech Pathology graduate school? “There are limited, relevant results. First off, what is a statement of intent? In my opinion, it’s like a first date with a total stranger. Only you are trying to convince them to marry you, blindfolded, based on a test score, GPA, and resume. Talk about pressure. *Applies Makeup* But truly, the statement/letter is your opportunity to highlight strengths and weaknesses, explain your passion & interest in the career, and answer questions they may pose. First dates are always awkward, so let’s wade through this one together.

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Part 1: Online SLP Graduate Programs


There are a million things about the Speech-Language Pathology profession that I love, yet there remains this small inkling of disappointment when it comes to SLP graduate schools. There just are not enough schools with too few spots for some amazing would-be-SLPs out there (I know they are out there). I won’t delve into the reasons  for shortages in this post, but one of the ways Universities have started to expand their reach is by offering completely online Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Programs.

For more information about these programs, Christie over at “38 Things…An SLP Graduate Student’s Ramblings” has written a very helpful post on searching for accredited universities, including a comprehensive list of  current SLP online programs, so check it out and head on back for more!

I wanted to gain a first-hand experience with these programs since they have become increasingly popular among other SLP2B students. To do this, I have enlisted the help of current graduate students or recent graduates to answer some common questions regarding online SLP Graduate Students. My first interview is with Heather from Indiana; this is Part 1 in a multi-part series over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

About Heather:

She is 37 years old and SLP is her first career. She completed her undergrad in SLP in 1997, and worked as an assistant for 4 years before taking an 8-½ year “maternity leave” to be home with her kids. She has 3 wonderful kids—now 11, 8 ½, and 5.  She is a recent graduate from Western Kentucky University  with her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

Online Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Programs - Quote

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SLP Graduate School Midterm


In undergrad, studying for a midterm in a course like Biology, math, history, etc. was more about the short-term. How little can I study in order to make an A or B? or What do I need to make in order to make my desired grade? I’m sure others may disagree with this mentality, but that’s how I got things done. Now,  in SLP graduate school, I need to know this information for the long-term. I realize I will have these textbooks/resources down the road, but when I am assessing or treating a client, there are just certain things I need to know immediately. Thus, I study differently.

I have a midterm in Neuropathologies of Language on Tuesday covering the following topics from our Brookshire (2007), An Introduction to Neurogenic Communication Disorders, textbook:

  1. Neuroanatomy
  2. Neurologic Assessment
  3. Assessment of Cognition
  4. Assessment of Language
  5. Context for Intervention
  6. Aphasia
  7. Right Hemisphere Syndrome

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The Mind of an SLP graduate student


Graduate school in Speech-Language Pathology. *sigh* I have run through the gammot of words to describe grad school:

In August 2011 it was: “exciting…new…awesome…learn everything…new textbooks….CLIENTS….treatment”

In June 2012 it is: “overwhelming…almost done…new clients….internships…CFY…summer sucks…when is graduation”

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SLP Related Awareness Months


As a part of NSSLHA and our Advocacy aspect as Speech-Language Pathologists, we are encouraged and happy to spread information about our profession. Personally, I want more people to know how an SLP can help in more than just one or two aspects of the field. While every profession – nursing, PT, OT, respiratory, teachers – has its place among the disciplines, I am focused on how SLPs can impact more and more people.

A great way to spread the word about our profession and skill-set is to piggy-back off of Nationally recognized “Awareness Months” with an SLP twist. So,if you are looking for a way to stretch our services or reach new clients, may I suggest one of the following:

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Social EBP for SLP


When I decided to start blogging about SLP related things, I never stopped to think, “Will anyone actually read my blog?” It was more about putting my answers out into the cyber world because I couldn’t “Google-it-out” (instead of ‘figure-it-out ). When I have an SLP related question about a new therapy idea, rationale for a therapy approach, or just want to see what other #slpeeps are doing, doesn’t everyone just Google it?

Maybe I’m not speaking to the entire crowd of Google enthusiast, but I am sure a few of you might relate. Now, I know the ‘book’ says Evidence Based Practice is the way to go, and I agree to a certain extent. However, when you run out of ideas, plateau in your data, get bored of your own warm-ups/drills/games…where else can you turn besides journals?

  • Google
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • SLP friends
  • Creative teachers and tweak their classroom activities/ideas
  • SLP blogs

I think these should have their own EBP  – “The EBP Social Heptagon”

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Applying to Graduate School for Speech-Language Pathology


Rising Seniors in Speech-Language Pathology and/or Communication Sciences and Disorders programs think of one thing during the summer: Where will I apply for Grad School?  At least that’s how it was for me. Questions begin forming as the impending nature of applications loom…

How much are application fees? Do they have an out-of-state tuition waiver for Audiology? Is my GRE score high enough? Will my GPA be good enough? How much is tuition? What are the professors like in each program? Is the program more medical or education based? Does the Master’s program require a thesis and/or completion test?

I wanted to share ideas and inspiration for those applying to graduate school and about to start a graduate program.

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