Since my last update, I’ve been having fun exploring new SLP assignments for work within the Mat-Su Borough School District.
My week often looks like this:
- Mondays, Tuesday, Fridays: Providing speech therapy services for homeschool students enrolled in our school district. Families bring their kids in to work with me for 30 minutes to an hour. It’s always a fun adventure navigating schedules, parents, and materials.
- Wednesday & Thursdays: I travel to student’s homes and provide speech therapy services to medically fragile students who cannot attend a brick-and-mortar school.
This has been a huge change from my first 2 years as an SLP where I worked full-time in 1 school (K-2)…And I ABSOLUTELY love it. It’s dynamic and I get to see a variety of ages, diagnoses, and locations in the beautiful Mat-Su Valley.
Since starting to work with the population with multiple disabilities, I’ve had to step up my parent communication, collaboration, and technology skills.
My plan is to post a few reads about how I’m learning on-the-fly and taking basic skills to the next level as I continue to grow and develop as a Speech-Language Pathologist. I’ll start my 4th year with Mat-Su in the fall – we shall see what’s in store! Stay tuned!
Are you jaded yet upon applying to SLP graduate school?
I’ve been an SLP now for 3 years following 6 straight years of school. I’m not one that can complain about being rejected from every program, but on behalf of those who are, AHHHH!!!
There’s a system at work that not many are aware of until you’re so far committed to the profession that now you’re jaded. The SLP undergraduate programs out there roll out the welcome mat for all who hold the flame for SLP. Those who know this is what they want to do; those who have gone to great lengths to show they care; those who are so excited about the prospect of joining the profession they don’t dwell on the possibility of not being accepted to a grad program.
And these ladies and few gentleman happily and with great zest enroll in CSD courses, putting forth all their effort to obtain those coveted A’s.
Unfortunately, the welcome mat is rolled up and thrown out back after you get your undergraduate degree in CSD. Now, it gets competitive and frustrating. It’s a waiting game; a game that graduate programs aren’t concerned about losing. They have all the chips, you’re in their line so just accept it.
It’s fall and most of you have started a program if you’ve been accepted. For others, its a season of “What Now?”. I’ve thrown out the advice of SLPA positions – but I’m not that green. Those jobs are more elusive than graduate school admissions. What else can you do? I’m here to admit the options are limited. Many of you have found other avenues through local school systems as substitutes or special education support staff. Others have been able to connect with local clinics to work in some fashion. But mostly, people are in a cycle of waiting.
If you’re pursuing a career as a Speech-Language Pathogist, it can be a bumpy road. Full of disappointment and anxiety. Or…for the rarer few, like me, it can fall into place. Be realistic. Be optimistic but with a certain caution in your steps.
What a great first day here at the 2014 ASHA Convention in Orlando, Florida Here’s a breakdown of my first day’s adventures:
Over the past year, several SLPs and AUDs have come together to create a support system for getting healthy and staying active through various editions of what we’ve called #ASHAFit challenges. The challenges have ranged in lengths and participant number, but all have looked at who can loose the highest body fat percentage in a given time. This time around, we are doing something a little differently for #ASHAFit85. Check it out…
Lose 8% of your body fat in 5 months
Start Date: Saturday, September 20, 2014
End Date: Saturday, February 21, 2015
Join the event on Facebook for more updates as the challenge continues! Click here
Ladies and Gentleman, I have my Certificate of Clinical Competency! Just call me M.Ed., CCC-SLP
Only those of us who have been through the process can appreciate what those letters mean. If you’re still waiting or if you’re celebrating, I hope you celebrate in style. Me…how did I celebrate? I took a bunch of pics of myself, those beautiful letters, and the epic scenery Alaska has to enjoy. So here it goes, I’m sharing with you all. Is anyone else waiting or finally getting your CCCs? Are you as excited as I am?
I mailed off my ASHA CCC-SLP application at the end of May 2014. It’s now mid-July.
ASHA has a good excuse though. The new 2015 standards start this Fall and all ‘old standard’ applications must be in before September (I think, some actual date that I’m too lazy to look up). I get it, ASHA. I do. But these feelings of anxiety bring me back to 2011 when I applied for grad school and spent every day checking my inbox, mailbox, and any box that came near me.
It’s not hampered my summer vacation by any means. Oh no. Nothing can take the Alaska bliss away from me. My distinct blog post absence has to be a sign to you, oh wonderful readers, that I’m enjoying every minute of these 18+ hour days.
But I’m still checking my bank account for the day ASHA cashes that $280 check they are keeping hostage. I’ll call in a negotiator if need be. I’ll let you guys know how the situation plays out. Until then, enjoy these Alaska summer time pics. #stillwaiting
Bellow is a guest post by Brian Goldstein, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (Dean & Professor, La Salle University). His words echo my own thoughts on the issue I frequently discuss on my blog – admittance into SLP graduate programs. He has much to say, and we should all be willing to listen, digest, and act. Read on my dear followers…
In my almost 10 years as a University administrator, I have had occasion to talk to members of the Board of Trustees at two different Universities. You might expect that main topics of conversation with Board members might have been graduation rates, faculty hiring, new programs, or budgets. You’d be wrong on all counts. The most common topic of discussion with Board members has involved admission into the master’s program in speech-language pathology. As the current Provost of La Salle University says, “it’s easier to get into some Ivy League schools than it is to get into the master’s program in speech-language pathology.” For the Fall 2014 class at La Salle, we had over 400 applications for 18 spots. In 2011-2012, there were 52,339 applications to the 224 ASHA-accredited programs that completed the survey, http://bit.ly/1vY9ril. I’m sure I don’t have to do that math for you. I would suggest you read this report for this and other sobering statics such as average GPA and average GRE score.
We are all aware of the fact that the number of applications to SLP programs far exceeds the number of available spots. The questions are why the situation exists and what might we do to obviate it. I, along with many others, am deeply concerned that if we do not start working to fix this issue, then well-qualified students will choose not to go into SLP because they believe they will never get into a master’s program. The time to address this issue is now and there is no time to waste.
The limited number of spots in master’s SLP programs has engendered numerous blog posts (e.g., here, here and here) and Twitter discussions—the latter being the impetus for this blog post. In my experience as Program Director, Department Chair, Associate Dean, and Dean, I thought I would try and bring my perspective to this discussion. Here, I want to focus on 2 main reasons for this bottleneck: (1) faculty and (2) clinical placements.
One solution to opening up more spots in graduate programs is to increase the size of the faculty in existing programs and/or hire faculty to open new programs. There’s a problem though. There are not enough faculty. Period. OK, so it’s more complicated than that but let’s start here. In 2011-2012, ASHA (2011, http://bit.ly/1vY9ril) reports that there were openings for 135 full-time faculty, with a projected total of 272 openings through 2017. Approximately, 28% of the openings went unfilled.
What do these data tell us? There are openings for faculty but not enough faculty to fill the available positions. If there are not enough faculty to fill open positions for the programs that exist now, how would it be possible to open any new programs? On a side note, it is expensive to run graduate speech-language pathology programs—from faculty to staff to labs to equipment, etc. The expenses are significant and growing. Back to the faculty issue. Is it possible to educate and hire faculty who do not have a research doctorate? Yes, no, maybe. Take a step back and think about how and where current faculty are educated. They are largely educated in research Universities whose mentors were educated in research Universities and so on. The expectation is that after graduation these individuals will be researchers who teach and not necessarily teachers who do research. Yes, I am generalizing. However, the mode educational paradigm is research faculty educating and mentoring doctoral students in research institutions who will become faculty members at research institutions and perpetuate the line. I freely admit, by the way, that I was of that mindset as well. My sojourn about 5 miles up Broad Street in Philadelphia from Temple University to La Salle University has changed my perspective. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way…
I moved to Alaska on July 7, 2013. I’ve been here almost a year. I haven’t spoke of it much on my blog, mostly because I didn’t think people would care. But its become such a huge piece of why I love being an SLP and why I don’t want to leave, that I need to share – I need to you all to hear what is happening in Alaska….allow me to share with you, my readers, a piece of me. A piece of self that I found here.