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.
I’ve recently become fascinated by the SLP sub category on Reddit.com. It’s an open forum for questions, links, and information; in this sub-Reddit (as they say), there has been quite the discussion on “less competitive” SLP graduate schools. When I was applying, I didn’t think any grad school was less competitive than another. I thought they all had equally competitive application processes. And to be honest, I associate “less competitive” with “easy” “accepts lower GPA/GRE” or “less applicants”. And in some ways, I guess that’s true.
There are two threads of discussion on this topic that I’ve focused on.
- Reddit: On 4/9/2014, the question “What are some “less competitive” SLP grad programs” was posed to the group. Currently at 18 comments at the time of this post, it’s a great discussion.
- TheGradCafe.com: On 1/23/2014 a user started the “Fall 2014 “Less Competitive” Grad Programs Applicants Thread!”. Currently at 250 replies, it’s an amazing read if you want to scour the pages.
I think what interests me the most is the sheer number of people searching this type of information. I get lots of hits on my blog with similar search terms. People want to get into this profession, yet are blocked at the door. I’m scared for my readers and happy for the ones that make it. But there are so many applicants that are worthy and passionate. I just wish there was more room for everyone.
Give these threads a read if you are interested. My thoughts on “less competitive” grad schools is that truly, there aren’t any. Searchers looking for an answer, there are suggestions in these posts that “safety” school exist. I just don’t know if that’s solid advice. Maybe I’m just uninformed or cynical in the matter. But nothing short of hard work, experience, and determination will get you into grad school. And even that isn’t always rewarded with a ticket.
Keep at it readers. Keep asking and keep discussing. If others have success, learn from it and use it as fuel for your own fire.
It’s Research Tuesday! This week is all about grammar. I am up to my knees in grammar goals. Pluralization. Past tense. Present progressive. Pronouns. Possessives. It’s raining grammar in Alaska, folks…and I needed some guidance. Where better to get guidance than research. I didn’t get all that schoolin’ for nothin’ (excuse my grammar, ha!)
Article: Smith-Lock, K.M., Leitao, S., Lambert, L., & NIckels, L. (2013) Effective intervention for expressive grammar in children with specific language impairment. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 48(3), 265-282. [Open Access|
Useful content and strategies I can apply tomorrow:
- Narratives without appropriate grammar decrease timing and reference points to link characters to the story line. (I can use this statement in explanation of IEP present levels/evaluation write-ups)
- Utilize a specific grammar screener to determine potential treatment targets such as possessive “s”, past tense, present tense, and pronouns. Within the article, they pilot tested the screener on a group of typically developing same-age children for comparison.
- Focused stimulation, recasting, and imitation are all efficacious treatment techniques for grammar interventions
One thing about entering and graduating from a Master’s program at a relatively young age means that in a room full of experts, I tend to be the youngest one. It’s not a bad thing most of the time, and I’m probably the only one who quickly sizes up and estimates colleagues and parents’ age. Sometimes, when I’m about to share my evaluation report or discuss a recent diagnosis, I get nervous. And I start running down my list of personally-perceived short comings; my gut reaction is to think of my age.
I’m 25 and in a position that allows me the responsibility to diagnose and plan courses of treatment for individuals who have difficulties with communication. 5 years ago my biggest responsibility was waking up in time for my dreaded 8:00 AM Philosophy class. This CF year has been a huge transition in my life, both professionally and personally. I needed to mentally catch up with my new degree, new responsibilities, and new career. I’m still working on it…obviously.
Walking into a meeting where I am the expert on the child, the expert on his or her language, I am supposed to gauge how the next year will look on our plan of action. I need to remember my skills and my strengths when those moments arise and I think my age makes me appear weak or uninformed. I’m young, but I have education and research on my side. The experience will come in due time.
Until then, I am thankful for colleagues who share kind words about how well I do in meetings or how organized and on-top of things I seem. Only myself and you, my readers know the quiet inadequacies I need to overcome. Carry on.
Where did I leave it?
My confidence, my wit.
Confrontation seems to stifle my flame.
There’s a part of me that now feels lame.
How can I know what I know, yet need to justify my stance.
Nothing I can say will help me in this professional dance.
I’m new and I’m young, yet I have things to say.
How long is long enough to have a heyday?
Just when I gain ground,
I get stuck on the mound.
I know, ref –
I’m just a CF.
The 2009 ASHA Board of Directors and Lemke and Dublinske prepared a document – Designing ASHA’s Future: Trends for the Association and the Professions - for the SLP profession. One of the future “trends” I was most interested in related to Generation Y, or the Millennial generation (born between 1982 and 2002).
In 2011, ASHA surveyed the professions’ impression of Generation Y with the question “What has your experience with members of generation Y led you to believe about their future involvement in Association volunteer roles compared to that of other generations?” (ASHA, 2011). Most respondents, 68%, agreed it would be more challenging to engage this group of individuals; however, the article compared the results to a 2007 survey which showed:
“Respondents reported the generation to believe more strongly in the importance of volunteering…[the challenge] will be in finding meaningful and substantive ways to involve these less experienced but eager young professionals” (p. 4).
**Waves** I’m an “eager young professional” ASHA – I am ready to be captivated **
So what was the consensus solution to address the issue? ASHA’s strategic objectives to address future issues included:
- Develop and implement programs that engage members in ASHA activities,
- Increase targeted events for new members only in the profession three to five years.
- Public relations with members and STUDENTS
- Customize programs and products for the targeted audience
There hasn’t been a week during this first year as an SLP that I haven’t turned to pages in this book with an unmistakable urge to hunt down the authors and hug them forever.
Secord, W. A., Boyce, S. E., Donahue, J. S., Fox, R. A., & Shine, R. E. (2007). Eliciting sounds: Techniques and strategies for clinicians [spiral bound]. Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.
It runs about $50-$70. When I first bought this book, it didn’t feel important. It was almost like a leaflet you might pick up at a doctor’s office. Like an adult “Highlights Magazine”, except more expensive. Now days, it holds an esteemed place of honor in my top right hand drawer. Easily accessible. Always nearby. I would pay $100 for this gem.
I’m hoping this book is a standard required reading source in SLP grad school. If not, then buy it. You won’t regret it.
That is all for now. I’m cold…in Alaska…breaking news, huh? :)
In related news:
All right. So I added my Blog as a page on Facebook. It felt like I was selling out. I don’t know why. I’m way late to the game. I know. When I started my blog, I didn’t want anyone to know it was me writing. I was just starting SLP grad school in 2011;I was worried my professors would think I was ranting about them.
In 2014, I love that people can comment, email, tweet, and Google + me. Facebook just felt so….personal. But I’m ready to get personal. My readers are on Facebook as much as I am – so now my posts will be shared there as well. Along with other day-to-day happenings of my life and work in Alaska.
If you read my blog, like my posts, and have ever connected with me elsewhere, feel free to “Like” my page on Facebook. Here.
If it helps readers find my blog and they can find something I say helpful – success. I’m all about connecting – so – Let’s Connect!