Speech and Language Pathology

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Where do I go from here?
this winter
feelsohollow wrote in speechpathology
Hello,
I just found this community and I am so thankful because I can't seem to find anything on the internet that directly answers my questions. I am a student at the University of Idaho. My major so far has been Early Childhood Development/Education. However, my goal has always been to be a speech pathologist. UI does not have any majors or minors in this field or even a field very close to it. I am currently torn between dropping out of school completely until I can move somewhere and go to a university which offers these programs, or getting my BA in Psychology or ECD at UI first, then trying to pursue further education in speech pathology later. My fear is that I will be wasting time and money getting a BA first. I have researched other institutions that offer the speech sciences and have tried to take undergrad classes that meet their requirements but I am now running out of those classes to take.
Does anyone have any advice? Is it beneficial to have a BA in another area before pursuing a Masters or PHD in speech/communication disorders?
Any help would be greatly appreciated, my advisors do not seem to have a clue.

Well, if moving to the Boise area or Pocotello is a little easier (and at least tuition would be in state), I'm enjoying their undergrad program. :) Also, hi to another Idaho person. :)

If you can't move to another area right away, my advice would be to finish your BA in psychology. It's not a waste of time. In fact, it's a pretty closely related field. Most schools that offer speech language pathology graduate programs also offer a post-bacc program (also known as leveling classes) for people who have an undergraduate degree in an another major. I was a post-bacc last year and my transition into graduate school was pretty smooth (although GPA and GRE requirements for post-baccs trying to get into graduate programs are usually just as competitive as for any other applicant). I think doing something like this would look a lot better on your graduate school application than dropping out of school, which would raise some questions in their minds. Also, there are some schools that offer the leveling classes you don't have alongside the graduate classes so if you are accepted to one of these you wouldn't need to do a post-bacc year first. The main thing to keep in mind would be to get a good GPA in your undergraduate major, because they definitely look at that even if it's not communication disorders.

I was in your same situation and am now finishing my post baccalaureate classes. I stayed at my university because I was almost done with my teaching degree and wanted a career to fall back on in case I did not get into graduate school (since there is so much competition). I didn't want to transfer elsewhere because I wanted to stay close to my friends and university. I would say that if you are already almost done with your major then just finish and do a leveling program at a school that offers speech pathology courses. I have heard that graduate admission committees like post baccalaureate students because they have other experience and it shows they are serious about school.
However, if you are not very far in your major and do not have ties to your university, it might be smart to transfer somewhere to get the speech pathology undergrad degree. I have a friend that just transferred for that very reason and she is very happy that she did.

I didn't even know what SLP was until after I graduated with a degree in Psychology. So I ended up with a post-bacc before applying to grad school. Honestly, I think it made me a stronger candidate to have had a few years working and realizing that SLP was truly what I wanted to do before investing in post-bacc and grad school. (Not that those going straight to undergrad to grad don't know themselves or are weaker candidates...but in my particular case, I needed the practical experience to find my calling.) It sounds like you know for sure this is what you want, so good for you!! If your question is mostly whether admissions committees would rather see undergrads or post-baccs in their grad programs, I don't think it makes any different.

Here's an idea...does USU let you take their online leveling courses concurrently as an undergrad? I know nothing about that program, but someone in my grad program took it and I've seen a lot of people on here doing it.

If that doesn't work out, I agree with what someone else said. If you're not too far along in your program (i.e., just starting out your sophomore year), I would get your application together this season to transfer to your school of choice for your BA in CSD/speech & hearing. If you're already a junior and have declared psych/ECD, I would try to finish up that degree ASAP (can you finish in 3 or 3.5 years by working your ass off?) and then go into a post-bacc year. For what it's worth, I LOVED my post-bacc year and cohort of classmates. Good luck!

Man...so many typos. Sorry. That's what happens before coffee.

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