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About Elska

  • Rank
    Espresso Shot
  • Birthday February 1

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    Speech-Language Pathology

Recent Profile Visitors

489 profile views
  1. I currently work at a special needs preschool as an aide. It's a wonderful way to get connected to school SLPs. It also enabled me to do a lot of SLP observations since part of my job is to assist the SLP during group speech and sometimes during individual sessions.
  2. Yeah, exposure is good! As long as you can get something out of it that's meaningful, then it's a good experience. In my experience, the SLP will narrate what she's doing during therapy and why, so even though it's not necessarily "hands-on", you still get to see how an SLP thinks and what she is looking for during sessions. Even if she doesn't tell you right away, she might frontload you with what the goal of the therapy session is, or perhaps she might take a few minutes after the session to talk about it with you. Ultimately, your goal is to find key experiences to use in your letter of intent, so in this case, you could talk about the therapy techniques you were exposed to, and the populations you got to see in therapy. This could also be used to support your case of wanting to work with a certain population or pursue a certain specialty.
  3. While I can't say exactly how many "hours" I've accumulated before applying (I have worked at special needs preschool for several years), I do highly suggest you try and build relationships with working SLPs by shadowing in at least the setting you're interested in working in, though it also looks good to explore different settings as well. This way you have a source for a letter of recommendation and show that you've see what a typical day of a SLP's life can look like. In general, it looks better to have a few strong, long-term volunteer experiences that directly/closely relate to SLP than a ton of short term activities that change every couple of months or so. For me personally, that was my job, off-to-the-side and during-work SLP shadowing, and being a student researcher and presenting at the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention. In my experience, while NSSHLA participation is good, it shouldn't necessarily be one of the biggest points of your application, unless you have some amazing experiences to talk about. At my school, even the NSSHLA president was stuck on a lot of waitlists and was rejected, though she did ultimately have a choice between two schools.
  4. The biggest factor for me was cost, followed by what each program offered me in their curriculum. Location wasn't too much of a worry, as I had applied to two local schools and a school that my boyfriend was near. Based on these priorities, my undergrad school was my "top" school, as well as the closest one. Once the acceptances came in, I took a closer look at what each program had to offer, and decided that the other programs didn't have features that made extra tuition/COL/longer commute worth it. Even after deciding, sending rejection emails to the other schools was still super hard!
  5. Congrats!!! Now you have quite the decision to make! And in only 24 hours too
  6. Adding on, Fullerton requires three, and confirming again that Long Beach requires none.
  7. I agree with all the above! Especially the advice to start early! Each of my schools required different lengths, but the content they wanted covered was very similar, so I began with a general SOP, and after rewriting and reworking it, I worked it into the longest SOP, along with additional information and examples about my experiences, as well as adding a sentence directed specifically to the school. Then I took that SOP, deleted the school specific sentence, and revised/cut material out until I was within the word limit for the next school's SOP. Then I reworked the essay so I could fit the school specific sentence. Then my last one, same thing, except I was so limited on word count that I couldn't include any school specific things. Admittedly, I probably should have personalized the essay more than just a sentence, but I used that sentence to mention certain professors by name, as well as talk about why their specialty or a program they developed would help me to achieve my career goals. I agree to narrowing down your experiences to your strongest ones, and really show your passion through how you describe them and what you've learned or gained from them. For me personally, I found it better to write in more of a story format rather than a formal essay. Sometimes, grad committees would rather read a story too -- a professor whom I had asked for advice about how my essay should be stylistically told me he prefers a story because it allows for you to better describe who you are (outside your GPA and GRE scores) and also why you care about people. He ended up being on the grad committee for my school this year. Of course every school is different, so play around with different styles until you hit what you feel is your strongest SOP. Speaking of professors, seek out their advice if you're still in school! Ask them for pointers, or see if they'd be willing to look over your SOP. They'll offer you constructive criticism and you'll get a chance to test run your paper on people who have potentially been on a committee. Even if you don't, it's always good to get other people to look it over it and hear different perspectives and opinions. One piece of feedback that I personally got was to make my future goals paragraph stronger, and honestly, that helped to take my essay to the next level. Good luck!
  8. Second this! I'm a part-time aide at a special needs preschool. I've developed good relationships with the SLPs who were assigned to my classrooms and have had opportunities during work and my own free time to observe them. The job also gave me exposure to several rare and unusual syndromes and disorders, and I think that also helped make my resume stand out too.
  9. Thank you!!! It's definitely still a possibility!
  10. I picked Cal State Fullerton! It's my undergraduate university, closest to my home, and the least expensive option. I liked already having a feel for the university's expectations by knowing the campus, professors, clinic, multicultural emphasis, some current graduate students, etc. It also doesn't hurt that I get to keep my job, at least for now. As far as the program goes, I was excited to learn that there's enough Ph.D.-leveled faculty to have all specialty areas covered, that it required the most clinicals of my options and had them both on and off campus, and that you can pick your school district for public school placement. What also sealed the deal for me was observing the calm vibe in the clinic workroom and seeing how focused yet relaxed the graduate students were. It was tough letting go of my other choices, especially CU Boulder, but I'm excited to begin this Fall! Good luck to those still deciding on their school!
  11. Yes, she calls from her personal phone.
  12. I'm not going to agree or defend, because I simply wanted to say that program itself is of good quality. I get that it leaves a bad taste in your mouth when the point of contact is not a good one (one of schools I applied to was the same way), but since much of the experiences given online in the forums about CSUF's program are centered around Dr. Tsao and not really the program itself, I felt it was fair to at least mention that there is some good about the program. I really am sorry that your experience with her wasn't the best. I'm not trying to invalidate it or say that you are the only one to have it, but I really did want to balance out a negative experience with a positive one about the program itself that not only I experienced by going through undergrad with this faculty, but also by the current grad students I talked to.
  13. I can only speak for Fullerton and Long Beach, but you send letters to Fullerton through CSDCAS and Long Beach doesn't require letters.
  14. I know, and I'm sad that Fullerton has an overall negative reputation online because of her when as far as quality goes, it's pretty good. My friends who have her as a professor love her as a person, so perhaps she needs to warm up to and get to know people first.