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9 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Hi everyone!

I am currently a senior getting my bachelors in Communication Sciences and Disorders (Speech Pathology/Audiology). I am about to graduate this upcoming May but I have a small issue...

My current GPA is a 2.83 and I been struggling in some of my speech classes and I realized that Speech Language Pathology is not for me anymore. However, since I am almost finish this leaves me in a little situation as I know the state I live in (New York) does not offer any SLP-A jobs whatsoever. I been stressing out on wondering what I am going to be able to do as a career after I graduate with my bachelors degree. 

So I been doing a lot of research and I came up with a plan but I would like other SLP students/graduates to give me some advice if this is a good route for me to do or if I should pursue something else.

My plan is to graduate with my bachelors, then I was thinking about going back to school to get my Associates degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant or an Associates in Nursing to become a RN. After getting my associates in either OTA or RN I would get my masters online in a health related field that would help benefit either career I would choose such as an M.S. in Nutrition, an M.S. in Health Education or an M.S. in Public Health (or other health related master programs that are related to Nursing or OTA). 

So that is my plan... does anybody think this is a smart plan? Does anyone think going back to school for an Associates after receiving a Bachelors is silly? I know they have Master programs in Occupational Therapy but since I haven't done much of the prerequisites for the Master's I think that becoming an OTA will not only be faster but also financially easier on me since I have spent a lot of money on my speech bachelor's degree, plus an OTA's salary here in NY is really good and job prospects look well. I also know that there are Direct Entry MSNs for Nursing but again, I haven't done much of the prerequisites, it will cost if not more or as much as a bachelor's degree and my GPA is not very well for a direct entry masters program. 

So please let me know what you all think about this plan as I really been struggling to know what I am going to do as soon as I am done because I know for sure Speech Pathology is not for me anymore :-(

Thanks!

Edited by MiiSzAshley

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Hi there—I absolutely do not think it is silly to get an associate's after earning your bachelor's. If the career move makes sense for you individually, then I think it could be a great move for you! I have friends that have done the same thing (for nursing and PTA).

I agree with you—I looked into direct-entry MSN programs and they are very, very competitive, and would probably not make sense to plan for with your GPA. I know nursing can also be difficult to get into, depending on where you live (I don't know anything about NY!). I have heard that some schools have waitlists, and accelerated programs are competitive where I live, but that may not be the same in NY.

I have heard good things about OTA to OT bridge programs (if you ever decide to do that). And OTAs make good salaries and do meaningful work.

My other thought is that the careers/degrees you listed are all under the health/human services umbrella, but they are all very different careers. Is there one that makes the most sense financially/personally? It sounds like you are not 100% certain about your long-term goals (MSN, nutrition, MS in Education, and M.S. in Public Health - which is fine, by the way!), so what makes more sense for you short-term? Unless you have a clear idea of what you want 10 years down the road, I think choosing what makes the most sense to you right now based on $ and your interests is a good way to decide what the next step may be for you. It seems like if we continue to do what interests us, we are oftentimes guided towards a path that we are happy with. 

It also sounds like taking more prerequisites is not an ideal situation for you, which is totally fine and makes sense. It can be difficult financially, and it is hard when there is no guarantee of acceptance into a program later. I think that is a good thing to continue factoring in.

Congratulations on taking the next step! You sound like me—I had SO MANY interests, and it took me some time to find what I truly wanted and what was a best fit for me. I am glad I took the time to figure it all out, though :) 

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It really depends on your situation. I went on a similar route as you but with speech. After earning my BA in another field, I completed an SLPA cert to start working. I worked as an SLPA for 5 years, and now I will be going to grad school in the fall. I am happy with my choice, because I was able to start working in the field fairly quickly, and I got experience. I know the career is a good fit for me, and it's worth investing in a master's degree. I have met quite a few people in rehab therapies who went straight through to their masters without ever working the field, and ended up leaving the field because it wasn't a good fit. 

If you can, I would try to shadow some PTs and OTs, because an associates is still an investment - make sure you really want it!

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Hi there! You have a lot of great options available to you. I hope I can help a little bit, though I only know really know about nursing - my family is full of nurses. :) Firstly, I don't think it's a bad idea at all to go back and get an associate's in nursing if that's what you want to do! Nursing is a great profession, and RNs make a decent amount of money. You can go from ADN to RN, and then if there are additional options you want within a hospital, you can pursue a BSN and then potentially beyond to MSN or MPH, etc. However, another thing to remember is that nursing, unlike speech-language pathology, doesn't require a masters degree, which is something that may be beneficial if it becomes financially difficult to continue schooling. You can hold a very solid, well-paying job with an RN, and a BSN opens up a lot of doors! Many nurses in my family stopped at BSN because they already have so many options that they will never get bored. That being said, nursing is a lot of commitment and quite different from speech path. If you are set on it, it will be hard work but you can get it done and you will have a great career! :)  I'm sorry I could not help in OTA, but I hope you are able to get all the information you need!

Best of luck to you in your future endeavors!

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Saying this gently, but with your GPA, I would encourage you to look long and hard at why it's so low before attempting another field with notoriously difficult classes like nursing. The science pre-reqs for nursing are harder than CSD classes. I was pre-med for the 1st half of my 1st UG degree and before I settled on SLP, I actually looked into direct-entry MSN programs. I would have had to retake all those difficult science classes since they were more than 7 years old. I didn't want to be a nurse badly enough to do that.

Now if your low GPA is due to maturity issues causing bad grades early on while your last 60 GPA is a lot higher, then maybe you'd have a shot.

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See if you can volunteer at a hospital! I started doing that and now have a job as a rehab tech. I work with PT, OT, SLP, nursing, social work and radiology techs. 

I'm an out of field SLP grad applicant waitlisted for the second year. This hospital job has really helped me through this year. I know exactly what field I want and what population. A job or volunteer work might be a good place to start looking considering your wide range of interests stated above. Or even a job in a SNF, hospital or school as a receptionist while volunteering?  It's a good way to get some experience in the field before "wasting your time" on classes in OT for example,  and then you decide something else. 

I almost changed to nursing after not getting in to grad school for SLP. After working in the hospital I was reminded that nursing is not for me. And I'm glad I had that experience to tell me before i followed through with it. 

Good luck!! You are young. You have PLENTY of time to figure out what to do with your career!!! :)

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You can always get a second undergraduate degree in something else. Or you can take the post baccalaureate requirements for a BSN ( Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing). Just an idea. You could also take the post baccalaureate requirements for another graduate degree (nursing, law, medicine, etc.).

I know a guy who is currently taking the prerequisites for a masters degree in engineering. He graduated last May with a bachelor's degree in Business and decided the field wasn't for him.

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I agree with Crimson Wife. Occupational therapy is another professional career just like Speech Language Pathology, meaning it's as competitive to get into. As you mentioned, you might start out as an Occupational Therapy Assistant instead ...which is not a bad idea but you'd probably want to do VERY well in those courses if you want to continue on at a graduate level. 

If I were in your shoes, I would not graduate yet ...pause for a moment, take a good look at why my grades are suffering and continue schooling when it's right. The reason I say that is, if you graduate, you cannot retake courses to adjust your GPA anymore. They are permanent! This can affect your entrance to those other programs you're interested in. 

As for starting over, good for you! My best friend went into business, got her degree...then 5 years later pursued nursing, did horribly but found her passion for radiation therapy instead. It might take a while but you'll find your niche. Good Luck! 

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It sounds like pursuing an Associate's in OTA would be a great move for you. I was in a similar position to you after undergrad...I had a slightly higher GPA, but since my BA was in linguistics there was not a whole lot I could do career-wise. I ended up working in the food industry for about 8 years because I couldn't get work doing anything else. Eventually things worked out for me (I went to post-bacc, got a job as an SLPA and finally got accepted to a grad program after being rejected for four rounds) but part of me wishes I had spent another two years in school for something else and avoided the misery (and poverty!!) of low-skilled work.

Anyway, this is meant to be a cautionary tale...but also keep in mind that I graduated college in 2009 at the height of the recession, so things will probably work out better for you regardless of what you decide! There's no shame in ending up in a different career than you thought you would! 

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