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    Communication Disorders

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amy.will's Achievements


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  1. I worked as a receptionist at a pediatric speech clinic. Honestly just doing the front desk end was really informative. I know more about insurance and billing than I ever wanted to, but that clinic management stuff is important! I also learned a lot kind of just by osmosis...just chatting with the SLP's and overhearing their conversations. I was also able to help out with therapy even though I wasn't a certified SLPA in my state, but I'm not sure if that's allowed everywhere as those things vary so much from state to state.
  2. What kinds of schools are you applying to? I would recommend going for schools in areas that are less desirable to live in. SLP programs in big cities have unbelievably low acceptance rates. Go on ASHA's Edfind to find acceptance rates and apply to schools with the highest ones. You just might have to deal with living in an area that's very rural or has terrible weather (or both!) for two years. Don't restrict yourself to certain regions. My stats were similar to yours, and folks like us cannot afford to be picky! I almost gave up after my third round of rejections. Fourth time was the charm for me. Just make sure you're improving your CV each year--volunteering never hurts!--especially if you're applying to the same program multiple times. They like to see continuing progress. Good luck!
  3. I took 8 gap years! I applied to grad school four times before I finally got in. Luckily my professors from undergrad were always happy to write me a recommendation, even after I hadn't seen them in years...but I went to a really small program, so that definitely helped. Maybe let your professors know of your plans so they aren't surprised to hear from you in a year when you write to ask for a recommendation.
  4. I'm trying to pay for mine with a PLUS loan. I contacted the financial aid department and they gave me an "actual cost of attendance" form, which I'll submit along with documentation of my additional cost of my health insurance. I'm planning on buying a BCBS silver plan off the exchange for about $250/month, but that's because I have ongoing health issues...a catastrophic plan would be quite a bit cheaper. Medicaid is an option in some states. I didn't qualify in Idaho. I've been pretty frustrated with this situation, actually. My university doesn't offer health insurance to students and yet also requires that they have it....their advice to me was basically "Be under 26!" Thanks, direct me to your time machine, please.
  5. It took me four times of applying to finally get in. Working as an SLPA will definitely help...I was working in a different industry, which was part of the problem for me. If you're worried you won't get in next time, I would definitely suggest applying to a wider range of schools, particularly ones in less desirable areas. I really wanted to stay in the Portland/Seattle area, but then, so do a lot of people...which is why all the programs in those places are so competitive! I'm going to Idaho State and I'm not super thrilled about living in such a rural area...but two years is not a very big sacrifice compared to the decades you'll get to work in your desired field! Plus, every SLP I know (plus people in other healthcare professions) tells me that it really doesn't matter (from a career standpoint) where you go to grad school.
  6. I believe Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR has (or is developing) a transgender voice clinic.
  7. I'm buying a new laptop for grad school and I'm wondering how much I should spend. I'm imagining I can get something fairly cheap, mostly for word processing and web and a few other simple apps. Are there any programs you used in grad school that would require a more powerful machine (vs, say, a Chromebook) or a specific operating system? In undergrad (not in CSD, different major) I had kind of a hard time because I was running Linux on my laptop and a lot of the programs I needed to run were Mac specific. I just want to make sure I don't run into that scenario again. Thanks!
  8. I don't know if this is helpful since I can't speak to the grad program itself at Umass, but I grew up in Amherst and it's a great place to live...and pretty cheap. For a fairly small town there's a lot of good food and Northampton (a 15 minute drive away) has a lot of good bands come through. I know those things aren't the most important in choosing a grad program, but you will have to live there for two years (at least) after all!
  9. Thank you all for your input. I found out a few days ago I got accepted at Idaho State! They were particularly concerned that I learned IPA over 10 years ago, but I assured them that I wasn't feeling rusty...I used it in post-bacc a few years ago and occasionally in my job as an SLPA. Apparently that was a satisfactory response!
  10. 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!
  11. I was wondering if an older students had experience applying to grad programs with undergrad credits over 10 years old. I graduated college in 2009, and some of my pre-requisite courses were taken in 2007 or earlier. I was informed by one of the schools I applied to this year (Idaho State) that this was probably going to be a problem. I'm still waitlisted at Idaho and a few other places, but at this point it's looking like I'm not going to be accepted anywhere this year. I want to apply again next year, but I'm wondering if anyone will even consider my application since my credits are so old. I have a lot of more recent experience...I took classes as a post bacc student two years ago, and I'm currently working as an SLPA. I actually use a lot of the knowledge I gained from those 10 year old classes in my current job, but I'm not sure if my continuing experience in the field will be taken into consideration. I'm sure it depends on the school, and I do plan on calling around asking about different program's policies, but if anyone has experience with this issue I would really like to hear about it!
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