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Hello,

For those considering Samford University, I advise you with caution. The program is in crisis and there are a lot of concerns with the development of the program. I understand the stress of getting into an SLP program, I have been there and the struggle is REAL! Therefore, I know a class with be guaranteed for next semester. I do want to warn you. The program has recently lost 6 students in two semesters. They started with 23 and now only have 17. When you arrive for your interview they will inform you that they want you and they care about you. They will also sell you a line about how they want to keep their jobs and that is based on your success, unfortunately being successful in this program is difficult. I also want to remind you that per ASHA website there must be an 80% pass rate for students,17/23 (73%). Here are the reasons why I caution those who are considering this program. "God, Family, School" they will tell you is the most important aspect of the program. 

  • They will not help you. 
    • If you have a question about a project, expect them to tell you that you are in grad school now and that is your decision. Or, they'll change the subject the day of and still expect it due. 
    • The rubric is not clear and that leads to confusion
    • Unfortunately, they told me in the interview that they have an open door policy. They do not have an open door policy. 
  • Disorganized
    • They have different professors grading your assignments and even when you write down what the professor said, word for word, it is wrong. 
    • No clear answers from the professors
    • Grades are not submitted 
    • The tests are not based on notes. You will be literally given a test and have no idea what you are going to be tested on. It is a surprise. 
  • Treat you like children
    • You may be 21+ but be expected to be treated like a child
  • Bad clinical placement
    • They expect you to find your own clinic placement without any assistance. They do have a new DCE and he has been slightly helpful. 
    • They also do not tell you that if you want to work at the VA you are not able to do so because they are not an established program
    • SLP/SLP preceptors/SLP schools in Alabama know about Samford and their failures. I have a friend that is an SLP and spoke about how she knows several preceptors (mentors) that complain about the program and refuse to take Samford students. 
    • They are having difficulty with making contracts with schools. I have one classmate that has to drive an hour away from the home. Another classmate was placed two hours away from her home. She had to call a nearby school to get that situated. They were helpful when pushed to actually change her clinical placement, but she still had to go out of her way to change the situation. 
    • There is also difficulty in obtaining hours. 
  • Do not listen to your concerns.
    • When you complain about a professor or discuss issues they will 'pretend' like they care. 
    • Also, for the teacher reviews at the end of the semester, they close it early so you can't review them. 
    • I had one classmate that spoke to her supervisor, head of the program, head of the department, and the dean of the program. Could you believe that nothing came from it? 

This school should be the last choice for you. Please ask me questions, I want to answer them and help you out. I do not want you to go to this program. I wish that you will go to any other school except this one. They care more about their new audiology program than the fact that they managed to lose 6 graduate students in two semesters. 

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My friend did report it to the dean and he did nothing. Actually, he told my friend that they (the SLP program) care about us and that he would speak to them. Who knows if he did. I know my friend had zero luck speaking to her supervisor, then the head of the program, and then the head of the department about her issues. 

Edited by uncannywriter
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The dean has been made aware on several occasions. He is of no help to any of the students. ASHA will come next spring to interview the students, but many have mentioned that they will let ASHA know how they feel about the program. This is NOT a recommended program. If you have an interview with them, I would run far, far away as they will attempt to reel in as many contenders as possible when they have no structure. 

Edited by SLPcanmakeutalk
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Wow... all I can say is that this makes me sick to read. I attended Samford for some of my undergraduate career and loved every second, and was really eager to have an opportunity to come back as a graduate student. I would love to hear whatever extra details you're willing to share, as I was also accepted for an interview and (before reading this post lol) had been really eager to get involved with their program. At this point I'm so stunned I can't even think of anything specific to ask you, but if there's anything else you're willing to share about even just the day-to-day or your experience with clinical placement, I would love to hear it. 

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This is shocking to read, I really encourage all applicants to look at all program's completion rates and Praxis pass rate. I look at Samford's and the stats are pretty low. It's the first school I've seen without a 97-100% praxis pass rate and completion rate.

Edited by lacuna
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Also I am curious about that pass rate since 80% is required, is 80% for ASHA certification? if it's basically already dropped below 80 since students have left, does that predict they will lose certification, or what are the consequences? does ASHA know that so many students have left / does the university care...? any more students planning on leaving?

 

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@SpeechJC I'm not sure about the audiology program. That is going to be the first year it has started. If you are considering going there, my experience with two of the audiology professors have been excellent and better than the actual SLP professors. I would take that lightly though because the program is new. Many of my peers believe that one of the failings of the SLP program, besides being unorganized, is the professors large concentration on the new Audiology program. Actually, the former head of the program left to chair the new audiology program and appointed another person in charge of the program since this past fall of 2017.  

@lacuna Samford has 5 years to prove that they are a program that should be official. If there is not a drastic change they will not obtain their accreditation. I do not believe that ASHA knows anything yet. Samford is being interviewed on March 1 regarding their status. Three students have went to the Dean about the program and he insisted that the people who are in charge of the program care about the students. When I personally spoke to one professor about the program and my concerns, she informed me that they are actually changing the schedule for the new class to try to fix what happened. Who knows how that is going to work, but for the new class I hope for the best. If you are curious the "Standards for Accreditation of Graduate Education program in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology" has information about what programs need to do to earn their accreditation. I have attached the link below. Samford only allows students to earn one C. If you earn a C then you have to 'survive' the remaining semesters on academic probation because if you earn one more than you will be dismissed. There are students that are on academic probation right now. I hope they will not leave the program because they are part of my cohort/family and are awesome people! Sorry for the lengthy reply. 

https://caa.asha.org/wp-content/uploads/Accreditation-Standards-for-Graduate-Programs.pdf

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@speechierosie sorry for not responding to your post sooner. The clinical experiences have differed for each student. Clinical experiences are always great because you get to work with the actual clients and learn so much if you are teamed with a good mentor. Being in clinic depends on each semester-in Summer there was no clinic. In Fall something, to be blunt, weird happened. They split the cohort into two groups.

The first group went out and did clinic for Monday/Wednesday/Friday at the assigned school. During clinic class, you would discuss your experiences in clinic and about IEPs/lesson plans.etc.

 The second group stayed at Samford on Monday/Wednesday to watch a video on one professor performing a diagnostic test and then you would score the client.  During clinic class, you would write a report on the client and about the scoring. You would submit the report and then two different professors will grade it.

The groups would then switch after six weeks. Right now we are in Spring and it is different. They didn't do that weird splitting us into two groups. I'm not sure why they did that in Fall. I'm hoping they will not do that again because it really did a disservice when it came to collecting hours and learning. When I did clinic with my mentor, it was broken into two weeks of learning from the mentor and about the clients then four weeks of actually doing therapy. It was not enough time to collect the expected amount of hours and to learn how to do therapy.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

wow I am sorry to hear about this! Don't worry about the lengthy reply. I am sending your whole cohort lots of love and I really hope the department turns around fast! 

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  • 5 months later...
  • 2 years later...
On 2/1/2018 at 8:59 PM, uncannywriter said:

Hello,

For those considering Samford University, I advise you with caution. The program is in crisis and there are a lot of concerns with the development of the program. I understand the stress of getting into an SLP program, I have been there and the struggle is REAL! Therefore, I know a class with be guaranteed for next semester. I do want to warn you. The program has recently lost 6 students in two semesters. They started with 23 and now only have 17. When you arrive for your interview they will inform you that they want you and they care about you. They will also sell you a line about how they want to keep their jobs and that is based on your success, unfortunately being successful in this program is difficult. I also want to remind you that per ASHA website there must be an 80% pass rate for students,17/23 (73%). Here are the reasons why I caution those who are considering this program. "God, Family, School" they will tell you is the most important aspect of the program. 

  • They will not help you. 
    • If you have a question about a project, expect them to tell you that you are in grad school now and that is your decision. Or, they'll change the subject the day of and still expect it due. 
    • The rubric is not clear and that leads to confusion
    • Unfortunately, they told me in the interview that they have an open door policy. They do not have an open door policy. 
  • Disorganized
    • They have different professors grading your assignments and even when you write down what the professor said, word for word, it is wrong. 
    • No clear answers from the professors
    • Grades are not submitted 
    • The tests are not based on notes. You will be literally given a test and have no idea what you are going to be tested on. It is a surprise. 
  • Treat you like children
    • You may be 21+ but be expected to be treated like a child
  • Bad clinical placement
    • They expect you to find your own clinic placement without any assistance. They do have a new DCE and he has been slightly helpful. 
    • They also do not tell you that if you want to work at the VA you are not able to do so because they are not an established program
    • SLP/SLP preceptors/SLP schools in Alabama know about Samford and their failures. I have a friend that is an SLP and spoke about how she knows several preceptors (mentors) that complain about the program and refuse to take Samford students. 
    • They are having difficulty with making contracts with schools. I have one classmate that has to drive an hour away from the home. Another classmate was placed two hours away from her home. She had to call a nearby school to get that situated. They were helpful when pushed to actually change her clinical placement, but she still had to go out of her way to change the situation. 
    • There is also difficulty in obtaining hours. 
  • Do not listen to your concerns.
    • When you complain about a professor or discuss issues they will 'pretend' like they care. 
    • Also, for the teacher reviews at the end of the semester, they close it early so you can't review them. 
    • I had one classmate that spoke to her supervisor, head of the program, head of the department, and the dean of the program. Could you believe that nothing came from it? 

This school should be the last choice for you. Please ask me questions, I want to answer them and help you out. I do not want you to go to this program. I wish that you will go to any other school except this one. They care more about their new audiology program than the fact that they managed to lose 6 graduate students in two semesters. 

This is super interesting to hear.... do you know if there is any improvement on the program since 2018? Did you go to Samford and graduate from there? I just got an interview for later this month, so I would love to hear your insight. Thanks!

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