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Sorry ahead of time because this is going to be a long post, but I'm in need of advice and a little reassurance. I graduated in May with my BA in Speech-Language Pathology. My first 2 years of college were tough, I was going through some personal things and dealing with sickness and depression and you could tell by my grades. I withdrew from all of my classes one semester but I honestly should've taken at least a year off to get back on track and motivated, but I didn't want to sit out for that long.  I transferred to a different university and my last 2 years I improved A LOT, I mean I wasn't getting a 4.0, but still good grades. My first 2 years drug my GPA down a lot, but I love the field so much I'm going to try my best for grad school. I'm trying to apply to schools that look at the last 60 hours GPA and/or use a formula score (with your last 60 GPA and GRE score) like at Southeastern in Hammond, Louisiana. 

My GRE score is average, I got pretty bad test anxiety when I took it so I'm studying a lot right now and plan to retake it this summer and improve my score. I'm trying to make myself look better for grad school since I'm lacking in GPA, so I'm working as a Reading Interventionist at my local elementary school and I'm wanting to volunteer with something speech related for the summer. I live in a small area though so there aren't very many opportunities.

I've gotten very discouraged looking at different program requirements and posts on here and considered just going into teaching, but at my job I've gotten pulled to sub so many times and dealing with that many children at once, I just don't think it is for me. 

Any advice on specific programs or jobs/volunteer opportunities that will help me increase my chances of getting in? Thanks in advance!

 

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Since you graduated recently, is there any way you could contact career services? I still had full support for 12 months after graduating. They may have more resources and advice. 

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17 hours ago, amf18 said:

Sorry ahead of time because this is going to be a long post, but I'm in need of advice and a little reassurance. I graduated in May with my BA in Speech-Language Pathology. My first 2 years of college were tough, I was going through some personal things and dealing with sickness and depression and you could tell by my grades. I withdrew from all of my classes one semester but I honestly should've taken at least a year off to get back on track and motivated, but I didn't want to sit out for that long.  I transferred to a different university and my last 2 years I improved A LOT, I mean I wasn't getting a 4.0, but still good grades. My first 2 years drug my GPA down a lot, but I love the field so much I'm going to try my best for grad school. I'm trying to apply to schools that look at the last 60 hours GPA and/or use a formula score (with your last 60 GPA and GRE score) like at Southeastern in Hammond, Louisiana. 

My GRE score is average, I got pretty bad test anxiety when I took it so I'm studying a lot right now and plan to retake it this summer and improve my score. I'm trying to make myself look better for grad school since I'm lacking in GPA, so I'm working as a Reading Interventionist at my local elementary school and I'm wanting to volunteer with something speech related for the summer. I live in a small area though so there aren't very many opportunities.

I've gotten very discouraged looking at different program requirements and posts on here and considered just going into teaching, but at my job I've gotten pulled to sub so many times and dealing with that many children at once, I just don't think it is for me. 

Any advice on specific programs or jobs/volunteer opportunities that will help me increase my chances of getting in? Thanks in advance!

 

Hi amf18!

My first piece of advice is to not get discouraged. I know this can be hard when everyone around you has a high GPA. It can feel like there is no hope and lot of disappointment, but the truth is all of those 4.0/ high GPA students do not have the same story as you. As someone that also has a lower undergraduate GPA, I can personally understand the uphill battle of getting into grad school. This is my second round of applying. I first applied in 2014 after one year of related work experience (SLP-A) and was rejected to every school I applied too. Now, here I am 4 years later and just finished reapplying to schools. I was offered an interview to one of the schools I applied to and I am over the moon about it! Proof, that I still have not given up after 5 years. I found at the age of 24 that I have a learning disability, which gave clarity to my low GPA. I contacted student disability services (DSS) at the school where I completed my undergrad and I was granted accommodations (i.e. extended test times). I made the decision to back to school and retake  all of my CSD classes, even the ones I got a B's in. I went from a 2.68 GPA to exactly a 3.0 (my post-bac GPA 3.98 and last 60 GPA is 3.65). While in school, I continued to work as full-time SLP-A while managing a caseload of 45 students. To me this is important, because it will show that I can balance both the high demands of homework in graduate schools, as well as, planning and preparing for clinicals.

If I were you, I would try to look for an SLP-A job, even if you have to move to do so. Maybe call the local school district and ask if they have  SLP-A positions or other para-educator positions available. If you are unable to find a job as an SLP-A, I would look in into jobs that will give you similar experience (behavior specialist, para-educator, etc.). Maybe even possibly looking into volunteering or do some job shadowing at school or hospital within your community. Through the DSS at the school I attended both test anxiety and depression were considered to be disabilities, which could be worth looking into if you decide to retake classes. One other thing I did was made contact with a professor from my undergraduate studies and asked if I could do some research under him for the experience. I was able to help publish a paper and present poster at both ASHA and my state's local speech and language conference. Finally, when you feel that you are ready to apply, I would look at schools that look at the last 60 credits (as you mentioned) and schools that holistically look at your application. I would also address the reason behind your low GPA in your personal statement. Look at your low GPA as a positive, not a negative. Prove to the school that you are applying to how hard you have worked to overcome a low GPA and how the experience  helped you to grow as a person. I personally feel overcoming my lower GPA is a strength, because SLPs provide their clients with the right tools and strategies to make their client's successful.

Oh one more thing (sorry this is so long), when I decided to re-take the GRE, I studied through Magoosh.com. Magoosh offers a 5 point score guarantee (in both sections) as long as you complete all lessons and practice problems. I would recommend the 6-month study plan vs. the one month study plan.

But, do not give up. Your time will come and keep your head high! If you want make it happen, you will find a way to do so! I hope these tips helped. Best of luck my friend!

Edited by aelwood14

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@DDolores I'm going to contact them and see if that is still available to me, thank you for the advice!!

 

 @aelwood14  Thank you so much for all of your advice and sharing your story with me!! I'm going to start looking into SLPA positions across my state, I know the school district I am currently working in does not have SLP-As, so I will have to look elsewhere. Also I just signed up for Magoosh last night! I'm determined to get my GRE up and I've heard great things about using that program. Good luck to you on all of your applications and congrats on getting an interview, I'm sure it's your time! Again, thank you so much!

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28 minutes ago, amf18 said:

@DDolores I'm going to contact them and see if that is still available to me, thank you for the advice!!

 

 @aelwood14  Thank you so much for all of your advice and sharing your story with me!! I'm going to start looking into SLPA positions across my state, I know the school district I am currently working in does not have SLP-As, so I will have to look elsewhere. Also I just signed up for Magoosh last night! I'm determined to get my GRE up and I've heard great things about using that program. Good luck to you on all of your applications and congrats on getting an interview, I'm sure it's your time! Again, thank you so much!

Anytime love! If I get into grad school, I hope to inspire others with lower GPA's. Sometimes, it can feel like a loosing battle, but I truly believe that if you can turn your negative into a positive your time will come. :)

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I had an extremely low GPA in undergrad (under 3.0), and I also had very low GRE scores (verbal 146, quantitative 144, writing 3.0), so of course I figured grad school would never happen for me!  I decided to take a post grad CDA program (similar to SLP-A but in Canada) and ended up with a 3.8 GPA there, and worked as a CDA in acute care for a year while I tried applying again, I am now halfway through my first year of grad school and enjoying it very much!  I was really surprised to get accepted but it is possible!! Good luck!

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I had similar GRE scores to @canadaSLP only difference being a 4.0 writing after I had taken the gre 3 times. You have to be extremely picky about the schools you apply too. It took me three application cycles before I got into grad school, but then I was accepted into 3 programs :) I couldn't have dreamed of that result! Apply to schools all over the country and schools with less applicants applying to them so you have a better chance of standing out. Use that experience as a Reading Interventionalish to help you! That's awesome experience you can use as a letter of intent. For my experience I volunteered at an integrated preschool and observed sessions with the SLP. I wanted more experience working with preschoolers and it was great to bond and learn from the SLP and see the different interactions between professionals. 

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@canadaSLP & @AlwaysaFalcon thank yall so much!! I'm trying to get some information on an SLPA program near me and I'm still contacting people about volunteering over the summer.  A local SLP has her own practice where she does hippotherapy (with horses) with some clients! I really hope I get the opportunity to volunteer there because that seems so interesting to me and also unique for my resume.

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You can try Southern University in Baton Rouge.  Their deadline is later (April 15th) and they accept lower GPA and GRE scores.  Info is on their website.  Best of luck to you!

Edited by slpcajun

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On February 7, 2018 at 8:18 PM, amf18 said:

Sorry ahead of time because this is going to be a long post, but I'm in need of advice and a little reassurance. I graduated in May with my BA in Speech-Language Pathology. My first 2 years of college were tough, I was going through some personal things and dealing with sickness and depression and you could tell by my grades. I withdrew from all of my classes one semester but I honestly should've taken at least a year off to get back on track and motivated, but I didn't want to sit out for that long.  I transferred to a different university and my last 2 years I improved A LOT, I mean I wasn't getting a 4.0, but still good grades. My first 2 years drug my GPA down a lot, but I love the field so much I'm going to try my best for grad school. I'm trying to apply to schools that look at the last 60 hours GPA and/or use a formula score (with your last 60 GPA and GRE score) like at Southeastern in Hammond, Louisiana. 

My GRE score is average, I got pretty bad test anxiety when I took it so I'm studying a lot right now and plan to retake it this summer and improve my score. I'm trying to make myself look better for grad school since I'm lacking in GPA, so I'm working as a Reading Interventionist at my local elementary school and I'm wanting to volunteer with something speech related for the summer. I live in a small area though so there aren't very many opportunities.

I've gotten very discouraged looking at different program requirements and posts on here and considered just going into teaching, but at my job I've gotten pulled to sub so many times and dealing with that many children at once, I just don't think it is for me. 

Any advice on specific programs or jobs/volunteer opportunities that will help me increase my chances of getting in? Thanks in advance!

 

Try Southern University in Baton Rouge...it's not nearly as competitive.  And they have a later application deadline.  April 15th

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(Late seeing this ?) but Thank you so much, I'll add that to my list!! 

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