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Breadwinner to student career change

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Hello all,

I’m currently an active duty Infantry Officer in the Army looking to make the transition to a SLP career after the next year.  My undergrad is in history so I am coming from out of field.  I have a very established life (kids, mortgage, pets, car payments, etc...) that requires money to sustain. I’m giving up a 6 figure salary to change my families lifestyle, does anyone have any experience working while going to school for their MS-SLP?  If so what programs did you use?  Online vs traditional?  We are geographically tied to the Clarksville, TN area so the only traditional programs around are Vanderbilt (not happening), TSU, and WKU.  My wife is an SLP and will be able to work full time (She’s been part time while I’ve been in the army).  I’d love to make this transition, the idea of working in the same field as my wife, helping people, and the potential to open our own business someday is very appealing.  Any advice or prior success/failure stories is appreciated. Thanks!

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What an awesome choice! I'm a more traditional student (still a few years out of school and married but wasn't established in my career or anything) and ended up in an in-person program. We have to sign a contract saying we won't work during grad school since the clinical load is so heavy however I do know that some people work on weekends! You may have more flexibility in an online program (NYU online, for example, doesn't put you in clinicals until your second term. They offer a 3 year program so you can get your pre-req). It sounds like you'll have to do a post-bacc to get those pre-req classes. A LOT of people in my program did theirs online and that is something you could 100% continue working through. The classes are hard but similar to the undergraduate experience you had (i'm sure way fewer papers than in history though!). 

My only advice is to reach out to faculty at your local universities! I've found speech faculty to be so supportive and open to helping people who know this is what they want to do. I'm sure someone in the department could walk you through requirements and if it's a good fit for you and you may be able to find a mentor. Best of luck!!! 

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