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Question re: Option for Automatic Acceptance to Grad School - CSUN


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Does anyone here have experience with Cal State Northridge's online Pre-SLP/Post-Bac program? If you maintain a 3.8 GPA, plus GRE test scores, you are automatically admitted to their online graduate program.

I am debating completing my Pre-SLP/Post-Bac online with CSUN or Utah State. Utah State's is half the price of CSUN's, but the possibility to be automatically admitted to CSUN's graduate program is attractive.
 
My question is -- how realistic is to maintain a 3.8 GPA? Are graduate school admissions so competitive that it could be worth paying double to go through CSUN's post-bac program and striving to make/keep that GPA? (I am a good student, but should mention this is a career change and am completing the post-bac program while also working and being a mother to two young children.)
 
Any advice or tips from anyone who has gone through these programs is appreciated!
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I’m looking into CSUN Pre-SLP/Post-Bac program as well. Everything about it sounds like  the best fit for me. My other option was Idaho State University Post-Bac. 
 

However, I have many questions about CSUN’s program. I don’t know if the classes are transferable. Also, the Pre-SLP program is 2 years and I saw that the masters program is 3 years. Is it a 5 year program or 3? 
 

Im in the same boat. I have to work full-time and have a 1-year-old. I’m doubtful that 3.8 GPA is realistic for me to maintain. The program says it’s flexible for people working, but I wonder how flexible. 

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Hi JMHK and BlackGirlSLP,

I can't speak for all students' experiences but I can try and answer some of your questions from my perspective. I graduated from the CSUN Pre-SLP program in 2019 and I just started their master's program this past January 2020.

First of all, regarding the pre-SLP program, yes, a 3.8 is completely doable. Our cohort was about 40-something students and many if not most of us kept a 4.0 GPA (we had our eye on the prize!). The stress over grades was intense and palpable sometimes. Many of my fellow students were parents and/or teachers and others who worked full-time. More on that later. 

In the master's program, there are many students who attended the Utah State program for their post-bacc certificate. From what I have heard, they have all loved it. I can't speak for everyone but they did seemed a bit shocked at what many of us consider a lack of teaching within CSUN's programs. Basically you are given the material and much of the time you have to learn it yourself. Some of the best teachers have videos on YouTube but not all of them do. A lot of so-called lectures are in PDF form. Mostly it works okay but with some teachers it can be difficult to adequately grasp the material in that way. Some students who attended Utah State were somewhat grumbly about the transition to CSUN's methods. I am not aware of Utah State's reputation but CSUN produces -- as I'm sure you know -- 25% of the California's grads in SLP. They work closely with ASHA and have a very good reputation in the field. 

The pre-SLP program at CSUN is two and a half years and the master's program is three and a half plus your clinical fellowship year.

I have only been in the grad program for two semesters so far, and it's really not enough to give you an informed opinion. I would say most of the students would be working as SLPAs but with Covid-19, many of them were furloughed. We also have a handful of working waivered SLPs in our group.

Our first semester was relatively easy; one class was so ridiculous that it was pretty much a joke. (You always have two classes at a time except for certain semesters.) In contrast, this summer has been especially difficult with one teacher who throws more reading at you than is humanly possible. Our other class during the summer has been more reasonable but for some reason the teachers always loaded up in the last two weeks of the term and it has been a nightmare. (so maybe keep that in mind, that not every week is the same!) My assumption is that they assume that most students are working as teachers or in the school system so they have summers completely off.

I worked 16 hours a week during the pre-SLP program and I currently work 25 so I would not have to take out so much debt. Every student has their own work style and I am definitely on the slower side, needing more time to digest & sit with the material. During the pre-SLP program, I would say I put in up to 18-20 hours of studying a week, whereas some students only did the minimum around 12 and 15. However, in the master's this summer feels much more like a full-time program. Most of the students aren't working at all and they still find the program a struggle to keep up.

There are still a lot of parents in our program and a lot of them are kicking butt (even with up to four young children!) but a fair amount of them are stay-at-home moms. For those that are doing well, their spouses provide invaluable support. (I am single and have no children.) I would definitely say you need a good support system in place when you tackle serious school.🙂

There always seem to be a lot of little side tasks regarding setting up qualifications for your clinicals. For us, that includes TB tests, blood titers (for MMR/chickenpox immunity), fingerprinting, CPR classes, etc this semester. there are often two evening zoom sessions per week depending on the class, and possibly additional zoom sessions depending on any group work or program information.

Also, one thing to note about the master's program is that every single class is governed by ASHA KASA competencies. So everything that is classified as a competency under ASHA, you have to get 70%, in otherwise you have to do remediation. It can add a lot of extra work to an already full plate. Also remember you will have five internships with this program and it's not possible to work full-time during those times. I plan to reduce my hours again, perhaps to 16. Someone I know from a previous cohort ended up not working at all during her practica.

In sum, I really believe that every student has their own working methods and strengths. Young students may have a lot of energy and be able to work through the night. There is one young dad in ourr program who stays up till 2:00 a.m. doing homework and then gets up at 7:00. I am in awe of their commitment but I could never do that haha. Another mom gets up at 5:00 a.m. to start her homework before her kids are up. these online programs definitely have flexibility, but CSUN is not a self-paced program. There are weekly deadlines for everything.

I think it's possible to work full-time during the pre-SLP program at CSUN, but during the master's program I think it would be very hard.

Basically I would recommend either working FT or being a parent (but not both) during this program. I think being a parent and working part-time would probably be okay.  I am an older student who doesn't function too well in the evening after coming home from work, so I currently get most of my homework done within the 3 full days that I'm off every week. It's a bit of a scramble and I wouldn't recommend it. You really have to be available a little bit every day.

Sorry this is so long but hope it helps a little bit. Good luck to you.

Edited by shaktibhakti13
Typos + formatting
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4 hours ago, shaktibhakti13 said:

Hi JMHK and BlackGirlSLP,

I can't speak for all students' experiences but I can try and answer some of your questions from my perspective. I graduated from the CSUN Pre-SLP program in 2019 and I just started their master's program this past January 2020.

First of all, regarding the pre-SLP program, yes, a 3.8 is completely doable. Our cohort was about 40-something students and many if not most of us kept a 4.0 GPA (we had our eye on the prize!). The stress over grades was intense and palpable sometimes. Many of my fellow students were parents and/or teachers and others who worked full-time. More on that later. 

In the master's program, there are many students who attended the Utah State program for their post-bacc certificate. From what I have heard, they have all loved it. I can't speak for everyone but they did seemed a bit shocked at what many of us consider a lack of teaching within CSUN's programs. Basically you are given the material and much of the time you have to learn it yourself. Some of the best teachers have videos on YouTube but not all of them do. A lot of so-called lectures are in PDF form. Mostly it works okay but with some teachers it can be difficult to adequately grasp the material in that way. Some students who attended Utah State were somewhat grumbly about the transition to CSUN's methods. I am not aware of Utah State's reputation but CSUN produces -- as I'm sure you know -- 25% of the California's grads in SLP. They work closely with ASHA and have a very good reputation in the field. 

The pre-SLP program at CSUN is two and a half years and the master's program is three and a half plus your clinical fellowship year.

I have only been in the grad program for two semesters so far, and it's really not enough to give you an informed opinion. I would say most of the students would be working as SLPAs but with Covid-19, many of them were furloughed. We also have a handful of working waivered SLPs in our group.

Our first semester was relatively easy; one class was so ridiculous that it was pretty much a joke. (You always have two classes at a time except for certain semesters.) In contrast, this summer has been especially difficult with one teacher who throws more reading at you than is humanly possible. Our other class during the summer has been more reasonable but for some reason the teachers always loaded up in the last two weeks of the term and it has been a nightmare. (so maybe keep that in mind, that not every week is the same!) My assumption is that they assume that most students are working as teachers or in the school system so they have summers completely off.

I worked 16 hours a week during the pre-SLP program and I currently work 25 so I would not have to take out so much debt. Every student has their own work style and I am definitely on the slower side, needing more time to digest & sit with the material. During the pre-SLP program, I would say I put in up to 18-20 hours of studying a week, whereas some students only did the minimum around 12 and 15. However, in the master's this summer feels much more like a full-time program. Most of the students aren't working at all and they still find the program a struggle to keep up.

There are still a lot of parents in our program and a lot of them are kicking butt (even with up to four young children!) but a fair amount of them are stay-at-home moms. For those that are doing well, their spouses provide invaluable support. (I am single and have no children.) I would definitely say you need a good support system in place when you tackle serious school.🙂

There always seem to be a lot of little side tasks regarding setting up qualifications for your clinicals. For us, that includes TB tests, blood titers (for MMR/chickenpox immunity), fingerprinting, CPR classes, etc this semester. there are often two evening zoom sessions per week depending on the class, and possibly additional zoom sessions depending on any group work or program information.

Also, one thing to note about the master's program is that every single class is governed by ASHA KASA competencies. So everything that is classified as a competency under ASHA, you have to get 70%, in otherwise you have to do remediation. It can add a lot of extra work to an already full plate. Also remember you will have five internships with this program and it's not possible to work full-time during those times. I plan to reduce my hours again, perhaps to 16. Someone I know from a previous cohort ended up not working at all during her practica.

In sum, I really believe that every student has their own working methods and strengths. Young students may have a lot of energy and be able to work through the night. There is one young dad in ourr program who stays up till 2:00 a.m. doing homework and then gets up at 7:00. I am in awe of their commitment but I could never do that haha. Another mom gets up at 5:00 a.m. to start her homework before her kids are up. these online programs definitely have flexibility, but CSUN is not a self-paced program. There are weekly deadlines for everything.

I think it's possible to work full-time during the pre-SLP program at CSUN, but during the master's program I think it would be very hard.

Basically I would recommend either working FT or being a parent (but not both) during this program. I think being a parent and working part-time would probably be okay.  I am an older student who doesn't function too well in the evening after coming home from work, so I currently get most of my homework done within the 3 full days that I'm off every week. It's a bit of a scramble and I wouldn't recommend it. You really have to be available a little bit every day.

Sorry this is so long but hope it helps a little bit. Good luck to you.

Thank you shaktibhakti13! 

Your response wasn't at all long but informative and helpful. I was able to decide if this program will fit into my lifestyle. It's been hard to find programs that will 100% allow for you to work. But I'm not giving up. 

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