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Hello All!

Just wanted to post a reminder that today is the first day that mentees can register for ASHA's S.T.E.P program. (You don't have to be a member of NSSLHA to join, but it's recommended)

This program matches mentors to mentees in SLP or Audiology based on 6 preferences: skills that you'd like to focus on, areas of interest, areas of study, languages, work setting, and mentoring areas (career direction, bilingual service provision, careers in academia, clinical age population, conducting research, creating safe spaces and gender inclusivity, etc.).

Mentors are ASHA members with their CCC's and 3 years of professional practice. The website matches you with potential mentors that match your preferences as closely as possible. From there, you are able to message the mentors that you are interested in advising you, which gives you some independence in finding a mentor that is truly going to be a good fit. Then, the mentor can decide if they would like to mentor you.  In the program, you will communicate with each other regularly about your mentoring areas!

The program is open to undergraduates, graduate students, and those applying to a program. They state that you should set aside approximately an hour a week for work on the program, but this opportunity is what you make of it (you get out what you put in). It's conducted via the internet, but they state that you can meet personally in certain situations (ASHA convention, etc.)

 

Benefits (copied from the ASHA website)

  • Access to a support system during critical stages of college and career development
  • Insider perspective on navigating their chosen career
  • Clear understanding and enhancement of academic and career development plans
  • Ability to develop mentoring relationships in industries where mentoring is not readily available
  • Enhanced understanding of the importance of mentors
  • Exposure to diverse perspectives and experiences
  • Direct access to power resources within the professions of audiology; speech-language pathology; and speech, language, and hearing science
  • Identification of skill gaps before leaving school
  • Greater knowledge of career success factors
  • A lasting career network

 

S.T.E.P. program info page

Click here to learn more (FAQs). 

Click here if you're ready to register. (takes 5-10 minutes)

 

Enrollment for this year ends February 28th. The orientation is March 3 from 8-9:30 pm ET (zoom). This post is not sponsored, I just think it's a great opportunity and hadn't seen anything posted on this forum about it.

Edited by jomyers.online
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Posted (edited)

Hello @p_SLP-to-be!

I am not a SLPA, but I was very interested in pursuing that avenue over the next year if I was not accepted into KU's program. It can be worth pursuing the ASHA SLPA certification, depending on your circumstances:

  • Job opportunities: different states utilize SLPAs at different rates. Some, like Kansas, hardly utilize SLPA's at all (instead, most school districts in KS hire speech and language paras). Other states, like Florida or Nevada, utilize SLPAs frequently. For a C-SLPA certification to be worth it for you, you should determine if job opportunities exist in your state, or you should be willing to move to a state with more opportunities. 
  • Licensure: ASHA's C-SLPA certification is brand new. I've heard through the grapevine that 2 states have adopted the ASHA SLPA Certification. In my own searches, I was not able to find any states that have adopted these standards yet. Therefore, in most cases, you would need to pursue your state's individual standards for licensure AND certification. I believe that ASHA intends for the C-SLPA certification to function as a nationwide standard, as is the case for the CCC-SLP. However, just like the CCC-SLP, you will still be beholden to state standards for licensure, even once the certification becomes standard. If your state has different licensure standards than ASHA, you will have to jump through those hoops. For example, in California, you MUST attend one of their specific, pre-approved SLPA programs or obtain a bachelor's degree in communication sciences - leveling courses or unapproved programs will not count, regardless of your C-SLPA status.
  • Trajectory: If your goal is to become an SLPA, obtaining the ASHA C-SLPA certification would be advisable, as it's well within the realm of possibility that more states will change their licensure requirements to reflect ASHA's new standards. If your goal is to go to SLP grad school, I've heard that it can be incredibly beneficial to have relevant experience as an SLPA. However, some have found the cost prohibitive, others cannot find job opportunities close by, and still others have determined that the process to gain certification takes more time than they'll have before their next round of grad school applications. You'll really have to take a look at your individual circumstances to determine if this is the right path for you!

This is a link to ASHA's SLPA Certification standards

This is a link to the requirements of the individual states for SLPAs (click the state, then "support personnel")

This is a link to the C-SLPA application

This is a link to a reddit forum for SLPAs

I created a thread on GradCafe for questions/comments related to SLPA certification here!

 

Please don't hesitate to DM me if you'd like to talk in more detail,

-Jo

Edited by jomyers.online
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