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Non-traditional Student


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Long-time lurker, first time posting.

Sorry for posting another admissions thread - I realize that plenty of admissions questions/threads have been posted; I'm just looking for more specific advice.

I'm a non-traditional student: I didn't major in COMD. I graduated from a University of California campus a couple of years ago, majoring in history and literature. I graduated with a cumulative gpa of 3.66.

My career goal at the time was to teach special education. While applying to a teaching credential program, I took a job as an assistant for a school-based SLP. I was on the job that entire school year, and I learned a lot about the COMD field and SLP profession. So much so that I decided to pursue a career in comm. disorders.

The following year, I took a full-time SLP position in the same school district through a state-issued waiver - rural California was in such desperate need for SLPs that at the time, that the state was issuing waivers to just about anyone.

After two years working in the field, successfully managing a caseload of 60-70 students (providing therapy as best I could given my lack of experience in the field, scheduling/attending over 100 IEPS, report writing, collaborating with other service providers - other SLPs, psychologists, audiologists, OTs, APs, teachers, administrators, nurses, and parents), and a few COMD classes under my belt, I've realized that audiology is a better fit for me than SLP.

I'm still studying for the GRE and working on getting more observation hours done before applications are due.

-an undergrad GPA of a 3.66
-two years working in speech-related work, including work with students with hard-of-hearing needs
-decent amount of observation hours
-a GRE of at least 300
-Fluent in Spanish - I frequently translated at IEP meetings and speech reports.

do I have a shot at being admitted to any programs??? Needless to say I'll only be applying to programs that don't require prerequisites (I've already narrowed those down to 25).

Thanks for the advice,

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  • 2 months later...

You do have a shot. I would definitely apply to Pacific University in Oregon. A few of my classmates do not have backgrounds in ComDis. The professors are VERY personable and as long as you hold a strong interview and truly prove you're interested in the field you have a chance. I think working with diverse populations definitely helps too (physical or mental disabilities). Another thing would be to get your hands on doing some research in the field if you can. It doesn't have to be paid. I volunteered in a lab only for a few months before applying but I think that really stands out especially to PU bc they are brand new and just getting into research =)


Another GREAT idea. A few of my classmates were audiologist assistants ( you don't need any degree or anything to be this)... If you could find a position like this it would not only make you stand out but also really benefit you because you would gain a lot of hands-on experience/ knowledge to help you in your classes.

Edited by AAG
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