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Hi, Everyone!:D

I am new to Grad Cafe but so happy I found a community. I am a non-traditional student - married with a kid, certified teacher in TX, taught Kinder for four years, obtained M.A. in another field 12 years ago.... After being exposed to SLP's in public schools, I really wanted to do this. I just started an online 2nd Bachelors for COMD through Utah State. I am planning to apply for grad school in 2018 Jan/Feb (for their deadlines). I feel nervous about getting a strong academic LOR because my professors from the online program can write references based on my grades. :wacko:

Does anybody have any experience getting in to grad schools with limited academic references? (I am applying to local programs in North Dallas area - Univ of North TX, Univ of Texas Dallas, etc.)

As competitive as the grad schools are these days, do you guys recommend transferring to a campus based 2nd B.S. SLP program for networking?

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I am currently at UT Dallas and while I'm not in the same position as you, I know of at least 4 ladies in the program who are in similar positions! Former teachers, at least one with a couple kids, wanting to change their career. Would you like me to reach out to them and possibly connect y'all? 

Also, if you haven't already, email the UT Dallas COMD program director, Dr. Stillman, and get his advice. He is so kind and willing to help current and future students. I know nothing about Univ. of North TX, but it also couldn't hurt to email their program head and just see what they say. Maybe you don't have to do as much as you think! 

Best of luck! 

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Hello,

I am actually in a sort-of similar position: MA in teaching, preschool teacher for 3 years, bachelors degree in an unrelated field. I'm also in Texas and have the same timeline for applying. I'm also trying to figure out the best way to go about getting my post-bacc (or 2nd bachelors degree). I'm sorry if I'm not much help in answering your question; I'm just glad to see that I'm not the only one trying to figure this out!

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I might be able to help answer some questions.  I am a certified elementary education teacher, substitute taught for five years, went back to school, and just finished my first year as a school-based SLP.

I did my leveling courses at a brick and mortar campus where I got to build relationships with the faculty.  I ended up getting my Master's there as well.  Though I'm not in Texas, I did appreciate meeting the professors face to face on a weekly basis so they could write strong letters for me.

That said, I since you are in a school, I wouldn't count out your colleagues.  The special ed staff, SLP, and administrators that you work with on a daily basis can testify how you are already working with kids who have special needs, how well you collaborate with colleagues, your lesson planning, working with students from various backgrounds, etc.  Those are all skills that you already have that a 22-year-old fresh out of undergrad might not know.  If you don't already know where your school SLP got his/her degree, it might not hurt to ask.  A letter from a colleague who is a practicing clinician and an alumnus/alumna of the institution you want to attend may hold a little more weight than you might think, especially if the SLP hosts student teachers.  If the university trusts that SLP to train and teach student teachers, that person has a higher status in the eyes of the university and department.  I also strongly recommend that you write about your teaching experience in your personal statement.  How did you manage your classroom, work with parents, work with students with disabilities, collaborate with colleagues, etc.  While I can't say with any certainty, I'd like to think that my experience as a teacher helped my application stand out.

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3 hours ago, littlebit said:

Hello,

I am actually in a sort-of similar position: MA in teaching, preschool teacher for 3 years, bachelors degree in an unrelated field. I'm also in Texas and have the same timeline for applying. I'm also trying to figure out the best way to go about getting my post-bacc (or 2nd bachelors degree). I'm sorry if I'm not much help in answering your question; I'm just glad to see that I'm not the only one trying to figure this out!

littlebit, stay in touch for sure! YES, it helps to know we are not alone with complicated decisions. I am thinking about transferring to Univ of North TX campus in the spring '17 for undergrad work... not sure yet. I hope our past MA degree looks good on the application and all that work doesn't go to a waste.

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1 hour ago, lexical_gap said:

I might be able to help answer some questions.  I am a certified elementary education teacher, substitute taught for five years, went back to school, and just finished my first year as a school-based SLP.

I did my leveling courses at a brick and mortar campus where I got to build relationships with the faculty.  I ended up getting my Master's there as well.  Though I'm not in Texas, I did appreciate meeting the professors face to face on a weekly basis so they could write strong letters for me.

  While I can't say with any certainty, I'd like to think that my experience as a teacher helped my application stand out.

Thank you for your suggestions. I may seriously think about moving to a campus based undergrad program. I will consider adding my teaching experience to my personal statement. Thanks!

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23 hours ago, Schatzie15 said:

I am currently at UT Dallas and while I'm not in the same position as you, I know of at least 4 ladies in the program who are in similar positions! Former teachers, at least one with a couple kids, wanting to change their career. Would you like me to reach out to them and possibly connect y'all? 

Also, if you haven't already, email the UT Dallas COMD program director, Dr. Stillman, and get his advice. He is so kind and willing to help current and future students. I know nothing about Univ. of North TX, but it also couldn't hurt to email their program head and just see what they say. Maybe you don't have to do as much as you think! 

Best of luck! 

Schatzie15, that would be awesome to hear from other teachers and career changers! I will email Dr Stillman and UNT - just never thought they would be friendly enough to advise a student calling or emailing them. UTD would be my top choice for the graduate program, of course! I can email them or message you with my email. I appreciate your help! (:

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