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"it doesn't matter where you go"

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@Afternoonprogram 100% agree!  

I keep seeing everyone mention "Rankings".  Do any of you even know how the "Rankings" are made?  Well they are listed in order of schools that have the students/professors with most published research is what I've heard.  So the "Rankings" only matter if you want to do research!!!

#GoCheapHaveLessStressNDebt!

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26 minutes ago, twinguy7 said:

@Afternoonprogram 100% agree!  

I keep seeing everyone mention "Rankings".  Do any of you even know how the "Rankings" are made?  Well they are listed in order of schools that have the students/professors with most published research is what I've heard.  So the "Rankings" only matter if you want to do research!!!

#GoCheapHaveLessStressNDebt!

Here is US News's explanation: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/health-schools-methodology

It looks like they send out a survey to administration and faculty of programs to rank other programs. For SLP programs, they received a 33% response rate. That doesn't sound very accurate to me.

However, I am not against choosing a more expensive program.... everyone has different priorities for school and everyone's financial situation is different. I think choosing the school you feel you can succeed the most in (based on faculty support, clinical and research opportunities, location, individual interests, etc) is completely reasonable. I also think it is reasonable to choose the cheapest school if you find you will be able to excel in that environment, and I guess a lot of people will argue that you can excel in any program. And I don't think, based on the methodology of the rankings, we can make many conclusions about programs—they may or may not be a reflection of each one (especially with programs that are close in ranking).

I will be paying a lot for my education, and I am happy with my choice! (The cheaper option would be to do a post-bacc next year and reapply, and that is just not worth it to me!)

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In general I get the impression that there are advantages to going to a top ~10/15/20 school in a given field. (The threshold can depend on the field). After that point, rankings become gradually less important - unless it's something really drastic like choosing between #30 and #100. The 33% response rate in SLP can indicate that the field isn't as ranking-sensitive as other fields, though.

Overall, in your situation, I'd weigh the programs on their own merits: what do you know about faculty? course offerings? financial support? professional development/networking opportunities? Sometimes higher-ranked programs get there for very tangible reasons. Other times, those reasons have nothing to do with your needs, and you're better off going to a lower-ranked school that offers what you're looking for.

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1 hour ago, dumbunny said:

In general I get the impression that there are advantages to going to a top ~10/15/20 school in a given field. (The threshold can depend on the field). After that point, rankings become gradually less important - unless it's something really drastic like choosing between #30 and #100. The 33% response rate in SLP can indicate that the field isn't as ranking-sensitive as other fields, though.

Overall, in your situation, I'd weigh the programs on their own merits: what do you know about faculty? course offerings? financial support? professional development/networking opportunities? Sometimes higher-ranked programs get there for very tangible reasons. Other times, those reasons have nothing to do with your needs, and you're better off going to a lower-ranked school that offers what you're looking for.

Are you even in Speech & Language Pathology? I see UC Riverside listed in your signature and AFAIK none of the UC's have SLP.

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2 hours ago, Crimson Wife said:

Are you even in Speech & Language Pathology? I see UC Riverside listed in your signature and AFAIK none of the UC's have SLP.

I'm not. This particular question comes up a lot in any field, though. What I was passing on is pretty broadly applicable, and though I've acknowledged that the situation will differ from field to field, I don't see that anything I've said is that out of the norm compared to any of the other replies.

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Yes, the rankings (US News) are based largely on research and self-report. Research should be important to every practicing SLP whether wishing to pursue it or not. Every program hammers EBP (evidence based practice) into us - as practicing SLPs we need to be comfortable evaluating the research (even if not at the PhD level) in order to ensure the efficacy of the treatment we are providing to our clients. That said, several other benefits were mentioned not directly related to research. I also maintain that the calibre of the faculty that teach the curriculum makes a huge difference in the quality of the instruction. 

Let me also put it this way - ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL (or close), which would you choose, a higher or lower-ranked school?

And FYI, we simply can't make the assumption that most grads of a given top program want to practice in that same city. I've heard (anecdotally) that it might be the opposite for my particular cohort, but I haven't exactly taken a survey.

Here is a ranking system that might make some feel more comfortable, as it's a bit more comprehensive:

http://cwur.org/methodology/world-university-rankings.php

And here are the university ratings that go along with the methodology (scroll to audiology):

http://cwur.org/2017/subjects.php#Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology

 

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8 minutes ago, Jolie717 said:

Yes, the rankings (US News) are based largely on research and self-report. Research should be important to every practicing SLP whether wishing to pursue it or not. Every program hammers EBP (evidence based practice) into us - as practicing SLPs we need to be comfortable evaluating the research (even if not at the PhD level) in order to ensure the efficacy of the treatment we are providing to our clients. That said, several other benefits were mentioned not directly related to research. I also maintain that the calibre of the faculty that teach the curriculum makes a huge difference in the quality of the instruction. 

Let me also put it this way - ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL (or close), which would you choose, a higher or lower-ranked school?

And FYI, we simply can't make the assumption that most grads of a given top program want to practice in that same city. I've heard (anecdotally) that it might be the opposite for my particular cohort, but I haven't exactly taken a survey.

Here is a ranking system that might make some feel more comfortable, as it's a bit more comprehensive:

http://cwur.org/methodology/world-university-rankings.php

And here are the university ratings that go along with the methodology (scroll to audiology):

http://cwur.org/2017/subjects.php#Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology

 

Thanks for this!

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Interesting ideas! I'm going to get a little philosophical hahaha. Ultimately I think it's human nature competitiveness that attracts many people to choose or really want the higher ranked school. It feels nice to say I went to the top school in my field, I worked amongst the best researchers..etc. I think if you are really benefiting from what the high ranking program can offer you to the point that it outweighs the $$ then you should do it! Personally like many people here, I don't want my future big life expenses to be influenced or hold back because of a never ending loan. 

Edited by Maridele

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I wouldn't say "rankings" are as important. But I think "reputation" is important. There are schools that are well-known for producing well-rounded SLPs and those schools are the ones that usually get top pick in terms of outplacements ( oftentimes in-demand outplacements will save spots just for their students because the places know they will be top quality), CFYs, jobs, etc. I have personally seen it happen where an SLP refused to take a student for an outplacement because that student was from a university that had a reputation for producing poor-performing graduates. I've talked to SLPs who work in the schools and in the hospitals in relatively small towns and they all know which schools--both in the area and around the country--that have good reputations. Don't choose a program if all you are looking for is name recognition, you should go because the program is awesome and fits your needs, but just some fruit for thought. Hope this helps!

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4 hours ago, flowerbloom said:

I wouldn't say "rankings" are as important. But I think "reputation" is important. There are schools that are well-known for producing well-rounded SLPs and those schools are the ones that usually get top pick in terms of outplacements ( oftentimes in-demand outplacements will save spots just for their students because the places know they will be top quality), CFYs, jobs, etc. I have personally seen it happen where an SLP refused to take a student for an outplacement because that student was from a university that had a reputation for producing poor-performing graduates. I've talked to SLPs who work in the schools and in the hospitals in relatively small towns and they all know which schools--both in the area and around the country--that have good reputations. Don't choose a program if all you are looking for is name recognition, you should go because the program is awesome and fits your needs, but just some fruit for thought. Hope this helps!

I can totally see this perspective, but how do you know what kind of reputation a school has if reputation doesn't necessarily correlate with ranking?

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23 hours ago, Maridele said:

Interesting ideas! I'm going to get a little philosophical hahaha. Ultimately I think it's human nature competitiveness that attracts many people to choose or really want the higher ranked school. It feels nice to say I went to the top school in my field, I worked amongst the best researchers..etc. I think if you are really benefiting from what the high ranking program can offer you to the point that it outweighs the $$ then you should do it! Personally like many people here, I don't want my future big life expenses to be influenced or hold back because of a never ending loan. 

Keep in mind - the program that ranked (#1) above my current program (#2) in the "global ranking" I posted was Cal State San Diego. Very inexpensive for Cal State grads such as myself. That said, UW was still less expensive than another lower-ranked program I almost attended.  Please do not assume that ranking dictates price. 

It is also not about saying "I worked amongst the best." Aside from my previous points, and perhaps more importantly (in a general sense) - it is about how relevant the program is in terms of your own interests.  It is about whether you are comfortable with the demographics of the new city you are moving to. It is about the diversity of the client/patient population that you will be serving in grad school and how you feel about it. It is about the the cohort you will be a part of for two years (or more) and how well you mesh with them.  

Just some food for thought - signing out for a while as my grad student load is pretty heavy at this point! 

Best of luck to you all - take a deep breath...don't forget to exhale!

 

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@Jolie717

I agree,  price is not directly correlated with rankings.

Personally when applying to schools I was very strategic on the programs that I selected. For me the number one factor was  location which ties in with price because of in-state tuition/grants then I considered the likeliness of acceptance. Rankings was last in my considerations.  Which was the topic of this forum. Luckily, I'm in California so I had many Great programs to chose from. Watching the video you attached kinda reminded me of my mother and the things she considered to be important to pass down to me, one being as practical as you can be when it comes to expenses, reinforcing the reasons why I applied to certain schools (state schools).

With this said people have different reasons why they apply to certain schools as you mentioned. My point was that from those schools that you carefully selected to apply to, you should go for the least expensive one if you're between schools.  

Best of luck. UW is an amazing program! 

 

 

Edited by Maridele

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20 hours ago, kenz said:

I can totally see this perspective, but how do you know what kind of reputation a school has if reputation doesn't necessarily correlate with ranking?

I asked about outplacements at open houses ( e.g., what connections each school had, if there were prominent placements that held spots, etc.). I also asked my undergraduate professors what they thought about the programs that I'd been accepted to. I had the opportunity to ask some SLPs in the area while I was doing my observation hours about which schools they liked to take students from and which ones they tended to steer clear of.

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17 hours ago, Maridele said:

@Jolie717

I agree,  price is not directly correlated with rankings.

Personally when applying to schools I was very strategic on the programs that I selected. For me the number one factor was  location which ties in with price because of in-state tuition/grants then I considered the likeliness of acceptance. Rankings was last in my considerations.  Which was the topic of this forum. Luckily, I'm in California so I had many Great programs to chose from. Watching the video you attached kinda reminded me of my mother and the things she considered to be important to pass down to me, one being as practical as you can be when it comes to expenses, reinforcing the reasons why I applied to certain schools (state schools).

With this said people have different reasons why they apply to certain schools as you mentioned. My point was that from those schools that you carefully selected to apply to, you should go for the least expensive one if you're between schools.  

Best of luck. UW is an amazing program! 

 

 

Ha - I accidentally attached the video, but left it because I like it. Although I suppose it's kind of a sad reflection of our education system and work ethics here in the US.  (I'm from California BTW, and I really wrestled with deciding to leave). Best of luck to you too!

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I don't know about SLP programs, but if one plans on teaching where you go does matter. I recently read that Ph.D.s never get accepted to teach at higher ranked programs than that which they attended and usually get hired at lower ranked schools. Having said that, since we can only do our best and apply to many schools, the Ph.D. program we end up in depends in part on where we did undergrad and masters. I attended a tier one south regional university for undergrad/masters because I own a home here and money matters. As a result, I was pretty much limited to applying to the big flagship state universities, even though I have a high GRE and 4.0 GPA. That suits me well because I am interested in contemporary American lit and Southern lit and applied to many of the universities in the SEC.

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6 minutes ago, cowgirlsdontcry said:

I don't know about SLP programs, but if one plans on teaching where you go does matter. I recently read that Ph.D.s never get accepted to teach at higher ranked programs than that which they attended and usually get hired at lower ranked schools. Having said that, since we can only do our best and apply to many schools, the Ph.D. program we end up in depends in part on where we did undergrad and masters. I attended a tier one south regional university for undergrad/masters because I own a home here and money matters. As a result, I was pretty much limited to applying to the big flagship state universities, even though I have a high GRE and 4.0 GPA. That suits me well because I am interested in contemporary American lit and Southern lit and applied to many of the universities in the SEC.

Despite my posts on the merits of ranking in this thread, the speech and hearing science major is a horse of a different color when it comes to PhD programs. We have a pretty big shortage of PhDs in our field, so anyone who truly wants to pursue one (and is qualified) will get into a program.  Several of my professors came from schools that were ranked much lower than the PhD programs they attended.

That said, you are absolutely right, as in *most* fields this is completely untrue.

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13 hours ago, flowerbloom said:

I asked about outplacements at open houses ( e.g., what connections each school had, if there were prominent placements that held spots, etc.). I also asked my undergraduate professors what they thought about the programs that I'd been accepted to. I had the opportunity to ask some SLPs in the area while I was doing my observation hours about which schools they liked to take students from and which ones they tended to steer clear of.

This can be regional, too. I'm at a program with a good regional reputation (I'm not sure about national) and at all my interviews for outplacements, I was told so by the SLPs I was speaking to. And those outplacements are nationally recognized, so I'm hoping that works out in my favor.

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9 hours ago, esopha said:

This can be regional, too. I'm at a program with a good regional reputation (I'm not sure about national) and at all my interviews for outplacements, I was told so by the SLPs I was speaking to. And those outplacements are nationally recognized, so I'm hoping that works out in my favor.

I am curious—where do you attend? 

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15 hours ago, plume said:

I am curious—where do you attend? 

University of Maryland, College Park.

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