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attorres

Out-of-field applicant

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Hi guys!

I am an out-of-field applicant applying this fall to start a leveling masters SLP program next fall. I do not want to do a post-bacc program I would rather go straight into a masters program and do my prerequisites within the program. I will graduate with my B.S. in Psychology and my current GPA is a 3.89(I am hoping it goes up a bit more this semester). I have yet to take my GRE but I have a feeling I'll get pretty average scores on the verbal and writing sections and slightly above average on the quantitative portions. I currently work in the field of ABA as a senior habilitation provider with kids with Autism. I volunteer at the children's hospital as an administrative assistant and in the playroom with the kiddos and I just recently completed 100 volunteer hours combined. For extracurricular activities I am currently in an environmental club. I have shadowed SLPs in geriatrics and in pediatrics and will soon start to volunteer with an SLP working in pediatrics. I am currently a research assistant for a program that works with middle schoolers and their parents to increase academic engagement and prevent adolescent health programs. I work directly with the participants and collect data from them (collecting saliva samples, their heart rate, asking questions, etc.). I will also begin to volunteer with the children's hospital in research. The options for my LORs are my anatomy, calculus, developmental psychology, research methods professors and the SLP I shadow offered to write me one as well.  

What are my chances of getting into a leveling SLP program?

What can I do to increase my chances?

Who would be the best options to write me LORs since I am an out of field applicant and I do not have any speech and hearing sciences professors?

What are some schools that accept out-of-field applicants who haven't taken any prerequisites?

What are some exampled of leadership experience or what can I do to get some leadership experience?

Sorry I know there is a lot of questions but I am so worried that I will not get accepted for next fall. 

 

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The best thing I can tell you is to look at EdFind.  You can find stats of each school's acceptance candidates.  Maybe that will give you an idea of what schools to apply to.  Good luck. 

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As far as LOR goes, getting some at least two professors who can talk about your academic strengths will probably be best, as well as the SLP you are shadowing! It will show that you have an interest in the field and are academically prepared to handle graduate studies. It's really up to you on who to ask though. I've heard it's better to pick a professor who you know personally over a professor that will just give a generic, template LOR.

I agree with @edardi1 to look at ASHA's EdFind search to find a program! Just take the stats with a grain of salt though, since 1) they are not the end all be all of getting accepted and 2) they are not always very accurate.

It sounds like you will have a solid resume to me, the only thing I would suggest is to work hard on your statement of purpose (mentioning how your skills apply to the field, why you're interested, etc.) and making sure that you get decent GRE scores. Most programs look for a combined score of 300, with your quant score hitting above 50% (I think that's like a 152-153?) and an AW score of at least a 4.0 :) Best of luck!

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Look around this forum and online to find programs that will take applicants without prereqs. I agree with the above that EdFind would be a good way to browse the stats of accepted students and determine your chances, but definitely take the reported stats with a grain of salt. They may not always be accurate. Once you know which programs you're interested in, you can also check their website for more accurate stats or send them an email asking about the information. I personally don't think you necessarily have to add any "leadership" positions or any more experiences in general. Your experiences look great to me, just focus on your SOP and the GRE! 

As for LORs, I actually only had one LOR from an SLP professor familiar with my academic work. My other two LORs came from a speech and hearing sciences professor I did research with (but I did not take an academic course with her), and my BCBA supervisor from work where I was providing ABA services. Sometimes the former was even replaced with a Latin professor when I needed physical copies of LORs. Point being, a personalized LOR from a non-speech and hearing sciences professor (or work supervisor, research supervisor, etc.) will beat a basic LOR from a speech and hearing sciences professor. Think about who knows you best and will talk you up the most!

Good luck with your applications :) 

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You can have the best stats in the world.  If a program requires you to have post bacc coursework, then you have to have post bacc regardless. Your only bet is to check the particular programs that might offer the ability to either not have to take post back, or have a few classes that you can take at that college (or a played course at another college) before going into the major. You would probably have more luck with private schools as they often have more flexibility with the perquisites.  I think a few colleges in Boston had an option of taking summer courses and then going into the grad program. 

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