Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Resources for Grad Students

Listed below are resources I used when applying to SLP graduate schools (2010-2011). If you know of any other SLP resources, please let me know so I can add them to this list! 


The website of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is a great resource for students interested in learning more about the field of speech-language pathology. Below are some links to pages within the website that are particularly useful for SLP graduate school applicants.

***You can get a free subscription to the NSSLHA newsletter here:

EdFind is a database of SLP programs on the ASHA website. There is information about individual SLP programs there. It is a resource that all SLP grad applicants need to look through.

Grad Café has two sections for SLP grad applicants. One section is a list of admissions results from previous applicants to SLP programs. Applicants indicate the school(s) they applied to and whether they were accepted, waitlisted, or rejected. Many of them also share their GPAs and GRE scores, so future applicants can get an idea of what programs accept what stats. The other useful resource on Grad Café is the forum. 

A good resource for SLP applicants looking for advice on SLP admissions and other SLP related topics.

This is a list of rankings from 2012. It is not updated and, thus, not the best source of information about SLP programs. Many people want to see some sort of SLP program ranking, so I have decided to include it. 

Everything you need to know about taking the GRE. 


A review of this guide will soon be posted!

This book was published in 2006, so the information is probably not up to date. I have personally not read it, but there are so few books on this topic that I have decided to include it on this list.  

Friday, May 9, 2014

Favorite Teachers Pay Teachers Freebies

I LOVE Teachers Pay Teachers! The products are so helpful in therapy sessions! 

Here are a few of my favorite free products:

Granny Says by Jenn Alcorn

Work on following directions and receptive language with this adorable Granny! I put the cards in a bucket and kids loved picking out their "Granny Direction".

Tissue Box Preschool Pronouns by Let's Talk Speech Pathology

LOVE this freebie! One of my all-time favorites. This activity is a great way to target pronouns. I used small mailboxes that I picked up at Target instead of the tissue boxes. My students have improved their use of pronouns after a few sessions with this material. The clip art is also really cute!

Butterfly Adjectives  by Miss. Speechie

I recently found this great adjective activity. It's perfect for spring!

Birthday Similarities and Differences by Let's Talk Speech Pathology

This a fun birthday-themed activity for preschoolers and kindergarteners. A simple way of introducing "similar and different" due to the large, colorful graphics.

Vocabulary Uno-Like Game by Miss. Speechie

My students love uno. Each of the uno cards in this packet feature two words that can be compared and contrasted.  I am always on the lookout for materials targeting this goal. The uno game has been particularly successful!

Context Clues Freebie by Teaching and Tapas

An excellent freebie for upper elementary school students! Students need to figure out the meaning of a nonsense word from the context of a short paragraph. I also have my students discuss the parts of the passage that provide support for the meaning of the word.

Fishy Following Directions by The Speech Bubble

Another great receptive language and following directions activity.  This game is particularly suitable for groups. Each student receives a "fish bowl mat" and needs to collect four different types of fish to win the game. Fish are collected by following directions! Creative and very cute!

Heart Train of Multiple Meaning Words by Kristine Lamb

This Valentine's Day-themed game was a great addition to my multiple meaning words materials!   

Making Inferences Task Cards  by Krista Mehrtens

Task cards can be boring, but students liked playing a "guessing game" with these short, colorful passages. I will continue utilizing these cards when addressing inferencing goals.   

Superhero Sentence Comprehension by Miss Speechie

Cute, simple, and useful wh-question activity for little ones. Wh-question cards usually require students to have prior "world" knowledge, so it's sometimes difficult to assess whether the child does not understand what the question is asking or just does not know the answer. In this product, each card features a sentence, followed by a wh-question about the sentence. No prior knowledge is required to answer the questions, only sentence comprehension and the ability to differentiate between different types of wh-question.

Stupendous Story Elements by A Year of Many Firsts

This is the ULTIMATE freebie to use for story elements. Comprehensive and just plain awesome!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Grad School FAQs

***I applied to graduate school in 2010-2011, so the information on this blog related to admissions is from that year. 

I don’t have an undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology. Can I still apply to graduate programs in this field?

Yes, you can apply to many programs. Make sure to check with each program you are applying to. This information is usually available on the program’s website. Most programs require a number of prerequisite courses that may extend your time in graduate school. Students must take a social/behavioral science course, a biological science course, a physical science course (chemistry or physics), and a statistics course (most students take these as undergrads) as well as the UNIVERSITY’S specific speech-language pathology prereqs. You also need 25 hours of observation (observing a speech pathologist). The most up-to-date requirements can be found on ASHA’s website: http://www.asha.org/Certification/2014-Speech-Language-Pathology-Certification-Standards/. However, please check with your university before taking any courses.

What prerequisites will I need to take?
This depends on the program. There are usually five to ten prereqs that must be taken before you can begin graduate coursework. The following prereqs are frequently required: Introduction to Speech-Language Pathology, Basic Audiology, Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism, Language Acquisition, and Phonetics. However, each program is different so find out what your school requires!

How competitive is the admissions process for SLP programs?
It is competitive. The level of competition depends on the programs you apply to. Some SLP schools accept 15-20% of the students applying. Others accept 50%. You generally need at least a 3.0 GPA and 500s in the math/verbal sections of the GRE (under the old scoring system) to have a chance of getting accepted. The rest of your application makes a big difference as well, so do not get discouraged if your stats are below those numbers. Just be aware that getting in with a GPA below 3.0 is difficult (but certainly not impossible). 

What is the most important component of the application?
I would say that GPA (grades) is the single most important factor. However, it really depends. If you have a 4.0, but so-so recommendations and a boring personal statement, your chance of acceptance isn't great. Definitely try to keep your GPA as high as possible (especially in SLP courses), study for the GRE, and get great recommendation letters. Also, have your resume and personal statement read by at least two people. I highly recommend that prospective students do research, obtain an internship, or work in an SLP related setting. You need to get an idea of what this job entails. Experience in the field is invaluable.

When are decisions sent out?
The earliest decisions usually come in late February. Most schools send out letters in March and early April, but some have been known to wait until late April. 

What application materials are usually required?
 Besides each program’s application form, you will usually be required to submit the following: 
                     -Letters of Recommendation
                     -Personal Statement 
                     -GRE scores  

Some programs also require additional materials. Not all programs require the GREs.
How long will it take to get my degree?
This depends on the program and may depend on whether you have an undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology. Generally two to three years. 

Where can I get more information about individual programs?
The best resource for information about specific programs is ASHA’s EdFind. You can find out a variety of facts, including average GPA and GRE scores for various programs, admissions data, the number of credits required to graduate, how many students attend, and much more. It is a great place to start looking for programs to apply to.

How many observation hours do I need and how do I get them?
You need 25 observation hours. Call schools, hospitals, and private practices in your area and ask if you can observe the SLPs there. Say that you are a student pursuing speech pathology and need observation hours. Make sure that all of the SLPs you observe have their Certificate of Clinical Competence! Otherwise, the hours will not count. Record all of the hours you observe by making an observation hours sheet. Include the date of observation, location, patient (initials), time observed (30 min., an hour, etc.), clinician (SLP you're observing), and their ASHA number, on the sheet.

What kinds of extracurricular activities are valued? Are these more important for some schools than others?
I have written a blog post about extracurricular activities. I believe that some schools give much more weight to grades and GRE scores than extracurricular activities, while others believe that extracurriculars are important components of the application (although I've never been on an admissions committee, so I can't say for certain whether this is true). There is no way of knowing which programs value extracurricular activities more than others. If you are applying soon and have not had the opportunity to take part in many extracurriculars, don't worry. If your GPA, GRE scores, personal statement, and letters of recommendation are good, you definitely have a chance of being accepted somewhere. Extracurriculars certainly help make you a better applicant, but the other components of the application (taken together) are more important. However, it's possible that if only one out of two very similar applicants can be accepted into a program, the person with good extracurriculars may have an advantage over the one who doesn't.