The SLP and Grad School Admission
*****Sorry it has been so long since my last submission. What can I say it’s been one assessment after another. Thought I saw the light at the end of the tunnel but the tunnel got several assessments longer last week. Take a look at my article, is this something you’ve heard about?
A friend’s daughter is an undergraduate student in speech language pathology, finishing her junior year. Yesterday she mentioned that none of the seniors in her daughters program got into grad school. I was rather surprised at that statistic. Of coursed she probed be about working as a speech language pathology assistant while waiting to get into grad school. I explained to her how assistants worked and how they were paid around here.
I think this situation should be a little concerning to all of us. First, I am a little disappointed for my friend’s child who wants to go on to grad school to become an SLP but will probably have to delay that dream a year or so. Second, if there are a lot of people holding undergraduate degrees in Speech Language Pathology the assistant jobs might be flooded. We all know that speech language pathology assistants can not and should not be working without direct supervision from a speech language pathologist. Schools are also slowly learning that assistants are not always the best bang for the buck. Reason for this is they have to split the kid services, not to mention assistants do not to testing or paperwork and the therapist still does most of the planning. Speech therapy assistants will probably make less than a first year teacher. Not nearly enough to tackle those school loans. Many of these students may end up waiting tables while waiting to get into grad school. Third, many school systems are starting to see the light in regards to caseload and workload but they can’t find the therapists to fill there needs. If there are not enough people graduating from grad programs (a stat I do not have) caseload numbers will remain high.
This may sound absurd but there is also the slight chance that at some point bachelors level training will be accepted. Especially if they can’t find masters levels Speech Pathologists to fill the void. Given what is going on in education with lowering the overall standards it’s not as far fetched as you might think. I doubt ASHA would even get a say in a decision like that. I attended one of the first combined undergraduate/graduate programs in the country, many many years ago. Prior to that most SLP’s held bachelor degrees. Those bachelor level therapists were grandfathered in.
I found this blog article written during the last ASHA Convention What Are My Chances of Getting Into Grad School For SLP? The statistics were more staggering than I thought (but make sure you read the update at the bottom of the article, many apply to more than one program so the data is skewed making the situation not as bleak). Based on the data in this article it appears that colleges are being a little reckless, almost promising something they can’t deliver. I also have to wonder if there is a hidden agenda here. Why would colleges be preparing so many at the bachelor level when a graduate degree is necessary but unavailable to many? I know for a fact that my friend was never told the statistics around getting in to grad school for speech language pathology. If she had I am almost sure her daughter would have considered other avenues or a least a minor degree with some potential.
Despite these statistics, Speech Language Pathology is still considered one of the best professions and is often written up in the media. Are the statistics really as bad as proclaimed in the article mentioned above? Perhaps the mainstream media didn’t get the memo. If you’ve had experience with this please comment below.