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Hi, I'm Jo! I'm a dedicated and creative childhood educator and graduate school candidate with varied experience, excellent collaboration skills, and a passion for fostering inclusive environments with cultural awareness.

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Copy of Beige and Green Minimalism Lifes

SLP Grad School Application Review

A general consultation for wherever you are

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SLP Grad School Application Review

A general consultation for wherever you are

Making Your Gap Year Count: Jobs for Experience in SLP



Aspiring to a career in speech pathology? The time before entering grad school can be filled with rich opportunities for skill-building.


A speech pathologist working with a young child. Titled Jobs for experience, subheading "before applying to slp grad school." Link in upper left hand corner to www.jomyers.online


Here are some potential jobs you can consider to augment your knowledge and experience, where you dan learn and demonstrate the qualities and skills that graduate programs are looking for in their applicants

 


Lab Assistant in a CSD Research Lab

Degree or Certificate Requirements

Usually requires at least a bachelor's degree in Speech-Language Pathology, Communication Sciences and Disorders, or a related field.

Training Requirements

How/Where to Apply

Working as a Lab Assistant in a Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) research lab allows you to delve into data analysis and interpretation, crucial aspects of the speech pathology field. As you interact with raw data and the research process, you develop strong analytical and critical thinking skills. With in-person recruitment and implementing research interventions, you will expand your ability to tailor technique to fit behaviors or unique characteristics within a session.


Furthermore, it offers the chance to showcase professionalism and a keen understanding of ethical behavior, particularly regarding research ethics. Lab assistants in a CSD research lab often assist with data collection, data analysis, literature reviews, and sometimes even participant recruitment and interaction. This role can offer valuable insights into cutting-edge research in the field of communication sciences and disorders.




Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA)

Degree or Certificate Requirements

An associate's or bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders or a related field is often required, along with additional state-specific certification or licensure. Check out this post for more information:

Training Requirements

How/Where to Apply

SLPAs work directly under the supervision of licensed Speech-Language Pathologists, implementing treatment plans. In this role, you develop clear and effective communication with clients and families, as well as with other professionals, building vital collaboration skills. This experience also hones your familiarity with clinical settings and ethical behavior, demonstrating your readiness to handle the responsibilities of a graduate program in speech pathology.



Special Education Paraeducator

Degree or Certificate Requirements

High school diploma or equivalent, along with any state-specific certifications.

Training Requirements

How/Where to Apply

Paraeducators work alongside certified teachers, providing additional support to students. As a paraeducator, you have the chance to develop and demonstrate flexibility and a growth mindset. You'll be required to adapt your approach to each student's unique needs, displaying creativity, resourcefulness, and innovation.



Preschool Teacher or Aide

Degree or Certificate Requirements

Requirements range from a high school diploma for aides to a bachelor's degree for teachers. Certification in early childhood education may be required.

Training Requirements

How/Where to Apply

Preschool teachers or aides work with children aged 3-5, facilitating play-based learning and monitoring developmental milestones. They often work on basic pre-literacy and language skills with their students.


Working with young children allows you to observe and understand the early stages of language development. It sharpens your social and emotional awareness, active listening, compassion, and empathy skills. Additionally, your familiarity with legal frameworks such as the IDEA or Section 504 is enhanced, an understanding essential for any future speech pathologist.



Hospital Aide or Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Degree or Certificate Requirements

Requires a high school diploma and state-approved education program for CNAs.

Training Requirements

How/Where to Apply

These roles often involve helping patients with speech disorders or developmental disabilities, providing a close look at the challenges and triumphs of those navigating speech and language issues. As you assist with personal care tasks or even carry out newborn hearing screenings, you gain exposure to the medical aspects of speech pathology. This role tests your cultural intelligence and responsiveness as you navigate interactions with diverse patient populations.



Rehabilitation Aide in a Hospital or Clinic

Degree or Certificate Requirements

High school diploma or equivalent; some facilities may prefer or require a bachelor's degree in a related field.

Training Requirements

How/Where to Apply


In this role, you'll be assisting speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists in a hospital or outpatient rehabilitation setting. This job will give you a firsthand view of various therapeutic strategies and techniques used in rehabilitation. It also offers valuable experience in collaborating with an interdisciplinary team, nurturing professionalism and fostering a strong understanding of the ethical considerations inherent in patient care.



Tutor or Teacher of English as a Second Language

Degree or Certificate Requirements

Typically requires a bachelor's degree and a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or related certification.

Training Requirements

How/Where to Apply

Teaching English to speakers of other languages requires you to understand and explain the intricacies of language and speech. As you interact with students from diverse cultural backgrounds, your own cultural intelligence and responsiveness is honed. In addition, effective communication and collaboration skills are needed to ensure your students' success.



Personal Care Assistant for a Child or Adult with Speech Disorders

Degree or Certificate Requirements

Requirements vary, but a high school diploma and some training in personal care or a related field are typically required.

Training Requirements

How/Where to Apply

As a Personal Care Assistant, you contribute to a client's increased independence, collaborating closely with family members and other professionals. This role offers opportunities for setting familiarity, as well as an increased understanding of the ethical considerations inherent in speech pathology.



Volunteer in Community Organizations or Non-profits

Degree or Certificate Requirements

Varies depending on the organization and role but often there are no strict requirements beyond being willing and able to fulfill the duties of the role.

Training Requirements

How/Where to Apply

Even if it’s unpaid, volunteering can be a valuable experience. This could include organizations supporting individuals with communication disorders, elder care facilities, community centers, or even literacy programs. Volunteering can provide opportunities to understand the needs of diverse populations, gain knowledge of various communication disorders, and enhance your active listening, empathy, and cultural responsiveness.



Audiology Assistant

Degree or Certificate Requirements

High school diploma or equivalent, with many employers preferring a bachelor's degree in a related field. Some states may require licensure or certification.

Training Requirements

How/Where to Apply

Working as an Audiology Assistant, you'll provide support to audiologists in diagnosing and treating patients. This job can help enhance your understanding of the auditory system and how it relates to speech and language. Additionally, it provides opportunities to build upon your communication, critical thinking, and professionalism skills.



Summer Camp Counselor for Children with Disabilities

Degree or Certificate Requirements

High school diploma or equivalent. Some camps may require or prefer individuals who are pursuing or have completed a degree in a related field.

Training Requirements

How/Where to Apply

In this role, your active listening, empathy, and compassion skills are continuously tested and enhanced. You also gain firsthand experience dealing with diverse behavioral and communication styles, contributing to your growth mindset and fostering flexibility.



Research Assistant in Psychology or Neuroscience Labs

Degree or Certificate Requirements

Typically requires a bachelor's degree in psychology, neuroscience, or a related field.

Training Requirements

How/Where to Apply

While not directly related to speech-language pathology, this role would give you a good grounding in research methodology, data analysis, and critical thinking. It can also provide insight into cognitive processes related to speech and language, or the neurological basis of communication disorders.



 


Whether directly related or tangentially related, a variety of job experiences can offer the potential to build skills and experiences valued by grad schools. You'll want to leverage these opportunities to not only bolster your resume, but also prepare you for the rewarding journey of becoming a speech pathologist.


Remember, the ability to self-reflect on these experiences is equally important. Understand your goals, communicate these with your supervisor, and continually evaluate and reflect on your performance.


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