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Reasons to Take Summer Classes

21 January 2015

Who wants to stick around college in the summer? You've managed to live through the past two semesters, snagged some decent grades in your classes and you're just ready for the summer sun! Who would even think about staying and taking classes? That just seems like you're trying to not have fun during the summer.

Actually, there are several reasons why taking summer classes would be a good idea. Of course, it'll keep you in town a little longer (depending on if your summer classes are just 6 weeks or the full 12 weeks), but that can be a good thing, academically speaking and just in general.

In General:
-When staying for classes you can also stay for work to make more money. You can also volunteer or intern during these months while you take classes. Or, you might be able to help in a professor's  research lab since most student aids tend to leave in the summer.

-More time to explore the area. Perhaps you tend to stay inside during the school year, only going out for a few club meetings or to study in the library, leaving you with little knowledge of activities near you. Or maybe you really wanted to hike a local trail or try a Painting With a Twist class... Well, when you aren't taking your summer class, you'll have plenty of time to actually explore the area and try things you didn't have the time for before!

-More time to focus on one class. Depending on how many summer classes you take, you'll have more time to actually focus on the class. Granted, it'll be slightly more fast paced (especially if it's only 6 weeks long), but you won't have 5 other classes to focus on.


-It can give you the chance to take a class that you had interest in but may not be able to fit in your schedule otherwise. Maybe you thought Psychology of Aging Individuals or Professional Writing looked interesting but realized that you are maxed out every semester with just your core classes, leaving no room for these fun ones. Well, now you may have the chance in the summer!

-Fulfilling requirements for minors. Sure, you can fit in a class each semester for your ASL or neuroscience minor, but wouldn't it be nicer to have more breathing room during the Fall or Spring semester by taking some of the classes for your minor in the Summer?

-Taking ASHA requirements without as much pressure. Of course, you should talk to your advisor about this, as some graduate schools only want a few classes from community colleges. But, if you're extremely worried about taking Statistics or Physics at your university and heard they are easier at the local community college, this is the best time to take them. Even if you end up taking them in the summer at your university (and not community college) you will still have more time to focus as you won't have other classes to distract you.

-Languages: Learning a language can be difficult when also studying for your major (and minors) during the academic school year. This can especially be the case if you are starting from square one, as most schools have the first two levels (eg. Spanish 1 and 2) count for 5 credits and meet every day. Rather than bogging yourself down in the school year, take them in the summer-- many schools have institutes or even scholarships to learn a language, especially those that are less popular or common. You could also consider taking it at your local community college or studying abroad.

What classes have you taken during the summer? Have you interned or volunteered in the summer? 

Students Should Use Teachers Pay Teachers

14 January 2015

There has been a large boom in the sharing of materials amongst professionals. Speech pathology (and audiology) is no exception. We've seen more Facebook groups, blogs, link-ups and Twitter handles related to speech, language and hearing and the professionals behind them. In fact, even within these media outlets, like Twitter, new hashtags and weekly discussion groups have been formed (see: Why You Should Join in on #WeSpeechies Chats). Although these tend to be more informational in nature, our profession has found another way to become more intertwined-- Teachers Pay Teachers!

Clinicians have been adding therapy materials to this cite for a few years now. Although we aren't necessarily clinicians yet, that doesn't mean we can't peruse the website or even find some items for ourselves! (Especially since the prices are reasonable and the profits go to the SLPs who take the time to make them.) So here are some reasons why you may want to start looking at this site:


-Join to see what sort of materials are made and what areas might be lacking.
-There are materials from other professions, especially those educationally related, so you might be able to find some pamphlets on study skills or professional writing to benefit from.
-Study materials-- Although most products are geared towards therapy, there are some informational packets on different communication disorders or for remembering the cranial nerves, which can come in handy when study for classes like speech anatomy.


-You can find an abundance of therapy materials that are creative. This might help for when you have a tough client that you've tried everything with (or that just really likes a certain item, like cars or superheroes).
-Materials for client's families are on there.
-Resources, organization tips and materials and even data sheets are being sold by fellow SLP clinicians!
-You can sell items that you make. Which, as we all know, will probably help you when your wallet is slowly getting thinner over the course of graduate school.

*One item to remember: Therapy isn't about the materials; don't make goals based upon the items you have. Therapy first starts with a goal that you then find/create an activity for.

Can you think of any other reasons for students to use Teachers Pay Teachers? What do you find most helpful about this site?

SLP Skills Saturday: Professional Communication in Speech Pathology

10 January 2015

No matter if you are a student, clinician or researcher in speech-language pathology or audiology the ability to communicate professionally is one skill you should have. It is increasingly important with all our abbreviations and text-speech that we remain professional when communicating with others. Here's a quick why, when and how "cheat sheet":


The main reason is the fact that you want to show respect to others. You want to illustrate that you hold them in a high regard and acknowledge anything that they have accomplished (such as obtaining a doctorate degree). Besides showing others respect, you want to create a sense of respect for yourself and your occupation by communicating to others effectively so that those you are corresponding with also show you the same. We are about language and communication after all! 

This segues into another reason-- networking. You want to remain professional and emit respect to others as you never know who is in their network. It also demonstrates that you hold others in a high regard, which will help build your rapport, not only with other professionals but clients as well. All of these people can build your clientele or provide you with job opportunities. 

Lastly, you need this skill so that you can fill out paperwork (or even e-mails) in an efficient manner. Those reading your correspondences most likely have busy schedules and don't want to read a 2-page long e-mail. You need to be concise in what you say while transmitting your main points. 


This section is fairly simple. You want to remain professional whenever you are talking to:
- (Potential) Clients
-Coworkers, Supervisors
-Professors (even if they are not in your major)
-Potential referrals/ collaborations


-Use proper forms of address: Begin with "Dear" followed by the appropriate form (Mr., Mrs, Dr...) with the person's last name.
-Conciseness in the body: Mention who you are, your title and where you work/study or who referred you. Then give a brief description or summary of why you are writing. Follow up with what you are inquiring about. In the next line/paragraph you'll want to thank the person for his/her time.
- Signature: Sign off with "Regards," or "Sincerely," followed by your name and title on the next line.
-When writing: Do not use abbreviations ('ASAP', 'Carlow/ UCLA') or text speech (eg. 'brb' , 'u'). There are some exceptions to the 'no abbreviations' part, such as if it is with an assessment or test you used with a client, but the person you are talking with must know what the abbreviation means. When discussing organizations or similar items (like 'Carlow University') you generally don't want to use an abbreviation (like 'Carlow') when taking to others, even if they are from the area and know what it refers to as it lacks a sense of professionalism.
-Always proof-read!

Do you have any tips for professional communication? Comment below!

Resolution Link-Up!

03 January 2015


As we all know, with the new year often comes resolutions that fit all shapes and sizes. Well, the lovely Natalie Snyders has decided to host a link up for us all to say what our resolutions are. I think it's a great idea (and should certainly hold me more accountable), so I'm joining in on the fun! This year I'm doing a mix of academic, and general resolutions... take a look below:

First, I really would like to better my Spanish. You'd think dating a Spaniard and being in Spain for about 5 months over the past 2.5 years would have made me half bilingual by now, right? I do understand quite a bit, but since I've only ever had 1 semester and 1 month of classes I do poorly with listening unless people talk slowly. Don't get me wrong-- I can hold some conversations (especially after some vino) but I just want to improve my grammar so I feel more confident!So, long story short-- I aim on taking a Spanish class this semester and possibly in the summer!

Second, it'd be nice to actually read more. I managed to read a couple books this past semester, but not as many as I would've liked. So, this year I aim to read at least 2 books a month, whether they are SLP related or just for fun. 

Third, blog, blog, blog! I want to blog much more. I love writing and I enjoy reaching out to people and advocating for our field. My resolution for this is to write at least 4 posts a month...On top of this, I'd like to make more products! We'll see how this goes, although I might be able to make some when I actually start seeing clients in the fall during grad school... so keep an eye out!

Fourth,  I want to go to my first ASHA convention this year! I'd love to meet all the fellow bloggers and clinicians as well as learn about new research in our field! (Perhaps I'll even do a poster session on my undergraduate thesis..but we'll see. Baby steps!) 

If you'd like to join in or read other bloggers' New Years Resolutions, check out Natalie Snyders' blog