Even though I consider Kayla Blogs to be a college lifestyle blog, I realized that I very rarely talk about my college major. I’m willing to bet that probably 80% of you have never heard of speech-language pathology. I didn’t know much about it either when it was first introduced to me. However, I couldn’t be more thankful to have chosen this career path and every day I get more and more excited to enter the field. #corny, I know.
I’ve had a few blogger friends ask me questions about my major and my future plans and I thought this warranted a full blog post. If you’re not interested in learning about speech-language pathology, I hope you’ll peruse around the blog and find something else that interests you more!
For those of you who are sticking around, let’s get started with some basics!
What the heck is speech-language pathology?
Well, I’ll give you a quote right from the ASHA website:
“Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.”
How did you choose your major?
At first I thought I wanted to be a pharmacist but then I realized that while I liked chemistry, I didn’t think I could handle a lot of chemistry and biology classes. After crossing off that idea, my mom had suggested speech pathology to me. I had no clue what it was but I did some research and thought I could definitely see myself in the profession. When I say “did some research” I mean that I Googled what a speech pathologist was and then spent an hour watching online videos of therapy sessions. After that, I shadowed a school SLP in the area as a high school junior and from then on I was head-over-heels in love with the profession.
What sorts of classes do you take?
I love my major because I take classes that are sort of all over the board. Here’s a list of some classes I’ve had to take for my major: phonetics and phonology, psycholinguistics, hearing science, speech science, human neuroscience, and communication deviations and disorders. My favorite course I’ve ever taken in the major was communication deviations and disorders. It was so interesting to learn about the different types of disorders that SLPs work with.
What can you do with a undergraduate degree in speech pathology?
Well first, I guess I should point out that my major is technically speech, language, and hearing science. My degree will be in communication sciences and disorders. With my undergraduate degree, I could choose two major paths. I could choose to get my AuD which is a doctorate in Audiology OR I could go to graduate school to pursue speech-language pathology. There are so many other career paths for a person with a degree in communication sciences and disorders and ASHA has a lot of them listed here.
Do you have to go to grad school?
You don’t HAVE to but in order to be a speech-language pathologist, you do. So before considering a major in communication sciences and disorders, you should think about whether you want to go to school for 6 years!
What do YOU want to do with your degree?
As of right now, I am trying to keep my options open. I am really interested in aphasia, alternative and augmentative communication, autism, literacy, and child development. I would love to be able to work with both adults and children as an SLP but I also would love to work in a school setting as well. One of the best things about being an SLP major is that once you graduate, you have so many options and you don’t have to confine yourself to one aspect of the field.
How do you think blogging will help you achieve your career goals?
First of all, thank you Cristina for these last two questions! I hope blogging will prove that I am able to work independently, communicate effectively and efficiently with both other bloggers and companies, and also showcase my writing skills. Even though my major has nothing to do with blogging, I hope to continue to do it throughout graduate school. Which brings me to my announcement…
I’ll be beginning my graduate school application journey this summer and I’m going to be BLOGGING ALL ABOUT IT! Speech-language pathology is a growing field and there aren’t many resources out there on the internet. I can’t wait to share with you all the ups and downs of applying and how I’m going to stay organized through it all. Check out the new “SLP” tab for more information and current posts about the process. I hope you are just as excited as I am about this new blogging endeavor and I can’t wait to have you all along for the ride!