Mentorship Advising Program for Students
M.A.P.S. was created with a desire to raise awareness and provide information to students about opportunities in the areas of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. The aim of this program is to make educational experiences more accessible to students and to provide a communication network among students.
The purpose of MAPS is to:
- Provide information about: clinical experiences, research opportunities, graduate school preparation, field related job opportunities, and funding opportunities.
- Create a community and support system for students in the SLHS department, including providing a better link between graduate and undergraduate students.
- Help students through the graduate school application process
- Help students to network with other individuals within the communication disorders fields.
What do I want to be when I grow up?
The first step in becoming a graduate student is deciding what type of career you want your graduate education to lead to. There are three basic types of paths you can take:
To find out more about these different graduate degree programs click on them in the column on the left side of the page which will link you to the ASHA website and their descriptions of these different routes.
For Career information in general in SLHS, click on this link:http://www.asha.org/students/professions/overview/
When do I start the graduate school application process?
As soon as possible! It is never to early to start thinking about graduate school. Your junior year is a great time to start looking into different programs and schools that interest you. The application process itself usually starts the summer before your senior year and will continue until you accept a programs offer around March or April of your senior year. The following website provides a helpful timetable of bench marks for when you should have different parts of the application completed. Or you can use this document to use as a guide: Grad School Application Process Timeline
GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICATION PROCESS
STEP 1: Research Schools
Searching for the right graduate program can seem like an insurmountable task. There are numerous factors to take into consideration so that you will choose a school that can support your academic needs and provide you with a healthy and happy quality of life. To start this process, you will want to make sure that all the programs you are considering are accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Grad School Comparison Chart:Use this to help guide your research on potential Graduate programs.
STEP 2: Take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
Many schools will ask for GRE scores as a part of your application. There are many ways that you can prepare for this test. You should definitely prepare for this test and study for it before you take it. Some options for preparing for this test are:
- using the software that ETS offers for FREE to help you prepare for the exam. You should spend some time on the ETS website looking at their sample questions.
- buying a book and studying on your own
- taking a test preparation class. For a fee, the Think Tank offers GRE Prep Courses. You can find more information here.
STEP 3: Write your Personal Statement
Although it can seem like a dreaded task writing the personal statement; in reality, it can be a great exercise to help you put down on paper the reason(s) why you want to pursue a graduate education. The personal statement is a reflection of both your educational goals, and your ability as a writer. Be sure to spend ample time writing your personal statement so that it is well written. It is also a good idea to get feedback and constructive criticism from trusted sources on your writing.
Here’s a great article from The Chronicle of Higher Education with tips for writing your Personal Statement. You have to be on campus or using a VPN to access it. It is geared towards PhDs, but points 1 and 3 are very important!
STEP 4: Spruce up your Resume or CV
Some schools may ask that you send in a copy of your resume or CV. This is an area where you can show your academic achievements, work experience, and involvement as an undergraduate student. As a UA student, be sure to utilize Career Services beforehand, as they will read over and suggest changes to your resume.
STEP 5: Letters of Recommendation
The earlier you ask the better. But, who to ask? Many schools will want your letters from Professors or academic officials. When choosing who will write you a letter, be sure to ask individuals who know you well and can speak on your behalf.
Also, do not wait until the last minute to ask for letters of recommendation. Ask for letters to be written well before the deadline (at least a month before your application needs to be sent-off). A good time to ask for letters is in late October or early November. Use this Letters of Recommendation sheet to help you (and your professors through this process).
STEP 6: Send off your applications!
Keep organized and be sure to double check the application due dates! Use this Grad School Checklist to help you along the way. Good Luck!
A quick note on…Clinical Observations
Most schools require a set number of clinical observations to be completed before you begin clinical rotations as a graduate clinican. Usually the set number is around 25 hours of observation. In order to observe in the clinic, you must first be HIPAA certified. Start working on this now, so you aren’t struggling to finish it before you graduate.