Nadia McGhee, a self-described “proud Aztec” earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential at San Diego State University. Her goal was to become an inspiring teacher, but working in the field left her feeling incomplete. Even substitute teaching after graduation didn’t ignite her former level of passion for her goal.
To find a new way to serve her community, McGhee scoured the SDSU website, researching careers and programs.
“I came across the Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences website and shortly realized that the department was offering an open house,” said McGhee. “It was the best decision I made!”
SDSU’s Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences graduate program is rated No. 1 in California and No. 24 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. With some 500 students applying for 30–40 openings each admissions cycle, the program is extremely competitive, as is getting the prerequisite courses.
That’s where the online Speech-Language Pathology Essentials program comes in. The eight-week online courses are taught by lecturers from the SLHS graduate program, and offered through the College of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with the College of Extended Studies. The program offers students a fast and affordable way to earn credit in preparation for applying to graduate programs anywhere in the country.
McGhee has so far taken four of the eight courses in the online Speech-Language Pathology Essentials program. She answered some questions about her experience:
What did you hope to gain by taking the program?
I knew that going back to school (a program in particular), one needs to be 100 percent fully invested. I was a bit hesitant to begin a new career journey, so my hope by taking the Speech-Language Pathology Essentials courses was to “step into the world of an SLP” and truly feel if it was a perfect match.
How did the program meet your expectations?
If you’re a person who finds Speech-Language Pathology to hit a spark of interest, then this is the program you should invest in! Yes, the courses are online, but the professors do an exceptional job with making them interactive.
Do you have any key takeaways from the courses you’ve taken so far?
A key takeaway that I would have to share is that you’re NOT alone. It may be a new and doubtful process to take online courses, but I assure you that the instructors create a cooperative learning and engaging environment for their students.
Can you speak to the caliber of the instructors?
I have taken four courses from the SLP Essentials program, and each instructor has been well credentialed in their study area. The instructors have designed their pedagogy with the desire to present the material in an exciting and informative manner. What I feel greatly stood out with the professors is that they all understood that many of their students came from different educational fields. They were more than willing to personally reach out and extend additional assistance if a student needed it.
How convenient was it to fit the courses into your schedule?
I can’t stress enough how great the SLP Essentials program is for students who have no choice but to work, or have families, or simply have other obligations. The program is designed in a manner where you are the person that creates your own schooling itinerary. With that said, it’s extremely important to devote and set time aside every day to study each course’s curriculum.
What do you think are the biggest strengths of the online Speech-Language Pathology Essentials program?
Coming from a different area of study, I feel the absolute GREATEST strength of the program is that the faculty does an exceptional job with preparing and setting a strong foundation of knowledge that is essential for those pursuing a future in SLHS.
Who do you think could benefit from this program?
If you are one who has any aspirations for becoming a speech-language pathologist, this the perfect program for you. It provides a glimpse of the processes and procedures that a speech pathologist would use for their clients.
Anything you’d like to add?
The only additional information or advice I would give is that if you have any questions with pursuing this career field or program, the department’s faculty is extremely helpful and more than willing to guide you in the right direction. Congratulations to you if you are deciding or made the decision to pursue the field of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences.