Program: Speech-Language Pathology (2nd year)
Degrees Held: BA - Psychology, MASc - Developmental & Communicative Science (Waterloo), BEd (Western)
Next Steps: Through my clinical placement experiences, I have realized that I enjoy working with both child and adult populations. I plan on entering the work force with an open mind, remaining flexible about the service provider I may work with as a Speech Language Pathologist. Ideally, I would like to work in an environment that provides opportunities for interprofessional collaboration to support the needs of our clients holistically. I would eventually like to consider opening my own private practice.
Why Western: My commitment to deepening my own learning about language and literacy development during my 11-year career as an elementary school teacher led me to my current studies in Speech Language Pathology. I chose to study at Western University as a result of the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders program's reputation of having approachable and personable faculty, access to the on-site speech and hearing clinic, and its proximity to my family's rural hometown.
What inspired me to pursue an advanced degree: My journey towards pursuing a master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology was fueled by my passion to make a significant difference in the lives of others, helping them to find their own voice, both literally and figuratively. As a parent and an educator, I have seen first hand the vital need for the services of Speech-Language Pathologists. During my children's speech therapy, I had the opportunity to directly observe treatment, and to be able to implement an at-home speech program. Speech-Language Pathologists also provided me as an educator with strategies and tools to help my students who had communication challenges realize their full potential.
Favourite Western memory: My favourite experience as a Western student thus far in the CSD program was being able to attend the 2013 Conference for the International Association of Laryngectomees with my fellow classmates and our professor in Spokane, Washington. We were able to work along side health care professionals and laryngectomy patients to learn more about providing services before and after surgery. There were many opportunities for networking and socializing with the other IAL members.
Best thing about being a student at Western: During our student orientation to the CSD program at Western, faculty, staff and second year students provided us with a very warm welcome. We were each paired with an academic advisor and a peer mentor right from the first day. We enjoyed a tour of Elborn College, of the campus, and of downtown London. Shortly after beginning the program, we consulted with the clinical education coordinator who made every effort to try to arrange for future clinical placements that accomodated our professional and personal interests.
My advice to future students considering Western: Be sure to seek out a wide variety of opportunities to volunteer with Speech Language Pathologists working with clients of various ages and communication disorders. This broad experience will better prepare future students considering the CSD program at Western in preparation for the application process and for the varied client populations seen in clinical placements.