"Getting Back Into School Mode": Experiences Of Former Speech-Language Pathology Assistants In Graduate School

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
George Wolford, CCC-SLP, Assistant Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to describe the speech-language pathology master's program experience for two groups of students: students with former speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA) experience (fSLPA) and students without SLPA experience (nSLPA). Results are relevant to current SLPAs who are considering attending graduate school and university faculty members involved in program design. Method: A survey was distributed electronically to students nationwide. The survey included both Likert-style questions and open-ended responses. A total of 85 student responses were included in data, 43 fSLPAs and 42 nSLPAs. Qualitative and quantitative results were analyzed separately and then synthesized together in a mixed-methods analysis. Results: Although the study was not designed to directly measure stressors, bottom-up qualitative analysis resulted in a framework of internal and external stressors, internal and external supports, and learning and growing. Stressors and supports were described by participants as intertwined, and a given event (e.g., the start of clinical rotations) did not map neatly to stressors or supports for all participants. fSLPAs reported higher perceptions of clinical success, feeling different than their peers, and the perception that fSLPAs were more successful in graduate school. Taken together, these results converged to develop seven findings. For instance, one finding was that, although both groups reported external and internal stressors, the specific stressors somewhat varied by group. Conclusions: Findings are discussed in relation to transformational learning theory and prior works on stress within the field. Implications for program development and prospective speech-language pathology graduate students are discussed.

Additional Information

Wolford GW, Wolford LL, Brannick SF, Anderson EN, McLoud K. “Getting Back Into School Mode”: Experiences of Former Speech-Language Pathology Assistants in Graduate School. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups. 2022;7(5):1449-1474. doi:10.1044/2022_PERSP-21-00288. Publisher version of record available at: https://doi.org/10.1044/2022_PERSP-21-00288
Language: English
Date: 2022
speech-language pathology assistants, education, speech-language pathology, student attitudes, surveys, human, adult

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