This is a long post, but I really want to remember everything about this process...
Unless you're new around here, you know that I have gone back to school for speech-language pathology this year, after working in the schools with my teaching degree for four years.
I have been taking a year of undergraduate classes this year, things like "anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing," "articulatory and phonological disorders," "language disorders," and a whole host of other things. These classes are to get me caught up with content so that I'm ready to start the two year graduate program next year.
That is, if I get in!
When I began classes at The University of Akron, I knew I would be applying immediately for the SLP graduate program that would begin in fall of 2012. I also had heard that it was very competitive. However, I didn't know just how competitive...
My second or third week of class, a professor gave us the numbers, and I don't think I've shared them on the blog yet, so here they are...
On average, 300 people apply to the SLP graduate program at Akron each year.
Akron accepts 40.
Hearing those numbers threw me into a panic-stricken state. At that point I had made one other friend in the program: a post-bac student like me. She dropped out immediately after hearing those numbers, feeling like it was a waste of money since it was practically impossible to get in.
I chose to stick it out, knowing that this year of undergrad classes could be the biggest waste of time and energy of my life, and also the most expensive mistake of my life. (You have to have a masters in speech-language pathology in order to do anything with the degree. So if I didn't get into the masters program, I had just wasted thousands of dollars and a year of my life).
I was stressed out and nervous during the grueling application process last semester as I applied to The University of Akron and Kent State University. And even more grueling has been this semester of waiting.
I just keep praying that God would open doors here if this is His plan, and close them if it's not. Whenever I think about that, it takes all the stress away because I know this entire thing is in His hands.
The selection process for the program at Akron is a little different from Kent. For Kent I just had to fill out a lot of paperwork, get my letters of recommendation, and take the GRE.
At Akron, I had to fill out two separate applications, and send in more letters of rec., and a lot more paperwork. On top of that, they interview their applicants, which very few schools do. I've gotten to learn a lot about the selection process at Akron because my professors are very open about it. Basically, I believe the 300 applications are distributed to all the professors in the speech-language pathology and audiology programs. The professors rate their applications on a universal, non-biased scale (one of the graduate assistants even told me they cover up all names at this point.) They give a certain amount of points for GPA, a certain amount for GRE scores, some for letters of rec, and some for resume, statement of purpose, etc.
After they've scored all the applications, they then come together and pick the top ones. I'm not sure how many are considered the "top" ones, but I think it's still somewhere between 100 and 200. Then they send out invitations to their interview day.
And the whole point of this post is to say that last night I received my invitation to interview day!!!!!!
I hesitated to post about this, because if I don't get in I'm going to have to tell everyone. But I realized I would have done that anyway, so why not share my good news? And also, humbly ask for prayers for me a week from today. (Friday the 24th).
This definitely doesn't mean I'm in yet! But as my title says, I'm one step closer. The interview day is going to be fun and scary at the same time. Basically, we all meet for one big meeting about the program (led by my favorite professor, by the way, which makes it a bit less scary!) And then we break up into groups of 3 or 4 and go around to different places and have a series of 10-minute group interviews/informal question and answer sessions with the faculty. Then we get a big tour of the university speech/audiology clinic (I already spend hours there each week, so I feel like an old pro. ha!)
So that's that: the next big thing. I hope I do okay! But I know God will open or close doors according to His will, so I have nothing to worry about.
This week is going to be the most exciting one in awhile! This weekend we have plans to make major strides with our renovations, including renting a sander for the floors! On Saturday we're going out to a birthday lunch with my grandma for her 88th! And then a late Valentines Day date. Tuesday I get to observe a speech pathologist in a hospital all morning, Wednesday I sub, Thursday I have class, and then Friday is the big interview day!! Hopefully all the busy-ness will keep me distracted from nervousness :-) I am so excited about the future!!