Specialize the Graduate Degree As a graduate student, I was particularly interested in the January Leader with the cover “Expanding the Pipeline.” I am in a four-year, distributed learning program for those who do not have an undergraduate degree in speech/communications. I can say that, three years into the program, I am eager to ... Inbox
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Inbox  |   April 01, 2015
Specialize the Graduate Degree
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Professional Issues & Training / ASHA News & Member Stories / Inbox
Inbox   |   April 01, 2015
Specialize the Graduate Degree
The ASHA Leader, April 2015, Vol. 20, 6. doi:10.1044/leader.IN3.20042015.6
The ASHA Leader, April 2015, Vol. 20, 6. doi:10.1044/leader.IN3.20042015.6
As a graduate student, I was particularly interested in the January Leader with the cover “Expanding the Pipeline.” I am in a four-year, distributed learning program for those who do not have an undergraduate degree in speech/communications. I can say that, three years into the program, I am eager to finally be in a professional position using the skills I have learned in an area I am passionate about.
That being said, I agree with many of the suggestions about how we can solve the shortage of graduate slots, including improving use of technology and redeveloping the 1:1 supervision system. Another idea would be to specialize the speech-language pathology graduate degree. Candidates coming into graduate school could choose the path leading to CCC-SLP/P (pediatrics) or CCC-SLP/A (adults/senior adults). Some of the courses would be shared, but this would lead to a shorter time in the degree program, freeing up more space for incoming applicants.
I realize that many people go into their professional careers and change their minds about which population they want to serve. Then, perhaps, CEUs would be available for professionals to complete the other half of the license to become certified for all populations (without having to bog down the system by entering a graduate program again).
These ideas won’t shorten the time I have left in my program, of course. But I hope they might benefit those “down the pipeline.”
Heather Cripps Williams, Woodruff, South Carolina

Thank you for your perspective. ASHA is continuing to explore ways to increase the PhD pipeline, build capacity for the professions and prepare clinical educators.

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April 2015
Volume 20, Issue 4