As per the CSD program at my school, we are required to have 25 hours of observation of SLPs/Audiologists in order to graduate with a BS in CSD. Now, I don’t know much about other university’s programs, but I think all future SLPs and Audiologists in training need these as well. Luckily most students around here can achieve this goal in a class that my university provides. BUT… who wants to be average? Most graduate programs want people that have a list of observation/volunteer/shadowing hours that they can boast about. Of course, for those, like me, who haven’t been volunteering at a summer camp for 5 years may be a bit perplexed as to where to find these elusive opportunities to become competitive and be able to hold those Graduate Admissions people’s gaze for longer than a second with a piece of paper. After all, it’s kinda scary knowing that you have to layout all of your hard work and extra experiences on a paper only in hopes that it’ll supplement the stellar statement of intent and amazing letters of recommendation you’ll provide. To help,I’ve compiled a list of possible places you can find these seemingly hard-to-find resume boosters.
*Note: I say resume builders, but you should in no way simply do these to help your chances. You should want to help people and gain experience in your field anyway! The main, and primary, reason I am doing these is because I truly like helping others and I want to get involved in my community and learn about my field. After all, if the admissions committee asks why you took part in X with Y population, you’ll be stuck if you just want to say it was for your resume. You want to have an attachment to what you do so you can elaborate on why you chose that place and how it pertains to you as a person and what you want to do in life. (The good thing about this field is that there is a vast array of places you can volunteer to suit you.)
SLP/AUD offices – Hospitals (Childrens, Medical) – Specialty Places (Ear& Eye Clinics, Voice Centers, Accent Reduction Areas, Swallowing… most hospitals have these within their practices too!) – Daycare (Adult, Children, Handicapped/Disabled) – Schools (Regular, Special Ed, Deaf/Blind) – After School Programs – War Vet Places
Library(reading to kids, tutor) – Education (tutor/mentor, after school, urban literacy programs) – SLP/AUD offices – Hospitals – Elderly home – Daycare (regular, special needs) – Youth Mentoring Programs (Big Brother/Sister, YMCA, JumpStart – ESL student conversation partner – Tutor (children, adult literacy learners, Refugees, ESL, or at your university) – Summer Camps for Special Needs – ASHA convention
NSSLHA ** (local chapter, national chapter) – Linguistics Club – YMCA – Any about literacy, tutoring – volunteer clubs
Language and Psychology/Brain – Speech – Aural – Child Language Acquisition – Speech Disorders *look up professors interests and e-mail ones you might like working with
Hope these ideas help! I’d say aim for 45-50 volunteer/observation hours to be competitive!