Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I Can Stick to my Goals + P.E. Expectations Printables

Hi friends!

So my plan was to start a TpT store after grad school. But if you know me at all, you know I kiiiind of lack in the patience department. I thought of an idea for a cute printable that I wanted to create so I took the leap and went ahead and opened a TpT Store over the weekend! I just added my first 2 products and I have to's SO fun creating them!

I will admit, I'm totally fumbling my way through TpT right now. Once I have the hang of it, I plan on doing a few "TpT Tips" type posts to help other stragglers out there 😂

I wanted to show y'all the first 2 products I created!

First up, these "I can stick to my goals:" printables:

I'm thrilled with how these turned out and I'm so excited to use them in my speech room this year! I think it's so beneficial for students to physically see their goals written out. It encourages them and reminds them what they are working so hard toward. Click here to grab your own!

And then this was my first creation:

The "In P.E. We:" poster is actually a freebie in my store so hop on over there to grab one to pass along to your favorite P.E. coach!

For those of you who don't know, I'm actually starting a part-time P.E. position in August! I'll be a P.E. teacher 2 days a week and an SLPA 2 days week, so I'll probably be creating resources for both positions for awhile.

I'm not sure how many products I'll be creating, but I'll make sure to update you guys when anything new comes out. I'll be back here in a few days to share how I'm setting up my planner for the upcoming semester!


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

3 Ways to Beef Up Your Resume for Grad School if Your GPA is Not Stellar

Hi friends! Today I want to share a little bit of my story that got me where I am today. I graduated with my first bachelor's degree in mass communications in 2012, and I'll be the first to tell you that my GPA was less than stellar (a 2.9 to be exact). I chose that major on a whim during my sophomore year after asking my advisor at the time which major would get me out of there the fastest. I didn't have a career path in mind, and I was more concerned about working my full time job than making good grades. My mantra was, "Cs get degrees." ...yeah.

Fast forward to 2015 - I decided that I wanted to become an SLP. After a ton of research, I knew that getting into a speech-language pathology program was not going to be an easy feat. I also knew that my 2.9 GPA was not going to cut it. But I am a fighter and if I want something, I will make it happen. I am willing to put in the work to achieve what I set my mind to.

I chose to go ahead and get a second bachelor's degree rather than doing a bridge program at the discretion of my new communication science and disorders advisor. She told me that by doing this, grad school admissions committees would see my overall GPA that included both of my degrees (which was low even after getting all As in my CSD courses...I believe it ended up being around a 3.2) AND my CSD GPA (which was a 3.93). She said this would make me a more appealing candidate for grad school admission - was she right? I have no idea, honestly. But I will say, I'm glad I went that route, because it gave me an extra year to do things to help me stand out as a candidate.

I applied to 6 graduate programs and got accepted into all 6 (I was accepted off the wait list for one but still). How? I worked extremely hard to beef up my resume over the next year.

There are 3 things that I really honed in on in order to make myself the best candidate possible, given my low GPA.

I reached out to a local children's hospital and spent a few months volunteering there a few hours per week. I did things like clean toys, organize play rooms, cater to patients and their families to make sure that they were as comfortable as possible, etc. I know that when I finish grad school I want to work with children so that's why I volunteered in a children's hospital. If you know what population you want to work with after grad school, I would suggest volunteering with that population! Try to pick one place and really invest your time volunteering there. It will help you build strong connections that will come in handy later down the road (aka letter of recommendation time).

I would say this is the most important one and what really made me a standout candidate to the programs I applied to. This one takes a bit more time and planning, but if you're willing to put in the work, it will pay off.

The summer between my junior and senior year as a CSD major, I took an elective called "Directed Research." In order to register for this class, I had to find a professor who was willing to either a) Bring me on board a current research project they were doing or b) Basically chaperone a research project that I wanted to do. I went with option A and found a professor who was working on a research project dealing with stuttering. I worked with him all summer, inputting and analyzing data. Sounds boring but I learned a lot AND our research was turned into a poster presentation that was presented at the 5th Joint Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and the Acoustical Society of Japan in November 2016...right in time for grad school applications. So I was officially able to put "research authorship" on my resume. Talk about a resume booster!

For me, this was the most fun of the three. I observed at a few schools and private practices. I researched and found a local SLP who works with the pediatric population and implements animal assisted therapy...aka my dream job. I emailed her about a year before grad school applications were due and spent TONS of time throughout that next year observing her. Not only did I gain valuable experiences and knowledge, she is actually the SLP who I will be working as an SLPA for starting this August...big win! By the time I sent in my grad school applications, I had around 40 observation hours (I work full-time so keep in mind that these were accumulated over the course of a year).

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

All of these things will not only beef up your resume, but they will also give you quality experiences to write about in your letter of intent/personal statements as well as help you build connections that will come in handy when it's time to ask for letters of recommendation.

Oh and by the way, my GRE scores were average. Maybe even below average for quant. I'll talk about that in another post, though.

If you have any questions or post ideas that you would like to see covered, feel free to comment below or shoot me an email!


Friday, June 16, 2017

10 Things To Do Before (SLP) Grad School

You did it! You're in! The hardest part is behind you! YOU GOT INTO A SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY GRADUATE PROGRAM!

I've been told by quite a few SLPs that getting into grad school is the hardest part and that once you're in, you just have to survive. I am extremely glad that the application process is behind me, because let's be's intense. But that's another post for another day.

Today I want to talk about:


It is no secret that SLP programs are extremely competitive. Take some time to really be proud of yourself and celebrate your accomplishments! A lot of us #SLP2B people are go-getters and it's easy to brush off an exciting acceptance in effort to start working toward the next goal (like getting an A on an upcoming exam), but DON'T. Reflect on all of the hard work that went into getting into that program and treat yourself. When I got my first acceptance letter I bawled my eyes out. Then my husband and I popped a bottle of champagne and went out to dinner...I'll always cherish that night!

two. Send your final transcripts.

Most grad programs will remind you to do this. I went ahead and ordered my transcripts during finals week of my last semester and let my undergraduate institution know to hold them until my degree was posted. I knew that I would forget come summertime so I wanted to get it squared away ASAP. If your school has the option to place the order and have the transcripts held until your degree is posted, I suggest taking advantage of that.

three. Shadow a few SLPs.

I did some shadowing right after finals week and it made me so excited to start grad school! It was nice being able to observe SLPs without having to vigorously take notes on everything he or she did for an assignment. I loved being able to sit and really take everything in without worrying about doing an assignment on it.

four. Set up a review binder.

If you read this post, you know that I set up an SLP Review Binder. I skim through it 1-3 times per week just to keep the information that I learned in undegrad from leaking out of my brain forever.

five. Join Facebook groups.

It's likely that there is a Facebook group for your incoming cohort. And if there's not one, make one (I made one for my cohort). This is a great way to get to know some of your classmates before classes start. It's also a great way to find roommates if you need to do that. I also found a "current + past students" group for my program which has been useful. I've reached out to a few of the graduates of the program with questions and they've been so helpful!

six. Decide how you're going to organize your lecture notes and coursework.

Most of us figured out what works for us in undergrad. I'm sticking with my same system - I like to have one big binder with divider tabs for each class. I keep all of my syllabi, notes, and print outs in that binder. I also went ahead and made a list of the books that I need to buy for my first semester.

seven. Set up your planner.

Planning and organization are truly my love languages, as you know, so setting up my planner is one of my favorite things to do. I wrote in my orientation dates and important university dates. I'm going to do a separate, detailed post on how I set up my planner to stay organized.

eight. Polish up your resume.

Now that you've finished your bachelor's it's time to spruce up your resume. You can also add your graduate program which is exciting! I try to update mine 1-2 times a year so that it remains as current as possible. The summer before grad school is the perfect time to do this.

nine. Read up on your program and familiarize yourself with professors.

I don't know about you, but I applied to quiiiite a few schools. Of course, I did my research on all of them but now that I know which program I'm committed to, I've delved a little bit deeper into getting to know that specific program. I read about the professors who will be teaching my first semester courses and made a list of questions to bring to orientation.

ten. RELAX!

If you're anything like me you struggle with this. I am always go, go, go but countless SLPs have told me that I really need to soak in the summer before grad school. I recently took up yoga and hand lettering to help me relax a little bit. My husband and I are planning a little beach vacay in July, too. Try your best to stay present and really chill out the summer before grad school, because from what I've gathered, it's gonna get really real really fast come August 😅


Monday, June 12, 2017

SLP Review Binder to Prepare for Grad School

Hi friends! I shared a quick video of a flip through of my SLP Review Binder on Instagram and a few people wanted a more in-depth look...enter: a blog post!

Planning and organization are my love languages. Nothing makes my heart quite as happy as a beautifully organized planner or color coded lecture notes. That being said, I knew that when I finished my undergrad degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders that I wanted to put together a big review binder that I could use to stay sharp during the summer before starting grad school.

During each class, I would mark certain notes that I knew I wanted to include in this review binder. Then after my last final, I came home and pulled all of those notes out and organized them into 5 sections:

In the "Clinic Aids" section you will find things like:
  • Helpful handouts for parents that explain what an SLP does/common SLP terms/how to best understand assessment scores
  • Data collection cheat sheet
  • Theme therapy idea chart
  • Hypothetical treatment plans/SOAP notes
  • Book lists organized by speech sound

In the "Neuro + Anatomy" section you will find things like:
  • Diagrams of the brain
  • Diagrams of the vocal tract
  • Cranial nerves chart

In the "Phonetics" section you will find things like:
  • Vowel quadrilateral chart
  • Consonant speech sound chart
  • Helpful information about the IPA and transcription
  • Diacritic review sheet

In the "Language Development" section you will find things like:
  • Language milestone chart
  • Typical speech sound acquisition chart
  • Chronology of phonological processes chart
  • Child phonological processes summary sheet
  • Phonological development PowerPoint presentation

In the "Disorders" section you will find things like:
  • Chart describing speech disorders in detail
  • Chart describing pathologies in detail
  • Chart of aphasia types and their characteristics
  • Chart of dysarthria types and their characteristics

I flip through my binder 1-3 times a week just to keep all of the information at the front of my mind. I don't want to start grad school in August and feel like I forgot everything! I plan on making this a long-term tool. I'll add to it as I embark on my grad school journey and use it to help me prepare for the Praxis.

A lot of the resources in the "Clinic Aid" section of my binder came from Speechy Musings. She shares so many useful tools on her blog! And in case you REALLY want to see an in-depth rundown of what is in my binder, you can watch the flip through video:

I hope you took something useful away from this SLP Review Binder idea! What is something that you would add to yours?


Sunday, June 11, 2017


Hello and welcome to The Social Speechie! ☺️ My name is Jessica and I am an SLP to-be! This is a place where I plan on documenting and sharing my grad school tips + experiences. I start grad school this fall at Florida State University. You can read more about me and TSS here. I look forward to sharing ideas and collaborating with you!

xo, Jess

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