ASHA 2018

The American Speech, Language, Hearing Association annual convention is coming up this November in Boston, MA. There are a bunch of seminars, technical talks, and posters focused on bilingualism throughout the day of the convention. Here is the listing of those sessions.  See you there!

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Volunteer Opportunity @UCI

We are starting a new collaboration with Dr. George Farkas with his reading one-to-one project. Reading one-to-one is a tutoring project for children who are struggling readers. This year we’ll be working with him in a bilingual school in Santa Ana, CA.  Before tutoring begins children will be tested in two languages. This is where we could use some help.

We will administer short screeners in Spanish and English to see where kids are in terms of their grammar and vocabulary in each language. We have about 100 kids to screen and it will take about 20 minutes to screen each kiddo. If you’re interested in language learning and what to get some first hand knowledge about the language of children this could be a good opportunity. If you’re interested, please complete the survey here and we’ll get in touch with you.

When should I contact potential adviser?

NOW!

I’m starting to receive inquiries about doctoral study now and I expect I’ll hear from more potential Ph.D. students as fall starts. At UCI School of Education, applications are due December 1. It’s a good idea to start contacting and setting up skype, in person, or phone meetings with potential mentors a couple of months before the deadline.

An e-mail inquiry is fine to start. You should introduce yourself, express an interest in doing graduate work with your potential mentor, and tell them a little about yourself. It’s helpful to include a CV but it’s not critical. This initial contact will help you to tell a potential mentor about yourself and how your interests might fit into what they are doing. You might also inquire about whether they are taking students for the following year.

In the meeting, come with questions, ask about what is going on currently with their research, new project coming up, ask about funding, ask about the program of study (beyond what’s already on the website). Be prepared to answer questions about your interests and goals. Do you want to become a faculty member, researcher, etc.?

In this conversation you will learn more about the process and how your application is evaluated. Sometimes I find myself picking up on someone’s statement and saying, “make sure to include that in your statement of purpose.” If you’re not sure what they mean, ask. I think that this part is helpful because it will help you to identify things that you should include in your materials to better shape your application.

I also think it’s good to ask to speak to other students in the program, so you can ask about that as well. Students in the program are going to have insights about the program and the work, etc. that I just don’t have. And you want to have as much information as you can to make a good decision. I’ve said before, it’s about fit, and it’s about funding. It’s also about making sure that you get the support you need to be competitive for the job market.

 

Can I do a Ph.D. while working full-time?

I’ve been asked this from time to time, and I see if asked on facebook groups and other fora like the Chronicle of higher education. The basic answer is no. You can probably earn a professional doctorate (Ed.D., SLPD, etc.) while working part-time or even full-time. But, it’s different for a Ph.D. (at least if you’re a full-time student).

Continue reading

Ph.D. in CSD or in a related area?

So, you’ve decided to get a Ph.D. You’ve considered the Ph.D. and the SLPD and decided you want a teaching and research career. So, the Ph.D. would be the right degree for this. The next question if you’re an audiologist or speech-language pathologist is to determine if you want to get a Ph.D. in CSD or in a related field.  Continue reading

Ph.D. or SLPD?

There’s a good question. They are both doctorates, they are both advanced degrees but there are many more differences.  There are a number of SLPD programs across the U.S. These are relatively new compared to the Ph.D. and they meet a specific demand.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (Asha) has information comparing the two degrees. The SLPD is a clinical doctorate. It is designed for SLPs who hold the MA/MS and have their CCCs. Most of the programs I’ve looked at offer it as a two-year degree. Some are in person, some on-line, some are hybrid. Ph.D. programs are generally not on-line programs.

The goal of the SLPD is to help prepare SLPs for more advanced roles in their current positions. It is for SLPs who want more training in the profession, EBP, understanding research, supervision and leadership. SLPDs may become clinic directors, special education directors, supervisors and so on. I think this is the right degree if you are interested in digging deeper into the practices of the profession. A 2 year MA degree covers the scope of practice but it doesn’t give you deep knowledge in any one area because there is so much to know! So, an SLPD would be a way to develop some more advanced knowledge and to stretch in terms of your role.

Some people have asked me if an SLPD will be sufficient for a tenure track job. Unfortunately, the answer is almost always no. It doesn’t mean that it can’t or hasn’t happened, but that the SLPD is not the training needed for a tenure track job. For that you need a Ph.D.

The Ph.D. (in CSD or a related field) is a research degree. The training focuses on doing research and teaching. This is one reason the Ph.D. takes longer (4 or 5 years). In the Ph.D. you are expected to learn to do research and to start to develop your own line of research. Ph.D. programs are generally face-to-face rather than on-line because it’s about learning to be an academic. I usually think of this as learning a language and a culture. You are expected to publish, present at conferences, and to defend your ideas and work. You also work on development of teaching competencies. In many programs you will take a course on adult pedagogy and to TA or teach a class.

All in all the two degrees are pretty different and lead to different roles. I think there is room for both types of degrees. If you want a doctorate you have many good options depending on what you want to do with the degree.

So you want to get a Ph.D.

It’s that time of year when students are making decisions about where they are going to go for graduate school and others are thinking of applying to graduate programs in the next round this coming fall. In CSD there is a severe shortage of new Ph.D.s to take on faculty positions. So for me it’s important to recruit and train future CSD faculty. I’ve worked with a number of students who have completed the degree and have gone on to successful careers as faculty and leaders in the profession. As you may know I’m now at the University of California, Irvine and Lisa Bedore is moving to Temple University. We both remain committed to helping to train the next generation of Ph.D.s in the field. Below, I give some of my thoughts about the Ph.D. and finding a program that is right for you and your interests. Continue reading