I have always known that I wanted a career that involved helping people, but I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do. After earning my bachelor's in psychology from Penn State Behrend, I worked in the school setting with children who had a diagnosis of autism. During that experience, I was able to observe several sessions with a speech-language pathologist and was amazed by the variety of techniques used to target various communication difficulties. From that moment on, I knew that I wanted to be a speech-language pathologist.
Edinboro University helped me achieve my goal in several ways. First, they offered a program in which I could complete undergraduate classes to prepare for the master's program as my bachelor's degree was not in speech and hearing sciences. Once I was accepted into the master's program, Edinboro offered me a graduate assistantship, which helped to tremendously lower the cost of tuition. Throughout the graduate program in the classroom setting, highly qualified professors provided me with knowledge that I would soon apply during my clinical rotations.
I was given the amazing opportunity to complete five clinical rotations: two at our on-campus outpatient clinic, one in a skilled nursing facility, one at a hospital and one in a school setting. After completing coursework at Edinboro and a rotation at Fairview School District, I knew that the school setting was the right fit for me. I recently accepted a position with the Iroquois School District in Erie, Pa., in which I will diagnose and treat school-age children with various communication impairments in domains including speech, language, fluency, voice, hearing, cognition and social communication using various communication modalities.
I am so excited to become part of the special education team at Iroquois, and I truly believe that the coursework at Edinboro paired with multiple clinical rotations prepared me to begin working as a speech-language pathologist in any professional setting.
Photo credit: Jessica Husted Photography