Independent Learning Project

Like most, after reading that I had to choose a project to research and write about I had no idea what to choose. Out of all the endless options to pick from, I was at a loss, nothing seemed interesting enough to research for an entire semester. However, after some contemplating, I decided that my learning project would be centered around my long term career goal; Speech- Language Pathology.

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, “Speech-Language Pathologist work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults”. A speech disorder is considered when a person is unable to correctly or fluently produce speech sounds or has difficulty with their voice. Language disorders are considered when a person has trouble understanding others or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings. So, a Speech Pathologist does so much more than just help a small child learn to produce sounds. They really have more in their job description than I would have guessed when I first started considering this profession.

I was inspired to go into Speech Pathology my senior year of high school. During that year I had the opportunity to be a cross-age tutor at the elementary school. I was in the speech teacher’s room, so I spent most of the week days with her, but the the Speech-Pathologist would come to the school once a week, and I got to experience this profession first hand. It was truly amazing to see the progress of the students that we worked with! The different ways of communication were eye opening to me, but the fact that students were accessing their ability to communicate with and understand others was what was really intriguing to me. After experiencing how a SLP works in a school setting, I decided I wanted to see what it was like to work in a hospital setting as well. Later that year, we took a senior job shadow trip and I shadowed at the hospital. I loved being in the hospital setting, it was completely different than a school setting, but still fairly similar. I am torn between working in a school or hospital, but I would have the opportunity to do both, and if I could choose, that is what I would do. Since there is a high demand for SLPs right now, I will have the opportunity to have a versatile career.

As I stated earlier, Speech-Language Pathology is my long term career goal. As of now, I am in my last years of my Elementary Education degree, so I will probably teach for a few years, but I hope to one day achieve my goal! It is something that keeps me going and is my motivation for going down the path I chose.

Photo CC- Penn State & Paul Shanks


9 Comments Add yours

  1. That is an interesting topic that catches your eye. Trying to get to your goal is something that everyone should do, but blogging about it will help you be motivated to get there. I think that it was awesome that you have had a lot of outside experience to help you out. To be out interacting instead of staying in a classroom learning the material, like in the video about hacking. You can learn to hack speech- language pathology. I was the same way in the begging, on trying to find a topic. This is great and can’t wait to see what happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting! So how will you be doing this two hours a week? Are you going to observe hands on? Or is it going to be more research based? I’m anxious to see how this all plays out! Good luck! 🙂


    1. I plan on researching what SLP is and how it really works. I will read multiple case studies, watch videos, and hopefully be able to find testimonies.


  3. jaylinnlohrdigitalliteracy says:

    I think that what you chose is great. I too was at loss because there was no regulations on what to do, it was what we wanted to do. That doesn’t happen in classes very often. I think you will love your project and I can’t wait to hear what you learn! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I am excited to see where it takes me!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jessica says:

    This is so enlightening! I had never realized that speech disorders and language disorders were two separate things… Just goes to show how much I still have to learn about my profession. I loved reading about your experience senior year of high school. It is incredible to realize the impact other people have on us. I was also inspired to go into English Education by my high school English teacher. We are both coming full circle. Looking forward to reading the rest of your posts on this topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it crazy how much of an impact others have on us? It really is more than I usually think about or give credit to. But, like you have mentioned. I don’t think either of us would have chosen the career path we did, without that influence. Thank you!


  5. sydnistevens says:

    That is a very interesting goal! By the way you write about Speech-Language Pathology, you must be very passionate about this. I think it is great that you were able to tutor in an elementary and see first hand what you want to do. And then to be able to shadow in a hospital in exactly your dream career, fantastic! So, as your Independent Learning Project, would you just be researching and reporting on your findings on the topic? Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I feel it was truly an eye opening experience! Yes, I think for the most part I will just be researching and reporting. I would like to have more hands-on experience, but I am not sure I have time to get a true experience while juggling my awkward school hours.


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