M.S. in SLP (online)

Student Q&As

See All Close All

  • Lauren Abremski

    Lauren Abremski

    Florida

    Q. What were you doing before attending the JMU Online SLP Program? Why did you decide to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist?
    A. I was teaching first grade. I decided to pursue a career to become a speech-language pathologist because I wanted to help more people with disabilities.

    Q. What inspires you about the field of speech-language pathology?
    A. Speech-language pathology gives me the opportunity to help improve someone’s life.

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation?
    A. My future plans are to work at a pediatric outpatient clinic.

  • McKinsley Balesi

    McKinsley Bales

    Virginia

    Q. What were you doing before attending the JMU Online SLP Program? Why did you decide to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist?
    A. I was working as a speech-language pathologist assistant (SLPA), and I chose this field because I felt it was the perfect fit for me with the diversity and it being a service-based field.

    Q. How has the JMU Online MS SLP program contributed to your growth and preparedness for a career in speech-language pathology?
    A. This program has been a massive contributor to my skills in speech-language pathology and working with each of the professors has been wonderful! Their expertise has helped guide me in so many instances during my job/placements. The JMU clinic was also an amazing experience, and I feel like the fact that it was through tele-health made it more unique in regards to the skills that I gained from the experience.

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation?
    A. My initial plans are currently to find an outpatient clinic in my general area. I would also love to become trained in certain treatment programs, such as the LSVT LOUD program for voice treatment. My long-term goals involve potentially getting involved into research, and maybe pursuing a doctorate degree, but that won’t be for a while! Because of how broad our field is, there are so many different job opportunities ahead of me that I most definitely would not have if it were not for this program.

  • Jacqueline Branning

    Jacqueline Branning

    Virginia

    Q. Why did you decide to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist?
    A. What a wild ride it has been! I’ve always had a passion and desire to serve others in my personal life as well as in a career. I began my journey of becoming an SLP after my husband and I had our fourth child. I felt drawn to the field and knew I wanted a program that could coincide with family life.

    Q. Why was the JMU Online MS SLP program the right fit for you?
    A. The JMU Online MS SLP program has been the perfect fit for me! Through working in various settings and treating a wide range of clients in each placement, I feel confident and ready to begin this new phase of life. Having support from amazing classmates from all over the country while feeling the love and encouragement from my own family has been truly an incredible experience.

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation?
    A. I’m excited to begin working full-time as a school based SLP through Virginia Beach City Public Schools this upcoming Fall!   

  • Shannon Disney Bronaugh

    Shannon Disney Bronaugh

    Virginia

    Q. What were you doing before attending the JMU Online SLP Program? Why did you decide to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist?
    A. I was an architect who left the profession to have children, and eventually found myself teaching preschool for fun.  Several of my students had special needs, and I tagged along to some of their speech therapy and OT sessions.  I was drawn to speech and language pathology because of those children.  I enjoy the challenge of complex behaviors and needs, I appreciate the science and evidence behind speech and language pathology, and lastly, I adore the quirky personalities and open-hearted enthusiasm for life that children innately have.  If you can’t tell, I’ll be working as a pediatric SLP.

    Q. What advice do you have for students considering becoming an SLP?
    A. Buckle down and learn this material. Because it will impact how good of a clinician you are; Make as many connections as possible, with your classmates and professors and clinical educators, with online communities and through ASHA; Go to the conventions.  They are inspiring; Be professional but be real. Drop your façade. It is okay to not know the answer. It is okay to ask (stupid) questions; Always remember, you are paying for this. Your clinical educators and professors are there to serve you as much as you are there to do the work; Pace yourself.  Truly enjoy your breaks.  Don’t give up on self-care.  It is okay to get an A-. Truly!

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation? Where will you be working and what will you be doing?
    A. I am taking the summer off to reconnect with and savor my family. I am leaning towards a pediatric outpatient position I have been offered but am also considering a position with the Virginia Beach public schools if I can be placed at a school with a contained early childhood special needs preschool.  

  • Carolyn Campbell

    Carolyn Campbell

    Colorado

    Q. What were you doing before attending the JMU Online SLP Program? Why did you decide to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist?
    A. I switched from classroom teaching to SLP because I wanted a change in focus and because I love the opportunities to work with many different age groups and settings.

    Q. What advice do you have for students considering becoming an SLP?
    A. Network early with SLPs around you, be open to try new experiences and opportunities, do not take feedback personally - use it as a chance to improve, investigate all the variety of work situations so when it comes time for your clinical placements, you’ll have a better idea of where you would like to be.

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation?
    A. Working part-time as an assistant activities’ person through July, then working as an SLP at a high school for my clinical fellowship.

  • Enjolina Campbell

    Enjolina Campbell

    Hawaii

    Q.  What were you doing before attending the JMU Online SLP Program? Why did you decide to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist?
    A. I was a stay-at-home mom and military spouse who needed a program that offered remote study and geographic flexibility.

    Q. How has the JMU Online MS SLP program contributed to your growth and preparedness for a career in speech-language pathology?
    A. Professors were responsive to questions and well-informed. They were all passionate about the subjects they taught and inspired me to learn more. The program director is extraordinarily supportive.  I have felt very well-prepared across all settings. JMU's Online MS SLP program gave me a solid foundation.

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation?
    A. I discovered the acute care, SNF, and outpatient settings are my happy places. I recently accepted a clinical fellowship at a SNF. I look forward to developing my skills in the medical setting.

  • Isabel Carpenter

    Isabel Carpenter

    California

    Q. Why did you decide to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist?
    A. I grew up with my brother who has autism and is predominantly non-verbal, so I always had an interest in autism and AAC. I wanted a career that incorporated special education, teaching, and medicine, which is why I chose this field.

    Q. Why was the JMU Online MS SLP program the right fit for you?
    A. JMU was the perfect fit for me because I qualified for in-state tuition, the quality of the education far exceeded the total cost of the program, I was able to live anywhere while completing the program (which I needed since my fiancé/now husband moved to a different state every year while training to be a jet pilot in the Marine Corps), and since the program is part-time, I was able to work full-time as a nanny. Being able to easily work during my program enabled me to pay each semester in full, which means I am graduating without any student loans!

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation?
    A. I accepted a position as a CF-SLP at an outpatient pediatric private practice in San Diego! I am really excited because I will be collaborating with other SLPs, OTs, PTs, and ABA therapists in a really fun work environment that has access to amazing resources and technology to use at my disposal. I would really like to end up in a more medical settings, specifically in the NICU, but I feel that this will be a great starting point for me that will allow me to learn in a comfortable environment.

  • Anna Monson

    Anna Monson

    Georgia

    Q. What were you doing before attending the JMU Online SLP Program? Why did you decide to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist?
    A. Prior to beginning graduate school, I was a preschool teacher at a non-profit school in Norfolk, Virginia working primarily in the three-year-old classroom. I decided to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist to follow my interest in working one-on-one with the pediatric population, however, I fell in love with older adults after completing a clinical placement at a skilled nursing facility and am now looking forward to serving the geriatric population following graduation.

    Q. How has the JMU Online MS SLP program contributed to your growth and preparedness for a career in speech-language pathology? 
    A. The JMU Online MS SLP program (lovingly) pushed me out of my comfort zone during the completion of clinical placements, leading me to develop well-rounded skills working with various populations. This development increased my confidence as a student clinician, confidence that will carry me through the completion of my clinical fellowship year.

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation?
    A. Following the birth of our twin girls (due in August), I am looking forward to spending some time with our babies before pursuing a career working with the geriatric population in either a skilled nursing facility, home health, or hospital setting. I’m looking forward to the various employment opportunities that come along with being an SLP (part-time, full time, PRN work). These opportunities will allow me to create the best work/life balance for me and my growing family.

  • Jessica Pamperin

    Jessica Pamperin

    Georgia

    Q. What were you doing before attending the JMU Online SLP Program? Why did you decide to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist?
    A. Before pursuing my master’s, I was the Director of Education at a tutoring center. I loved working with the children one-on-one, and my favorite part of my job was teaching phonics and language. I knew that a degree in speech-language pathology would allow me to pursue these interests further and learn even more, while gaining more autonomy in my career setting.

    Q. How has the JMU Online MS SLP program contributed to your growth and preparedness for a career in speech-language pathology?

    A. Our professors are as concerned about our learning clinical skills as they are about increasing our knowledge base of the subjects. I was able to apply what I learned in class to my externships. I went into SLP sure that I wanted to continue working with children, but I love that JMU requires an adult externship as well, which I learned so much in.

    Q. Why was the JMU Online MS SLP program the right fit for you?

    A. I wanted to still be able to work while I was going through a program, and the 3-year format really afforded me that opportunity. It was possible to balance school and a full-time job until I had my externship semesters. Moreover, I love that we remained a cohort throughout all 3 years. Although JMU is an online program, I still felt like I got to know every member of my cohort through our classes, projects, and social media.

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation?
    A. I am currently looking for a clinical fellowship in pediatric private practice, where I hope to continue therapy with students with difficulties in pragmatic, expressive, and receptive language,
    articulation, and feeding.

  • Megan Pancost

    Megan Pancost

    California

    Q. Why was the JMU Online MS SLP program the right fit for you?
    A. I really didn’t have the ability to move to continue my education. Plus, the online program allows more ability to work part-time. I was able to work as a SLPA for the first half of the program, which gave me somewhere to try out new techniques I learned in class before my externships.

    Q. What inspires you about Speech Language Pathology?
    A. I really like how diverse the field is. It’s scientific, but also creative. It’s medical, but it’s also education. There are many specialties as well. Not to mention that there’s still so much to learn! Speech Language Pathology excites me mentally, creatively, and emotionally.

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation?
    A. After taking some time over the summer for some well-deserved relaxation and socializing, I hope to begin working at a local public school district in the Fall as an SLP.

  • Alyssa Perry

    Alyssa Perry

    Massachusetts

    Q. What inspires you about Speech Language Pathology?
    A. The fact that we can help so many people in life altering ways. It astounds me what I can now do.

    Q. Why was the JMU Online MS SLP program the right fit for you?
    A. It gave me the flexibility to complete my graduate work and still work to support my family, but still within a reasonable timeframe. I felt the atmosphere and the support you receive in this program were superb and couldn’t have asked for a better graduate program. JMU truly has a remarkable program. I never thought I’d enjoy my graduate program as much as I did. Anyone who is any doubt of applying to the JMU SLP online program, don’t be! It’s wonderful and you won’t regret it at all.

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation?
    A. I’m hoping to be working in an outpatient setting where I can serve both children and adults. I want to maintain all the clinical skills I’ve learned throughout
    graduate school.

  • Shannon Roland

    Shannon Roland

    Pennsylvania

    Q. What were you doing before attending the JMU Online SLP Program? Why did you decide to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist?
    A. I completed my bachelor of science degree in communication disorders in 2015 and got a job in a specialized school working as a behavioral support staff. I eventually began working as a speech-language pathology assistant until I was accepted into the graduate school program at James Madison University for speech-language pathology! I love science and helping people. A career as a speech-language pathologist is the perfect blend of my two passions.

    Q. How has the JMU Online MS SLP program contributed to your growth and preparedness for a career in speech-language pathology?
    A. The online SLP program allowed me to continue working for a little while as I pursued my master’s degree. I was able to keep my feet in the clinical world while I was learning theory and principles from the excellent professors at JMU. All of the   professors in the program made sure we were not only equipped with essential foundational knowledge, but also prepared to apply that foundational knowledge clinically. The classes and the externships have provided me with the tools I need to be a well-rounded, insightful clinician moving forward.

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation? Where will you be working and what will you be doing?
    A. I will be working at a pediatric outpatient center. I love this setting because we get to support clients with such a wide variety of abilities and needs. I also love this setting for the teamwork with other SLPs and other professionals like physical therapists and occupational therapists. There’s nothing like working with a team!

  • Madelyn Salazar

    Madelyn Salazar

    Virginia

    Q. What were you doing before attending the JMU Online SLP Program? Why did you decide to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist?
    A. I was a professional opera singer and voice teacher. I decided to pursue a career in speech-language pathology, as my previous career no longer aligned with my personal and professional goals. Speech-language pathology is a natural extension of the skills I’d developed for over a decade in my previous career. I’ve been able to use my knowledge of singing and multiple languages several times over in my experiences in practicum.

    Q. What advice do you have for students considering becoming an SLP?
    A. This field is so broad, but don’t be afraid to be true to who you are as a person and a budding clinician. It is easy to become overwhelmed with what you think you “should” want to do vs. what is actually calling you. You may be surprised. Additionally, in the words of one of our lectures: “Endeavor to be a clinician that listens to what clients have to say, rather than focusing soley on getting them to say something.”

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation?
    A. I will be completing my clinical fellowship with Fairfax Nursing and Rehabilitation in Fairfax, Virginia. Additionally, I plan to pursue opportunities as a clinician in head and neck cancer as my career progresses.

  • Megan Satterla

    Megan Satterla

    Virginia/Florida

    Q. Why was the JMU Online MS SLP program the right fit for you?
    A. I chose this program because of its flexibility. Being a military spouse, it was very important to me to have the ability to be with my husband when possible. Being able to continue to work during school was also an important factor that contributed to my decision. One year in we found out we were having a baby, and I was so very thankful to have online classes! The past two years since have been challenging to say the least but I am so thankful our classroom portion has been largely independent so I have that flexibility to balance school, clinicals, and family responsibilities.

    Q. What advice do you have for students considering becoming an SLP?
    A. There are SO many routes you can go with this career path, it’s more than the choice of adults or pediatrics. Spend time shadowing all of the options. I love children and work really well with children, but I am much more excited working with adults!

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation? Where will you be working and what will you be doing?
    A. I will be moving down to Florida where I will begin my CFY once we have settled in. I will be looking for jobs in the hospital/acute setting. I feel like I could see myself working in several different settings and being happy which is a very comforting feeling moving into a career. I hope to work in acute care, there is always so much to learn. I love doing MBSS and hope to learn FEES in the future.

  • Katelyn Scaggs

    Katelyn Scaggs

    California

    Q. How has the JMU Online MS SLP program contributed to your growth and preparedness for a career in speech-language pathology?
    A. The professors are amazing and prepare you for your externships. The program directors are extremely helpful and are there to see you succeed in this program. Finding a medical externship was very challenging for me, however, the university worked hard to secure my placement.

    Q. What inspires you about Speech Language Pathology?
    A. I love that in the field of Speech-Language Pathology, you encounter patients across a lifespan and with a wide range of communication disorders. The field is constantly growing and changing.

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation?
    A. I will be working for my local school district at an elementary school.

  • Sydney Shields

    Sydney Shields

    Oregon

    Q. What were you doing before attending the JMU Online SLP Program? Why did you decide to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist?
    A. I had been working in animal welfare since completing my bachelors in 2011. Whenever I found myself contemplating a career shift, I thought about speech-language pathology. I realized I was too young to be toying with ideas like “what if” and “if only,” so I re-enrolled at my alma mater to complete my post-bacc and prepare to apply to a master’s program.

    Q. Why was the JMU Online MS SLP program the right fit for you?
    A. I knew during the very first class session when I found myself actively participating in the chat and really leaning into the online model of learning. I have enough lived experience to understand my learning style, and independently manage my time and priorities. The online program allowed me to capitalize on my skills and experience as a student.

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation?
    A. I’ve accepted a fellowship with a local rehab contracting company and I’ll be working at two skilled nursing facilities in my area. Additionally, the inpatient rehab team with whom I interned will be starting a fellowship in the fall and I’ll be pursuing that opportunity, as well. I have no plans to limit myself or any opportunities that could advance my career as an adult medical SLP.

  • Placeholder

    Erin Stevenson

    South Carolina

    Q. Why was the JMU Online MS SLP program the right fit for you?
    A. I was a 5th grade teacher for 9 years. I was teaching full time and unable to attend a “normal” structured graduate program.

    Q. What is your favorite memory from the last 3 years (your graduate program)?
    A. Summer clinical during the height of the pandemic. Working with my peers to adjust to teletherapy and what it may look like.

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation?
    A. I will be working with FOX Rehabilitation treating our geriatric population.

  • Georgette Triplett

    Georgette Triplett

    Virginia

    Q. How has the JMU Online MS SLP program contributed to your growth and preparedness for a career in speech-language pathology?
    A. Completing 4 internships allowed me to experience a variety of settings, from a preschool to a skilled nursing facility, to a private practice, and practice different skills required in those very different settings.

    Q. What advice do you have for students considering becoming an SLP?
    A. This career gives you so much flexibility in terms of settings. Choose a program that helps you to explore those possibilities.

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation?
    A. I’ll be working at the same public preschool that I formerly worked at as an instructional assistant, so I’ll be working with two- to four-year-olds with a variety of disabilities.

  • evon Viola

    Devon Viola

    Virginia

    Q. How has the JMU Online MS SLP program contributed to your growth and preparedness for a career in speech-language pathology?
    A. I had some fantastic placements and was given a great online education from my professors. I was also in close communication with my cohort the entire program.

    Q. What inspires you about Speech Language Pathology?
    A. I am inspired to support people with their communication. I believe that communication is a basic human right and I get excited about seeing people tap into their abilities and to see them grow and connect.

    Q. What are your plans for after graduation?
    A. I will be working at a neuro rehab outpatient clinic helping with adults who have had stroke/TBI and other cognitive communication issues. I will also be working with some voice patients post cancer diagnosis/treatment.