Event Title

Motivating Factors Contributing to SLPA Students' Choice of Career Path

Author/ Authors/ Presenter/ Presenters/ Panelists:

Nicole Wells, Governors State UniversityFollow

Abstract

Speech Language Pathology Assistants (SLPAs) are important support personnel who play a key role in the field of communication sciences and disorders. As the client base for communication disorders grows and diversifies, there is a continuous need for service providers, including SLPAs. Given the notable shortage of skilled communication sciences and disorders professionals, the advantages that assistants can provide, and a new assistant credential initiated through ASHA, exploring SLPA career decision making is especially timely and important. The current study surveyed 75 students enrolled in SLPA programs across the United States, via an online 12 question survey tool, regarding their demographics, reasons for choosing to become an SLPA, and anticipated work setting(s). Results of the study indicated that SLPA students are often identified as non-traditional students who, in addition to having diverse educational backgrounds, are working either full or part-time jobs while completing their education (77%). Results of the current study revealed that the primary motivating factor that contributed to students' decision to pursue a career as an SLPA was the desire to work in a helping profession. The school setting was the most anticipated work setting of SLPA students upon graduating from their program; however, the majority (60%) of current SLPA students plan to pursue a master's degree to become an SLP in the future. Understanding the demographics of SLPA students and identifying the motivating factors specific to their career choices may be advantageous in the warranted recruitment process within the field of communication sciences and disorders.

Presenter:
Nicole Wells
Graduate Student, Communication Disorders - College of Health and Human Services

Faculty / Staff Sponsor

Dr. Danielle Osmelak
Assistant Professor, College of Health and Human Services

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Motivating Factors Contributing to SLPA Students' Choice of Career Path

Speech Language Pathology Assistants (SLPAs) are important support personnel who play a key role in the field of communication sciences and disorders. As the client base for communication disorders grows and diversifies, there is a continuous need for service providers, including SLPAs. Given the notable shortage of skilled communication sciences and disorders professionals, the advantages that assistants can provide, and a new assistant credential initiated through ASHA, exploring SLPA career decision making is especially timely and important. The current study surveyed 75 students enrolled in SLPA programs across the United States, via an online 12 question survey tool, regarding their demographics, reasons for choosing to become an SLPA, and anticipated work setting(s). Results of the study indicated that SLPA students are often identified as non-traditional students who, in addition to having diverse educational backgrounds, are working either full or part-time jobs while completing their education (77%). Results of the current study revealed that the primary motivating factor that contributed to students' decision to pursue a career as an SLPA was the desire to work in a helping profession. The school setting was the most anticipated work setting of SLPA students upon graduating from their program; however, the majority (60%) of current SLPA students plan to pursue a master's degree to become an SLP in the future. Understanding the demographics of SLPA students and identifying the motivating factors specific to their career choices may be advantageous in the warranted recruitment process within the field of communication sciences and disorders.

Presenter:
Nicole Wells
Graduate Student, Communication Disorders - College of Health and Human Services