MSLP Student Excited to Take Speech Career to Next Level with Graduate Degree

Jessica W. always felt drawn to working with children but soon realized that the conventional role of a teacher in a classroom wasn’t right for her. Determined to explore other options, she stumbled upon speech-language pathology during her high school years while shadowing an SLP and found it to be a perfect fit. 

“Communication is such an important part of our daily lives,” she said. “Just to see a little spark and open that door for communication for a kid is very rewarding.” 

Jessica worked for six years as an SLP aide, always nurturing the dream of advancing her education. The decision to pursue a master’s degree was a natural one, she said, as it opened opportunities for career growth and a broader scope of practice. 

Choosing the right program for Jessica meant seeking a balance between online and on-campus learning. The online master of speech-language pathology program at West Coast University provided her with the perfect blend of both, allowing her to work part-time while pursuing her education.  

“I needed some kind of face-to-face interaction with professors and students, but I also didn’t want a fully on-campus program,” Jessica said. “I needed a program that was flexible.” 

As part of the first WCU online MSLP cohort, Jessica acknowledged the learning experience for both students and educators during her program. She said she especially valued the openness of her professors in refining her educational journey. 

“They’ve all taken our feedback and tried to apply it,” she said. “They want to make sure we learn the material well.” 

Jessica looks forward to starting her second year, anticipating the opportunity to complete her medical placements. She shared her excitement about exploring various areas within the field, although she currently leans towards continuing her work with children. 

Reflecting on the challenges she’s faced, Jessica is thankful for the camaraderie of the cohort within the MSLP program. Despite encountering moments of doubt and exhaustion, she said she appreciates the support system her cohort has forged. 

“We’ve created this bond between our classmates,” Jessica said. “We have a great cohort that has supported and leaned on each other throughout the program.”  

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.