Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

NSSLHA wishes you all a safe and happy Halloween!

P.S. If you haven't heard, the NSSLHA Newsletter is hot off the press! Pick one up by the COMD Front Desk ASAP!

~Stay tuned for our next NSSLHA meeting, on November 6~

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Just a few announcements and reminders~

  1. Don't forget that you can begin paying for Winter 2007 tuition! Late fees for continuing students begin November 13! The Fee Analysis form is available here, or forms are available next to the drop box by the Cashier's Office.
  2. Beginning Fall 2006, CSULA increased health fees $15 (but forgot to add it in the Fee Analysis). Don't forget to pay ASAP to avoid being dropped from your classes!
  3. Visit the NSSLHA Snack Closet! A variety of snacks, candies, and drinks are available for a student discount price. Check back often as there are always new additions. Just drop your cash in Locker #23...and it's ok to tell NSSLHA to "keep the change!" :)
  4. We are still open for Fall 2006 membership enrollment (or the entire academic year). Please see any of the NSSLHA officers and/or attend the next monthly meeting in November!
  5. Need a blue book, scantron, or $150 textbook voucher (if you qualify)? Visit ASI in the King Hall D-Wing! You must be a CSULA student with a current school ID to obtain any of the following services.
  • · $150 for Textbooks (Applications are avaliable NOW)
  • · Free Scantrons and Blue Books
  • · Discounted Movie Tickets

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Q&A Wednesday: Getting A's

What do you need to do to get all A's?

For those of you who are in the undergraduate classes, you may notice that enrollment has increased as much as 30%! Unfortunately, that translates to fiercer competition. There really are no new tricks; just reminders to not procrastinate when studying for exams and completing projects and to immediately seek clarification of topics. If you are not comfortable asking a question in class or during office hours, remember that most of your professors are easily accessible via e-mail. Take advantage of the assistance that is offered, such as the Phonetics discussion conducted by one of our top grad students!

As for graduate students, time management is incredibly important…especially when you should study, study, study! In addition, try new study techniques:

· Audio-record lectures. It can be challenging capturing all pertinent notes the first time around. Recording lectures is a surefire way of capturing all the notes missed in lecture when you listen to them again! It is obviously time-consuming but for some classes, it can be well worth the time.

· Flashcards and other visual guides. You may be surprised at how much of a visual learner you actually are. Use colored pens and highlighters when you create flashcards and visual study guides (e.g., flowcharts, diagrams, tables).

· Join a study group. Sometimes hearing a fellow classmate re-explain a concept makes it more understandable and more impressionable (hence, making recall a bit easier during the exam).

· Create mnemonics. Mnemonics Neatly Eliminate Man's Only Nemesis - Insufficient Cerebral Storage. ;) Need we say more?

· Ask questions in class. It really is true that if you are wondering about something at least three others are too. Be the brave one who actually asks!

Having said all that, do not lose sight of your education – it is not all about getting A’s anymore. A solid “B” is just as valuable if you have worked hard, understood the material, and did your best. In the long run, the most important thing is that you learn. (We know, it sounds cheesy, but it's just the truth!)

Aim for the “A,” but give yourself some leeway if you don’t always get the “A.”

Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate your achievements during and at the end of the quarter! Sometimes rewarding yourself even with something small and simple is just what you need to keep you going!

.·:*¨¨*:·. .·:*¨¨*:·..·:*¨¨*:·. .·:*¨¨*:·. .·:*¨¨*:·. .·:*¨¨*:·. .·:*¨¨*:·.

Keep your eyes open for our monthly newsletter next week!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

First NSSLHA Meeting of Fall 2006


Thank you to all of those who made it to our first meeting of the year! We were extremely excited to see many new faces in addition to our faithful members. We hope to see even more people in our next meeting!

Many thanks to Dr. Ivory from our Audiology Department for updating students on the present situation with Audiology programs in the U.S. As many of you are aware, the last Master’s degree students will have graduated from accredited universities prior to December 2006. The transition from Master’s level practice to a clinical doctorate honors the new standards for professional education and requirements set forth by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA), American Academy of Audiology (AAA), and ASHA. Therefore, all graduates must have doctoral degrees to qualify for national certification beginning January 1.

Because of this transition, many Audiology programs will no longer be accredited, including the majority of programs in California. According to Dr. Ivory, there are currently 72 “viable” Doctoral Programs (accredited institutions that are admitting and graduating students). At present, 18 states have only one program (including California), and there are 13 states that do not have any programs.

In California, the one currently available program is the joint University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and San Diego State University (SDSU) program. However, there are two prospective programs in development.

  • 1) University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) – San Francisco State University (SFSU) joint program
  • Contact Marcia Raggio, Ph.D. at (415) 338-7653

  • 2) University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) – California State University, Northridge (CSUN)
  • Contact Steve Sinclair, Ph.D. at (818) 677-2852

Please be advised that these two programs are currently in discussion; there is no prospective date yet for when the programs will be accredited to grant doctoral degrees.

What should a student interested in Audiology do?

Either program at UCSF/SFSU or UCLA/CSUN may accept applicants for Fall 2007. Prospective students should contact the program directors to ask when they will begin accepting applications. Be aware that the date anticipated may change so frequently check back with the school.

Alternatively, you may consider looking into other programs located out of state. Competition is fierce in (overpopulated) California. For those who wait for the two California joint programs to begin accepting applicants may face the largest applicant pool in these schools’ history. Regarding programs outside of California, keep in mind that prospective students of ethnic minorities may be at an advantage. Many programs are currently promoting diversity amongst their cohorts.

Although programs in rural areas may not be as appealing as sunny Southern California, Dr. Ivory advises finding a program that can/will send you wherever a student desires for the fourth year of clinical off-campus externship. This option will allow students to travel back home for their fourth year in the program. Simply stated by Dr. Ivory, “Get in a program. Make progress. Get out.”

For more information on Audiology programs, please visit the ASHA website at http://www.asha.org and contact the programs directly.


Following was an open forum where second year graduate students in the SLP program answered questions informally presented. Thank you to our panel of contributors! To give students different perspectives on the graduate program at CSULA, NSSLHA invited several second year graduate students with varying backgrounds:

  • Vanessa – part-time student; received Bachelor’s degree from CSULA; part-time SLP; full-time mother!
  • Nancy – full-time student; post-baccalaureate studies completed at CSULB
  • Kristin – full-time student; post-baccalaureate studies completed at State University of New York at Fredonia; relocated her and hubby all the way to California; NSSLHA Newsletter Editor
  • Kim – full-time student; post-baccalaureate studies completed at CSULA on the one-year track; NSSLHA President
  • Cheryl – post-baccalaureate studies completed at CSULA on the one-year track; full-time student; NSSLHA Secretary

Our graduate students come from all walks of life. With their knowledge and experience, they responded to the following questions presented~

This is my first quarter here as a post-baccalaureate student. I am also on the one-year track (finishing all pre-requisites to apply for the graduate program in one year). Am I supposed to apply now, even though I’ve been here less than a quarter?

If you are planning to begin a graduate program in Fall 2007, then now is the time to begin the application process. Although your application will only list one quarter of grades received in post-baccalaureate courses completed, the schools also consider your undergraduate coursework and GPA. Keep in mind that they will continue to examine prospective students’ grades after receiving applications. For CSULA, the deciding committee (a.k.a. your professors) have easy access to your grades. For other schools, they will require official transcripts at the time applications are submitted and when the programs begin next Fall.

If you haven’t spoken to your advisor yet, make an appointment as soon as possible to ensure that you will complete all of the coursework required prior to the graduate program.

What is the average GRE score? What is a “safe” score?

Although the minimum score is 900, we recommend a score of at least 1000. In the past, Dr. Klein has provided a chart delineating average GPAs and GRE scores from past cohorts in a graduate school applicant meeting in December or January. Plan to attend that meeting for more information on applying.

If you have already received a GRE score, it is okay to ask your advisor if they think your score is competitive enough. Keep in mind that every year consists of a different applicant pool so averages will differ from year to year. Just because the minimum is 900 doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply if you received a lower score.

Would you recommend requesting letters of recommendations from the professors here or from my undergraduate program?

This is really a judgment call on your own part. If you have a reference that can speak highly about your academic work, character, and strengths then requesting a letter from this person will likely be a better referent than one who doesn’t really know you and simply vouches that you received a good grade in the class. Do your best to get letters from people who really know you and can emphasize your personable traits as well.

On the other hand, asking the professors here can be beneficial since they are the deciding committee. If you have impressed them, the odds are that they will write a good letter for you.

All professors are extremely busy and will be asked to complete many letters of recommendations. Therefore, requesting a letter earlier on in the process is a good idea. Don’t forget to follow-up. Remember that they are doing you a favor so be respectful and considerate of their time.

Lastly, it is a good idea to prepare a packet for each professor. Suggestions for enclosures include:

  • Application essay (even if it is a rough draft)
  • Resume/Vitae
  • Letter of Recommendation form and due date
  • Self-addressed stamped envelope

Is there a difference between a Masters of Science and Masters of Art Degree?

The difference is that an MS degree requires more science classes. In the long run, employers do not seem to prefer one or the other, as long as you graduate from an accredited institution and have a state license.

Will I have to quit my job?

Your advisor will highly recommend that you not work during the graduate program, but for some, it is necessary. Keep in mind that you can apply for financial aid and scholarships. CSULA offers a variety of scholarships and the Communication Disorders Department also offers its own, apart from the CSULA Financial Aid Department.

What is the graduation rate?

The graduation rate is very high, as is the percentage of students who pass the Praxis exam on the first attempt. In fact, the Praxis passing rate is higher than the national average – which is a testament to our professors’ intelligence and skill in relaying their knowledge to us!


Good luck to prospective applicants!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

NSSLHA Meeting on October 9, 2006 in KH B-111 @ 6:20 P.M.


NSSLHA at CSULA invites you to our first meeting of the school year!

Please join us on Monday, October 9, in King Hall B-111 during the X-hour (6:20 - 7:15 P.M.). As always, we will have X-hour snacks beginning at 6:06 P.M.

For the first time in NSSLHA history, we will have an exclusive question and answer night. Guest answerers include our second year graduate students who are eager to dispel any myths and calm all nerves. Guest questioners include you! Come find out the *real deal* behind getting into graduate school! Come ask about ANY undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate class (or professor). Or just come shoot the breeze with us!

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting and hope you enjoy our exclusive forum held by and for you!

Q&A Wednesday: Contacting Advisors

What is the best way to contact my advisor?

The best method of communication varies among professors so don't be afraid to ask your advisor what the preferred method is. For some (i.e., Dr. Flint, Dr. Manasse, Dr. Peterson), E-mail is usually the quickest way to receive a response. For others (i.e., Dr. Klein), speaking in person is preferred. Our e-mailing professors generally respond within 24 hours.

If you are sending an especially important/time-sensitive E-mail, don'’t hesitate to add a "read receipt" or ask for confirmation via E-mail! There have been times when E-mails sent to our professors are not received (no fault of theirs; strictly a faulty CSULA network server) so make sure you follow up for important issues! If at all possible, avoid following up at the last second.

Alternatively, the COMD front desk has an appointment book where you can reserve a meeting time with your advisor, sans Dr. Klein. Please set up a time with Dr. Klein in person.


Do you have a question that you would like answered? Leave us a “comment” with your question, and we will answer it! This is truly a genuine scenario of “there are no stupid questions” so ask away! Your questions can be “anonymous” (just don’t put in your real name where it asks for your name).