Last week, Salus University’s Occupational Therapy (OT)
and Speech-Language Pathology (SLP)
students participated in Arcadia University’s Health Career Summer Academy. The summer academy aims to introduce middle school students to a variety of health professions and discuss pathways to achieve their future career goals.
Both groups of students, along with interim dean of the University’s College of Education and Rehabilitation, Dr. Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, provided engaging activities for the students to learn a little more about how OTs and SLPs help others. Students placed marshmallows in their mouths and attempted to say a phrase while others guessed what they said to learn about articulation disorders more in-depth. They also introduced the students to a variety of mobilization devices such as walkers, crutches, and wheelchairs. The students even had a relay using the wheelchairs to race to the finish line and put on a shirt as if they only had the use of one arm to further reinforce learning, among other hands-on activities.
"The SLP and OT students did a wonderful job communicating their fields/disciplines and how they practice their skills with clients, patients, and students. They actively engaged the middle school students with questions and with activities demonstrating their own excellent education through their demonstration of skills, knowledge and practice," said Schwartz-Bechet.
Taylor Ashe ’18SLP said the experience was very beneficial for the middle school students involved as it introduced them to many health professionals they were unaware of before participating in the academy.
“Exposing these students to so many career opportunities in middle school and early high school puts them in a great spot to determine and work toward their goals,” she said. “At the end of our session, we also had a little Q&A about the college process and what schooling is necessary to pursue a career in each health profession. It was great to be able to answer these questions for these students so that they can plan accordingly as they grow closer to the end of high school.”
Lauren Eastburn ’18OT felt the experience was beneficial for not only the middle school students, but also the Salus students as it allowed them to share their in-depth knowledge with the younger students.
“It was great to see how interested the kids were in what we had to talk about,” she said. “It was also reassuring to see how much we as grad students have retained in our studies, as we felt so confident teaching the kids about what we do.”