During my freshman year at my undergraduate program at East Stroudsburg University, I did a research project on society’s perceptions of children with fluency disorders and was accepted to present it at the Pennsylvania Speech-Language Hearing Association's (PSHA) annual convention.
In March 2018 at the convention, I had the privilege to meet Robert Serianni, the department chair/program director of the Speech-Language Pathology program at Salus, in person and discuss my research as well as learn more about Salus. After that day, I knew that Salus was my top choice for graduate school; professor Serianni was so welcoming and kind. I had done quite a bit of my own research on the program and fell in love with the on-campus clinic, the Speech-Language Institute (SLI), and the atmosphere that Salus seemed to create.
In summer 2019, I was able to observe in the SLI and watch Salus students and staff interact in such a professional yet friendly way. It showed how kind the staff was, but also how willing they were to help the student clinicians anytime they had a question during their sessions. This just solidified even more for me how amazing Salus was and how, unlike any other program I was looking at, they seemed to not only care about your professional goals and how they could help you achieve them, but your personal goals as well.
Fast forward to 2020 — I was talking with two of my friends who both recently graduated from Salus in Spring 2021 (Sydnee Curran and Hannah Jaskuta), asking them every possible thing you could ask about Salus. They were both so excited to share how amazing their experience was (even through the COVID-19 pandemic) and how the professional staff at Salus walked with them through every single step to ensure their success in the program. They had so many great things to say about the school, the program and the people, and that just made me even more excited.
I researched every program I applied to and compared their classes, their clinic, and their affiliations with children’s hospitals in the area (pediatric dysphagia in a children’s hospital setting is my dream!) and Salus constantly blew me away. Their classes are geared toward every single aspect of their field, which ensures that students get a taste of everything before going out into the field. The on-campus clinic is so innovative and accessible for students, and they’re constantly adding more things that will benefit my education.
I applied the day that the application process opened in July 2020 and had actually started my CSDCAS application my freshman year of undergrad because I was so excited to finally get to this point. I started to tear up as I submitted my application because I knew that all of the stress and hard moments in undergrad had finally led me to a moment that would truly make or break my professional career.
In November/December 2020, I was invited for an interview and finally felt as though things were falling into place. I already knew that Salus was my top choice, but the interview is what truly solidified that for me. The staff who interviewed me asked me not only about what I wanted to do in the field, but what I wanted to do in life. They made jokes and laughed with me about life and their time in the field, as well as really took the time to get to know me not only as a student, but as a person. After that interview I knew 120% that Salus is where I belonged and where I would be the most successful in my professional endeavors.
Jump forward a few more weeks and I was sitting in my bedroom when I got an email from Salus Admissions congratulating me for being accepted into the program. I burst out crying tears of joy as I called my fiancé (now husband) and family. We all shared a happy crying moment over the phone together because they too knew how much I loved this school.
I feel beyond grateful to be able to start at Salus in just about a week's time and cannot wait to become a part of what is, in my opinion, the greatest SLP program in the world. I know I will be challenged, but I also know that my fellow students and staff will be there for me no matter what happens along the way. I truly do believe that Salus is where I’m meant to be, and I’m so excited to begin this next step in my professional journey.
- Rachel is a first-year speech-language pathology student at Salus University