Harding Graduate School Questions and Answers

Current graduate students in the Mike cohort answered some questions future students may have about what graduate school is like at Harding:

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because coming from Harding in undergrad, I knew that the graduate program was well-put together and provided lots of wonderful opportunities to grow as a clinician that other programs don’t have (HIZ-Path, IPE events, open-door policies w/ staff, etc.).

What classes do you take?

At Harding you take a wide variety of classes that cover different topics within speech-language pathology. They are also organized through the life span (birth-geriatrics) with clinical practicums each semester.

  • First semester classes consist of Birth to 5, Neuro Anatomy and Physiology, Research and Writing, Counseling, and Clinical Practicum I at Harding
  • Second Semester classes consist of Dysphagia, Pediatric Feeding, School-Age Disorders, and Clinical Practicum II at Harding
  • Third semester (summer) classes consist of Clinical Practicum III, Alternative Modes of Communication, Special Populations, Multicultural, and Medical Aspects of Speech-Language Pathology (an elective course)
  • Fourth semester classes consist of Special Topics, Fluency Disorders, Neurogenics, and Clinical Practicum IV
  • Fifth semester classes consist of Professional Issues and Business Practices, Adolescent, Ethics, and Clinical Practicum V

What does a day in the life of a first year grad student look like?

It depends on the day and your clinic schedule, but usually you’re busy with clinic and classes from 8-4 and then you do homework in the evenings. There are a few outside-of-class events such as certifications, competencies, IPE events, etc. that may be on the weekends or in the evenings. It’s good to be flexible with your schedule that first semester.

What are some externship placements that I can participate in? 

Pretty much any place you can think of – Mr. Chance does a great job of coordinating offsite placements for everyone!

  • ZAMBIA (HIZ-Path)
  • Arkansas Children’s hospital, TimerRidge, Schools, Pediatric Plus
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities 
  • Hippotherapy
  • Hospital Outpatient Clinics 

What is clinic like at the HUSC?

The first two semesters of clinical practicum are completed on-site at the Harding University Speech Clinic. Most first year graduate students have 2-3 clients per semester and can be seen in-person or tele-therapy. When working in the clinic it has a laid back atmosphere, most people are willing to share ideas/thoughts when you need help, and the supervisors are always there to support you.

What are some social events in the program/cohorts?

This past year was difficult to host events due to COVID and social distancing. However, we were able to get together with the second years (Lima Cohort) at the start of the school year for a mixer and meet our second year mentors. The mike cohort also hosted a dip night and powerpoint night later in the semester to attend. We hope to have more programs, events, and get togethers this coming year!

What are some ways I can best prepare for my first year of grad school?

Here are some first year tips:

  • KNOW your cranial nerves. Learn them now. Life will be easier later. You’re Welcome. 
  • Start off the semester with a good routine that is balanced. You have to let yourself take breaks every week so starting off the semester that way will help you be less stressed. 
  • When you are tired (I am talking about that “hitting a brick wall” feeling), GO TO BED. You will not take in anymore information and exhaust yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Get a good sleep schedule and stick with it. You really can get 7 hours a night and your brain will thank you! 

What has been your favorite part about grad school at Harding?

  • The people! Everyone here is so kind and I know that I have definitely made life-long friends here

Thank you Mike cohort for sharing your first year graduate school experiences and advice!

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