Not all post-bacc and leveling programs are created equal. You want to find a program that fits your needs and goals, whether it be your finances, location, learning style, or long-term career goals. Read on for 5 things you want to consider when choosing a post-bacc program. 

1. Admissions Requirements 

Every post-bacc or leveling program has their own set of admissions requirements. They range from almost no requirements (just a simple application and payment) to a full application dossier. You'll want to keep an eye out for the following: 
  • Have you already finished your bachelor's degree? A number of programs require that you have already completed your bachelor's. If you're looking for courses to take while you're currently enrolled in undergrad, be on the lookout for leveling courses that don't require a BS/BA to enroll.
  • Do you meet the minimum GPA? Minimum GPA requirements range from 2.0-3.0. 
  • Are you prepared to put together application materials? Some programs require 2-3 letters of recommendation and a short statement of intent or statement of purpose. These are typically cohort programs that require students to commit to a full-time course load for 1-2 years. 

2. In-person VS online

What's your goal for the post-bacc program? Online programs are a great option for people who are working full time or need a flexible schedule, while in-person programs give you a better opportunity to build a network of peers and mentors in the field. If your goal is just to get your requirements done and get into a master's program ASAP, online might be the way to go. But if you're hoping to build your resume in the field, it can be worth the time and cost to build your network early in your career. 

What's your learning style? Many online programs offer their courses asynchronously. The plus side is you can stop videos as needed, replay, or watch at 1.5 speed if you're comfortable with the material. The downside is less access to the professor and inability to ask questions during lectures. 

3. Cost

What's your budget? The cost of programs varies greatly, but you can expect to spend $300-$500 per unit if you're paying for classes a-la-cart (that's ~$900-$1500/class). Flat-rate tuition starts at ~$11,000/year. Even if you're on a tight budget, don't rule out out private schools. Some public institutions charge private school rates depending on how their funded. In California, most master's programs are self-funded and not subsidized by the state government funding. This applies to their post-bacc or leveling programs as well, which means they charge private school rates for their leveling courses. 

Do you need just a few classes or 6-7? If you only need 2-3 classes, the best option is likely going to be a program that will allow you only what you need. However, if you need 6+ courses to meet your SLP pre-requisite requirements, you might want to consider a second bachelor's or a program that charges flat-rate tuition. This will likely be the same cost and duration as programs that do not award a certificate or degree, but you'll have the added benefit of completing in-field and out-of-field courses required for ASHA certification (not sure what those are, check out this blog post).

4. Location

What state do you currently live in? Just because a program is fully online does not mean you can enroll from anywhere. Regulations limit which states different institutions can operate in, so be sure to check if you're eligible for the online program based on your state residence. Keep in mind: online programs might charge in-state vs out-of-state tuition!

If you're planning on moving to attend an in-person program, you'll want to consider the cost of living in the surrounding area and whether you'll be charged out-of-state tuition. This can have a big impact on the overall cost of program.  

5. Program Commitment

Are you looking to take classes a-la-cart or do you have time to commit to a cohort program? Some programs (online and in-person) allow you to take classes as needed, while others are cohort programs that require students to commit to a full-time course load and follow a sequence of  classes with the same cohort of students.

If you're looking for a second degree or a pre-slp certificate, a cohort program is likely the way to go. 

Bonus: Program Perks and Opportunities

Not all post-bacc programs are created equal. And if you're paying a premium for your education, you might as well get the most out of it by seeing what else they can offer you:
  • What courses to they offer? Access to elective advanced classes can give you an opportunity to dig deeper into an area of interest.
  • Will you be able to complete observation hours? You need 25 hours of clinical observation to obtain ASHA certification.
  • Do you have access to research opportunities? Research is a great way to learn about an area of interest and help your grad school application stand out. 

SHARE 0 comments

Add your comment