At a college fair in high school, Blake Stevens '13 remembers visiting nearly 200 booths looking for colleges with a speech language pathology assistant program. Only one offered a speech language pathology assistant certification, meaning she would be qualified to work immediately after graduation in case she did not get into graduate school.

Graduate Returns to Home State to Continue Studies

Mon May 20, 2013

At a college fair in high school, Blake Stevens '13 remembers visiting nearly 200 booths looking for colleges with a speech language pathology assistant program.

There were only ten. Only one offered a speech language pathology assistant certification, meaning she would be qualified to work immediately after graduation in case she did not get into graduate school.

The only problem was that the college was in Chicopee, Massachusetts and Blake lived just miles from the Canadian border in northern Maine, hoping to stay close to home.

Four years later, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication sciences and disorders (CSD), an Associate of Science degree in speech language pathology assistant, and an acceptance letter from the University of Maine at Orono into the CSD graduate program, Blake emphatically states, "I'm so happy I traveled those seven hours to get to Elms College."

It was upon her first visit that Blake had her mind made up. The student ambassador giving the tour, whom Blake described as "the best tour guide I've ever had," was also a CSD major who could not say enough about the program.

Coming from a small town, Blake liked the cozy atmosphere and being able to know everyone on campus. As a Catholic, her spiritual values also aligned with the college and Blake would often organize fundraisers with campus ministries.

Blake says it was the clinical hours that most prepared her for the competitive graduate program at the University of Maine at Orono, since most undergraduate programs don't require clinicals.

"I got to actually perform speech therapy with kids. I did data collection, lesson planning, reports, and formal and informal testing," she said.

Blake says she will miss Elms but she's looking forward to moving back to her home state where she plans on becoming a speech language pathologist after earning her master's degree.

Related Stories