CSD's Top 10 Tips for a Smooth Transition to USF
1. Research your chosen career field
You want to know what you're aiming for and what skills and abilities are required in that profession.
2. Shadow and volunteer in the field
There is no doubt that Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology are amazing careers! Both consistently rank high in job satisfaction. The question you want to answer is whether it's a great career fit for you. We strongly encourage students to shadow SLPs and Audiologists in the field in as many settings and with as many varying client populations as possible. By experiencing a workplace first-hand, you can learn a great deal more about a career than you can through research in print publications and on the internet. Shadow and find out what skills and academic abilities you need to work in the field. What better way to know whether CSD is the best fit for you?
3. Complete pre-requisite coursework with a B- or higher prior to transferring
By completing your pre-requisites with a B- or higher as a part of your AA degree, this ensures that your transfer to CSD-LSH should be relatively seamless. Provided you are of junior standing and have the State Mandated Pre-requisites passed, you would be able to start the major cohort in either fall or spring (fall preferred as most find it better paced). Students who don't complete all of the pre-requisites prior to transferring will not be able to take major courses until their completion, which puts them at risk of excess hour surcharges down the road.
4. Identify possible minors of interest
Not all students will have room to work in a minor without incurring excess hour surcharges, but some may. This can be determined upon receipt of final transcripts from your transfer institution. There are several minors that work well with your CSD-LSH major which you may want to consider:
Please note that you will want to work closely with your advisor before choosing a minor. Excess hours result in double tuition, so do not self-advise!
5. Establish good study habits
You are choosing a field that is academically challenging, so we want you to make sure that you are prepared to handle your upcoming coursework. It's a big adjustment going from a community college to a top tier research university! Thankfully, USF offers many resources to help students with their studies. We strongly encourage students to meet with the staff in Academic Coaching to receive assistance with time management and study skills. Also, if you're interested in learning more about effective study habits, please consider reading the book, Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown. We want our students to be successful in their courses!
6. Get connected
USF's New Student Connections offers a range of opportunities and support systems for transfer students to connect. Make sure to check out Week of Welcome activities to find out more about your new home. Additionally, aim to get involved with some of our Campus Organizations in CSD. It's a great way to learn more about the career and to meet friends who are also interested in the field!
7. It's not too early to start preparing for the GRE!
If you are interested in pursuing graduate school in either Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology, the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) will be required as a part of your application. Even though you don't need to take it today, you may want to start preparing for the test now. Simple things like reading The New York Times every day can greatly improve your vocabulary. You may want to purchase a GRE prep book or consider downloading some of the GRE apps on your smartphone. If you start preparing now, you'll have made major gains by the time you take the exam, which is generally the summer between your junior and senior years.
8. Know Yourself
Spend some time defining your career goals. Write them down. Identify what it will take to get there in specific and measurable steps. Take an inventory of your strengths and your weaknesses and make attempts to correct any issues that could hinder your success.
9. Time Management
One of the biggest struggles for many students is time management. Start working on a personal system and ways to prioritize things now. To give you an idea of the amount of time successful students spend on academics, we offer the following rule of thumb: For every hour you are in class, you should anticipate spending three hours outside of class studying. So in a term where you're taking 12 credit hours, for example, you should plan to spend around 36 hours studying and preparing for class outside of the classroom.
10. Establish a strong support system
Take a look at the support system that you have in place and think about how you created it and how you'll maintain it. You will want to surround yourself with people, old and new, who will provide encouragement to you and who will help you stay accountable to the goals you've created for yourself. Identify specific ways they can help you and communicate it to one another. Once you arrive at USF, reach out to your peers in your courses! Attend events! Create study groups! Learn to reach out for help when you need it and to offer it to others. You will want your friends and family around you celebrating your accomplishment at the finish line! These are the people who will help you get there... Please don't try to do it on your own!