B.A. Psychology, Marymount California University
“ Not many people are aware of what a speech-language pathologist does and can do. It is so helpful to have practice talking with and educating other fields about our skills. ”Taylor Alflen
College of Health Sciences Speech-Language Pathology Program, Class of 2024
What inspired you to pursue a healthcare career?
I have always known that I wanted to pursue a healthcare career, but I was never sure in what area. I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology but felt lost after that. I had no idea what I wanted to specialize in until I started working with autistic kids. While doing so, I learned about speech-language pathology, and instantly I knew this was the field for me. As an SLP I can continue working with the autistic population while also providing more specialized care. Speech-language pathology is also such a vast field that I can work with different populations should I feel the need for a change.
How did your background and history factor into your career choice?
I am a first-generation college student, so continuing to pursue higher education past a bachelor’s degree has always been one of my goals. I am also one of the first healthcare professionals in my family. I decided to pursue speech-language pathology because I love working with children and want to help them advocate for themselves. Initially I thought I wanted to focus on the educational side of speech-language pathology, but all of the medical opportunities available really resonated with me.
Why did you decide to attend Midwestern University?
A big reason why I chose Midwestern is the strong medical focus. It is difficult to find a speech-language pathology program that is so heavily focused on the medical side while still incorporating the educational aspect. Another huge draw was the focus on interprofessional collaboration. Speech-language pathology is intertwined with many other professions, so I feel very lucky to be able to develop those skills here before I am in the field. Everyone here is very dedicated to their field and it really shows when collaborating. Lastly, the CAREN (Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment) machine at the Midwestern University Therapy Institute is an amazing resource and one that I am very excited to use for my thesis. It is really rare that a speech-language pathology program has access to something like that, and I am excited to discover new ways to utilize it as an SLP.
What about a Midwestern University education do you want to carry forward in your career?
The main part of a Midwestern University education that I want to carry forward is the interprofessional collaboration. Not many people are aware of what a speech-language pathologist does and can do. It is so helpful to have practice talking with and educating other fields about our skills. In addition, the in-depth medical knowledge I am receiving here will be vital to my success as a speech-language pathologist. I am really able to understand the inner workings of how speech and language happen so I can better help my future clients.
Taylor Alflen is a Class of 2024 student from the College of Health Sciences in Glendale.