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Online Certificate helps a student confirm career aspiration

Online Certificate helps a student confirm career aspiration

Jessica Wolf earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in geography with a minor in Spanish in 2016. After graduating, Wolf moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina to teach English and work for a  technology company. To further her education, Wolf is currently pursuing the online Graduate Certificate in Pre-Professional Speech Language Pathology.

Jessica Wolf, Pre-Professional Speech Language Pathology Graduate Certificate

Wolf sought online educational opportunities at UGA because of the positive experience she had as an undergraduate. Her research identified the Graduate Certificate in Speech-Language Pathology to be well organized and taught by knowledgeable and accomplished professors.

“I have been very happy with the program and all of my professors have been wonderful resources, as they relate to class materials and as I navigate this field that is relatively new to me,” Wolf said. 

Wolf chose an online degree because of the flexibility it afforded her. She is especially appreciative of her choice to enroll in asynchronous courses during this challenging year.

An aspect of the program that impresses Wolf is the diversity within her cohort. “The very nature of the certificate gathers people from many distinct academic and professional backgrounds who are all excited and motivated about pursuing a career in speech and language pathology,” said Wolf. “I believe this variety of perspectives has lent itself to a more enriching experience for all.” 

To anyone interested in pursuing an online program, Wolf explains “these courses are completely what you make of them and if you put in a little extra effort to connect with your peers and professors, you will benefit so much.”  

Wolf was nervous at first due to her lack of experience with asynchronous courses, but she found ways to participate online that allow her to interact with professors and students. Wolf suggests viewing online courses as a way to engage in the online spaces provided for you, rather than viewing it as a hands-off learning experience. “Participate in discussion boards and pose questions,” she said. “It might generate a conversation and you might learn something or create a new bond.”

Wolf finds that using additional reminders, including writing down all due dates at the start of the semester, helps her keep up with studies and complete assignments in an unstressed manner while balancing a career.

The certificate courses have confirmed Wolf’s aspirations to work in the field before committing to a graduate degree and have now provided her with the necessary foundation to pursue an M.Ed. in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Wolf plans to enroll in a master’s program in 2021. She hopes to gain experience in research and become a speech and language pathologist.