SLP Admission Story: Rebekah Stevens

May 31, 2023

Pursuing a career in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) is one of the most popular paths that students from our program choose to take. To pursue a career in this field in Canada, a graduate degree is required, and admission to the SLP graduate programs in Canada is highly competitive.

This year, we received news that nine students from our department will be starting graduate programs in SLP and Audiology in Fall 2023!

One of these students is Rebekah Stevens who has just completed a joint major in Linguistics and Indigenous Studies with a minor in Psychology.

Rebekah grew up in Northern BC and is a member of the Métis Nation of BC. Throughout her time at SFU, she has been a part of the Autism in Education Lab and has also been able to work on several projects for Indigenous language revitalization with Dr. Heather Bliss. Rebekah was also a member of the First Nations, Métis, & Inuit Students Association (FNMISA) and was actively involved in programs at the Indigenous Student Centre at SFU.

We asked Rebekah to share her SLP admission story and a few words of advice to future SLP applicants.

What attracted you to the Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) field?

I was drawn to the field of SLP for a few reasons. I have always been interested in the ways that people communicate and use language differently, which is why I chose to study linguistics. I am also passionate about revitalizing Indigenous languages and I think that having access to our Indigenous languages is crucial to our sense of identity, which drew me to pursuing Indigenous studies. I have also always been interested in working in healthcare.

To me, SLP is a way that I can combine all these interests. I would love to someday work with Indigenous populations, but I know that I will feel very fulfilled working with folks from all cultural backgrounds and alongside varying neurodivergent perspectives. I’m excited to be able to do my part in making sure that everyone has access to a means of communication that will help them express their identities in the best way possible for them.

How did you build a strong SLP application?

It’s important to create a well-rounded application to show that you can incorporate unique perspectives into SLP, and that might look like having experience that is not necessarily directly related to the field. Something I really focused on was diversifying my academic, work and volunteer experience by finding opportunities in areas that aligned with what was important to me personally. For example, I had work and volunteer experience with SLPs in both private and public health, but I also made the time to work on projects in Indigenous language revitalization.

What were some of the most influential courses that you took in our program?

What are you most looking forward to in UBC's SLP program?

I’m excited to meet and learn from the instructors and professors who have different experiences in the field!

What advice would you give to future SLP applicants?

  • Have a life outside of school. Giving myself space to do things outside of academia gave me the energy and capacity to be able to focus when I needed to be in school without getting (too) burnt out.
  • Try not to worry too much in your first couple of years of undergrad. Of course, you should be aware of the pre-requisites you need to get into grad school, and you should try your best in terms of grades, but also take the time to really build your foundational knowledge in your lower division courses. This will help you in your upper division courses!
  • Write your letter of intent early—months early. This gives you a chance to get feedback from multiple people, take breaks, and revise a lot, which helped me feel a lot calmer during application season!

Congratulations to this year’s program admits!

Accepted to the University of British Columbia Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology:

• Farzana Ali
• Kylie Brajcich
• Tabatha Mason
• Rebekah Stevens
• Sydney Walton
• Janitta Wong

Accepted to McGill University Master of Science (Applied) in Speech-Language Pathology:

• Julianne Bittante

Accepted to the SLP Masters Program at California State University, East Bay:

• Gillian Eggeling

Accepted to the University of British Columbia School of Audiology and Speech Sciences

  • Samuel To