Ashtyn DeBoice

Ashtyn DeBoice received her Bachelor of Arts this spring with a linguistics major, psychology minor, and certificate in speech sciences. She has been accepted to the UBC Master of Science program in Speech-Language Pathology for Fall 2020.

What are some of the big takeaway skills that you learned while studying linguistics?

Language is complex. I learned about how something that is so natural to the majority of us, has numerous subsystems and countless theories to try to make sense of it. It was really amazing to learn about a system that is integral to our lives (whether it be verbal communication or the “Bee Dance”). Communication is natural and takes on many forms.

How did you learn about Speech Language Pathology as a career option?

At the age of sixteen I went to a Healthcare job fair. I signed up for the human nutrition lecture and the speech therapy lecture. I remember calling my mom immediately after and expressing to her I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life! It was a surreal feeling discovering a career path that I knew was a domain that I needed to pursue! Shortly after I began shadowing an SLP at an elementary school, which only solidified my dream of one-day becoming a speech-language pathologist.

A big aspect of the Speech Language Pathology application seems to be volunteer experience. What kind of volunteer experience did you have? How did this experience relate to your goal?

I attribute my success in my classes, my work in various volunteering positions and my UBC acceptance to my volunteering opportunities. By taking part in new opportunities and being exposed to novel situations, it helped me discover more about the field and the different paths I could take with it. I volunteered with the Aphasia Group, multiple SLPs at an elementary school, I was a tutor for children with learning disabilities; and I have worked as a behavioural interventionist and communication health assistant. I also volunteered as a Research Assistant for the Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab and the Language and Brain Lab. Each of these experiences taught me something new that I could apply to areas in my future career. They made classwork more exciting because some of the things we read about in textbooks, I was able to experience and learn about in real life.


  • LING 330 : Phonetics
  • LING 415: Neurolinguistics


1.    Volunteer and Observe - Volunteering allows you to not only gain experience, but it also allows you to network! Observing the various environments an SLP can work in is really beneficial and can help you have a better idea of which scope of practice you would like to pursue!

2.    Build rapport – Getting along with classmates, coworkers, clients, client’s parents, professors, lab managers, SLPs… and the list continues… is so important! These are the people who will support you and help you get you to where you want to be. Some of these people may also be your references, so you want to show them why you are deserving of acceptance into the program and how you would make a great grad student and future SLP. They want you to succeed!

3.    Letter of Intent –Over the years I would take notes about how my various experiences have shaped me. It is important to understand why this career path is the right one for you and make sure you articulate that. 

4.    Stay positive and keep trying – This is a highly competitive program and for many, you won’t get in the first try. I was waitlisted my first time applying and I took the next year as an opportunity to gain more experience in areas that I was passionate about. This definitely helped strengthen my next application. If this is something you really want, work hard, stay positive and don’t give up! You will get there and it will all work out.