Saturday, March 28, 2009

Decisions Keep Coming...

I'm sorry it's been so long since I posted. Thanks to everyone for your sweet comments & prayers. They were much appreciated & if you don't mind...I could use them again ;)

I'm wrapping up my year of pre-requisites in Speech Language Pathology & have applied to 3 Graduate Programs. Beyond blessed - I got accepted into all 3 programs: UCO, OU Health Sciences Center & University of Washington - Seattle MedSLP program.

At the same time, my husband is dealing with some difficult decisions and we are trying to figure out the direction our family should take.

There are many competing factors about the different programs. Each has it's great points & it's not so great points.

Pros: is a very prestigious program (Ivy League for SLP) and I am honored to have been accepted into the MedSLP program. The professors who instruct in this program are experts in the field, and I would be thrilled to attend. Plus - it's in Seattle - where we've dreamed of living for a while ;)
Negs: It's in Seattle - which is a long way away. It's more expensive than where we live now & would mean that several things would have to fall into place to make it possible. i/e - selling our home, Clint finding a job, finding a place we could afford to live there & reliable child care....also, it's a 3 year program, when most SLP programs are 2. I'd almost be assured a great job upon completion, but it's still another factor up for consideration.

Pros: It's a great program, with professors I enjoy and am comfortable with. I know what would be expected of me, and I have many friends entering the program. Also, they have offered me a GA position - with scholarship. I know they genuinely care about me and want me to succeed as a skilled clinician.
Negs: They have several night classes. The program is only 2 years, but over the course of that two years, there are 7 night classes. I'd be committed to being in class Tues. & Thurs. from 5:30-10:30 pm for the next 2 years - along with a full schedule during the day all week. This would mean on Tues./Thurs. I probably wouldn't even get to see Jonas, as he's in bed by 8:00pm. Additionally, I 'd have to come up with the $$ for childcare during the day & childcare at night, and find someone trustworthy & responsible for my little guy. Clint is also getting his Master's right now, so he has classes on Tues./Thurs. nights as well - which means neither of us would be home for Jonas. This is hard for me to think about. Also, the classes start this summer - no break. Straight from finishing pre-req's to entering the graduate program. In a way this is a good thing too though, because they are spreading the hours out a little further rather than cramming them all into 5 semesters.

Pros: It's a solid program with a focus on the medical field, which I'm interested in. The classes are during the day, and the school is ranked in the top 30 nationally. I also have friends in this program, and other friends planning on attending next year. The first summer is off - but the hour load is pretty intense as a result. They produce skilled clinicians and have a reputable name if we were to move, etc...
Cons: Just not as familiar with the program or professors - thus making it a more risky decision. They also don't have any financial aid available (or very little).

I don't think with any of these programs that I'd be able to keep my PT job. Right now I'm working at Jonas' daycare in the 3-year-old classroom & really enjoying it. My hours are good and my bosses are pretty flexible. Working there gives me a discount on Jonas' tuition, as well as a small paychcek & allows me to spend time with him throughout the day too. Unfortunately, with the courseload and study committment, I don't know if I could make it work during Grad. School.

Along with all of these decisions - there are a myriad of others we're facing as a family. More kids? Work options, etc... It's a lot. Your input and prayers would be greatly appreciated.