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Speech and language therapy students: How do those with 'non traditional' university entry qualifications perform?

Smith, CH; Mahon, M; Newton, C; (2013) Speech and language therapy students: How do those with 'non traditional' university entry qualifications perform? International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders , 48 (4) pp. 394-401. 10.1111/1460-6984.12016. Green open access

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Abstract

Background Entry to speech and language therapy (SLT) undergraduate pre-registration programmes in the UK is usually achieved through qualifications attained at school (e.g. A-levels). A smaller number of people who did not succeed academically at school enter through qualifications achieved post-schooling, e.g. Access to Higher Education courses. This second group of students are attractive recruits to SLT training programmes as they bring different experiences and backgrounds to the programme and to the SLT profession. However, there are no published studies that explore the academic performance or degree and employment outcomes of students who enter university through this route. Aims To investigate the success of non-traditional entry students, specifically those with Access qualifications, on one pre-registration SLT undergraduate degree at a university in the UK. Success is measured in terms of module results, obtaining a degree, the ability to register as an SLT and first employment destination post-graduation. Methods & Procedures University applications were reviewed and students who entered via an Access course were identified for a ten-year period. Results for modules, individual assessments and final degree classification were obtained from their files and were compared against the mean score of traditional entry students on the years of the course covered by this study using a series of one sample t-tests. Outcomes & Results The students who entered through the non-traditional academic route are generally successful in completing their degree and in registering to work as an SLT. However, as a group they perform less well on the degree overall, on individual modules and on written examinations and they do not close this performance gap over the four years of the degree. In contrast, however, they perform on a par with their peers on other types of assessment (e.g. clinical placement, case study, data exercise). The Access students were more likely than traditional entry students to be working as an SLT six-months post-qualification. Conclusions & Implications These results suggest that some types of assessment may be more effective at tapping the skills of students from non-traditional academic backgrounds, and that more tailored support could be provided for this group of students in tackling university written examinations throughout all years of the programme. Despite limited preparation for university-level study and mixed performance on assessment, students from non-traditional academic backgrounds can do well at university and successfully gain employment as SLTs.

Type: Article
Title: Speech and language therapy students: How do those with 'non traditional' university entry qualifications perform?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1460-6984.12016
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1460-6984.12016
Language: English
Additional information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Smith, CH; Mahon, M; Newton, C; (2013) Speech and language therapy students: How do those with 'non traditional' university entry qualifications perform? International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 48 (4) pp. 394-401, which has been published in final form at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1460-6984.12016. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-828039.html#terms).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > VP: Research
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > VP: Research > Library Services
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1361046
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