Kira Talent Partners with SLP Programs for Improved Admissions Outcomes

by Emilie Cushman on Jul 31, 2017 2:55:18 PM

We’re thrilled to announce our expansion into Speech Language Pathology (SLP) graduate programs. Because of the blend of soft skills and academics required to be successful in SLP careers, Kira’s admissions software provides an excellent solution to SLP admissions teams to conduct holistic assessments.

University of South Carolina, Saint Mary’s College, and California State University, San Marcos will be among the SLP programs who will start using Kira this year to help them bring deeper insights to their admissions assessment. 

The University of South Carolina, Master’s of Speech Language Pathology

USC_Standard.jpgAt the University of South Carolina, between the full-time and distance education programs, the department received around 500 applicants but did not have the capacity to interview them. Although grades and GRE scores gave them a good idea of who would be successful in the classroom examinations, those criteria only told part of the story. They had no way of validating whether an applicant would be successful working with patients and collaborating with their peers in a clinical placement.

“When we discovered Kira, we were looking for a way to get valuable insights from interviews in less time. With the platform, we also found a solution that integrated with our existing CRM that our team and faculty members were comfortable using,” said Kenn Apel, Professor and Communication Sciences and Disorders Department Chair at USC.

Saint Mary’s College, Master’s of Speech Language Pathology


Historically, Saint Mary’s College had applicants submit short YouTube videos to assess their communication skills. These video submissions were often practiced and scripted and rarely showed the true applicant. Further, the admissions reviewers, primarily faculty, ran into technical issues with permissions and privacy settings that created a lot of work for their team.

“While we’re relieved to know we have a safe, reliable option for applicants to respond to our video questions, we’re really excited to see the timed video responses applicants provide to get a more authentic view of each applicant,” said Melissa Fruscione, Director of Graduate Admissions from Saint Mary’s College’s SLP program.  

“Having a universal platform for all reviewers to access and evaluate will save us so much time, especially knowing that Kira is taking on 24-hour technical support to ensure our applicants have a positive experience applying to the program.”

“Furthermore, it’s awesome and convenient that applicants can access the assessment at any time as well. The fact that Kira allows for a fair, consistent, and convenient way for our entire applicant pool to participate in an interview was a big reason why we added this component to our process,” Fruscione added. 

California State University San Marcos, Master’s of Speech Language Pathology

csusm .gifFor California State University San Marcos, Kira creates a new opportunity for applicants to introduce themselves to the admissions committee beyond their traditional application. Applicants will be able to put their best foot forward and have the same opportunity to succeed and obtain admission in a standardized and consistent assessment.

"We’re looking forward to having Kira as the first touch point for San Marcos SLP applicants to get a better sense of their strengths beyond grades early on,” said Lori Heisler, Associate Professor and Director of the Master’s of Speech Language Pathology program.

“Using Kira also helps standardize our evaluation procedures across the admissions committee to better collaborate on decisions to bring applicants to campus.”

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Written by Emilie Cushman

Emilie Cushman is the Founder and CEO of Kira Talent. Cushman founded the company in 2012, and since launching Kira she has been named the HSBC Woman Leader of Tomorrow and one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women.

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