Jennifer Cravens is School Partnership Clinician with PresenceLearning. Jen started her career with PresenceLearning as a contracted speech-language pathologist in 2013. Jen explains how she made the transition from contractor to employee and offers advice to those looking to advance their career with PresenceLearning.
Can you tell me about your background and how you came to work with PresenceLearning?
- I have over 20 years of school-based experience as a speech-language pathologist. I spent 14 years in schools and medical settings and 6 years as a Clinical Instructor at the University of Illinois. During this time, I realized how I could reach more students by practicing online and I quickly learned how to teach online. I taught an online course and over 700 students were able to attend my class (the classes in person topped out at 350 students). The rest is history. During the same time period, I also worked in healthcare part-time, but my passion was teaching and practicing online. I started as a contractor with PresenceLearning doing substitution work in February of 2013. Before I knew it, an assignment came through—Kristin Edwards needed someone for a virtual school and I got the assignment! Shortly after, I moved into the lead clinician role.
How long were you contracted with PL before you made the transition to become a full-time employee?
- I have been with PL for five years in total. The first four years, I worked as a contracted SLP. Most recently, I have spent the last year working as a School Partnership Clinician (SPC).
What led you to make this change?
- The opportunity sounded unique. When the School Partnership Clinician role presented itself, I was excited about the idea of doing something new. Specifically, I was excited to share what I love about PresenceLearning services and telepractice with schools in need of support.
What have you liked about moving away from clinical practice?
- Honestly, I miss clinical practice. Not providing direct therapy has been the hardest part about the transition to this role. What I have enjoyed in this role is the ability to evangelize telepractice and spread the word about how to create the biggest impact for the students we serve using teletherapy.
Is there anything you miss about providing therapy?
- Yes, I miss interacting with the students and celebrating their successes. In sales it’s a different world, but you can still make an impact! I am fortunate because I get to keep up on all of the areas of research that interests me. For instance, I just completed a CEU course on neurology. I enjoy keeping up with the current trends and research in the field in order to stay connected to my profession.
What advice can you offer SPC applicants?
- Let your passion show and ask great questions. I prepared for my interview by looking up everyone I was interviewing with. After doing my research, I took a hard look at the job description and developed a set of questions in order to make sure the role would be a good fit for me.
- Be sure to interview everyone you meet with just as they are interviewing you! Ask pointed questions and make sure you have an understanding of what the role is and what the job entails.