Graduate majors in communication disorders are required to three semesters of on-campus clinical practicum prior to any externship experiences. Students enroll in CD603 (3 credit hours) each semester of the 1st year of graduate study including the regular, 8-week summer semester. One credit hour of this enrollment consists of clinical seminars conducted via a weekly clinical meeting. These meetings cover important clinical and professional issues. In addition, the student will meet regularly with the clinical supervisor(s) to whom they have been assigned.
The remaining 2 credit hours of this enrollment will consist of 2-3 client assignments in the area of speech, language, or hearing. These clients typically are seen for therapy for two, 50-minute sessions per week during the regular semester, although there are occasional alternate schedules for some clients. Students may also receive 3-4 diagnostic or screening assignments in speech, language and/or hearing per semester. Diagnostic evaluations and screenings are typically conducted on Fridays although alternate scheduling is sometimes necessary.
In all cases, students are supervised by clinical educators who are licensed in the state of Missouri and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Supervision is provided at a minimum of 25% of the time per clinical assignment and may be adjusted upward at the discretion of the supervisor.
During speech, language, or hearing therapy assignments, students are responsible for following a prescribed treatment plan, submitting weekly lesson plans, completing weekly summary notes ("SOAP" notes) following each week's sessions, communicating with the client or caregiver/parent through regular conferences, conducting each therapy session, investigating and applying evidence-based practice guidelines, and maintaining professional behavior at all times.
During speech, language, or hearing diagnostic or screening assignments, students are responsible for obtaining a thorough case history, planning appropriate diagnostic or screening procedures in consultation with the assigned supervisor, conducting the diagnostic/screening procedures with the client(s), and completing accurate scoring and interpretation of procedures. Students are expected to maintain documentation, formulate diagnostic impressions, determine need for referral, describe recommendations, and prepare a treatment plan for qualifying clients.
Finally, in all clinical practice, students are expected to fully abide by the ASHA Code of Ethics, exhibit professional behavior, remain within the scope of practice of Speech-Language Pathology, and document all clinical activities and clinical clock hours obtained.
Questions regarding clinical practicum may be directed to the Clinic Coordinator of the Center for Speech and Hearing.