What is clinical practicum?
The clinical practicum experience can be broken down into two parts: direct clinical observation and direct clinical experience.
What is Direct Clinical Observation?
Per ASHA requirements, all students must complete 25 hours of direct observation in speech-language pathology. The Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology expects the student to complete a variety of observation of clinical work in adults and pediatrics, evaluation and treatment in language, articulation, fluency, voice, dysphagia, cognition, pragmatic skills, hearing and augmentative/alternative communication. Observation hours may be obtained from an undergraduate communication sciences program, although once matriculated, all students are given the opportunity to broaden the variety of hours. The 25 hours of observation are not an admission requirement.
What is Direct Clinical Experience?
Clinical experience is one of the key components of the Department's curriculum. Students apply theory learned in the classroom, to practice in several clinical settings and graduate with at least 375 hours of "hand on" experience.
Settings for these experiences are spread throughout the NY Metropolitan area, offering students the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in areas involving many populations across the lifespan, at medical and/or educational facilities.
When do I start practicum?
Students have the option of commencing an on-campus practicum experience during the fall of the first year while taking COMSC 720, Introduction to Clinic. This initial experience is meant to familiarize students with the treatment processes helping to ease them into the clinical arena. If the student so elects to start in the fall, she or he will be assigned a caseload of working with a clinical educator and one client. No matter what the student's background is, the clinical educator models treatment modalities offering readings necessary to work with the assigned client's disorder(s). This model of working with students has been very successful in preparing students for spring clinic especially for those seeking a "visual learning" experience which parallels COMSC 720.