Students need to complete 400 hours of practicum to graduate and apply for certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Of those, 25 hours of observation are required. Although ASHA allows students to complete observation hours simultaneous with other practicum, the department requires that all 25 hours be completed before practicum begins with clients. Students are allowed to complete up to 75 hours at the undergraduate level, including the 25 observation hours. The remaining 325 hours must be completed at the graduate level. Although ASHA does not specifically require hours in Audiology, the department requires all speech-language pathology students to complete 20 hours of audiology screening or rehabilitation.
During the first year of the program, students complete clinical practicum at the Speech, Language and Hearing Center, located in the newly built Institute for Well-Being. Some students have previous clinical experience at the undergraduate level, but most do not. The department realizes this and provides intensive supervision during the first year of practicum. Students are assigned 2 to 4 different clinical experiences each semester.
Assignments include treatment of individual patients, diagnostic teams, specialized clinics, speech and hearing screenings, group treatment programs, and the Children’s Therapeutic Program which is run jointly with Occupational Therapy. Our facility has numerous speech language pathology treatment rooms for small to large groups, and two large Children’s Therapeutic Program rooms with an adjoining outside playground.
The Institute for Well-Being functions as a multidisciplinary professional teaching center for a variety of majors within the College of Health Professions. This setting gives our students exposure to professional practice across multiple health care disciplines. The Institute for Well-Being is located in the heart of downtown Towson, a quick four block walk from the main campus. The Towson University shuttle bus makes regular runs between the two locations. For more information, visit the Institute for Well-Being.
In the second year of the program, students complete clinical practicum off campus. The clinic director meets with students to determine interests, and attempts to place students in clinical settings that match. Students need to realize that some placements are competitive. Those agencies interview several students for the placement. Students must complete a minimum of two off-campus placements before graduation, one in pediatrics, the other with adults. Students who complete their pediatric placement in the schools are eligible for teaching certification in Speech-Language Pathology after graduation. Adult placements include nursing homes, acute care hospitals, rehabilitation agencies, private agencies, and programs for adults with developmental disabilities. Many students elect to complete a third off-campus practicum. Students interested in children might elect to do two pediatric placements, one in a school, and the other in a hospital setting. Students interested in adults might complete one practicum in an acute care hospital and the other in a nursing home. Recent off-campus placements include the following programs.