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Clinical Practica Experiences

Developing clinical skills and gaining experience is at the heart of the graduate program.  ASHA has set 400 hours of supervised clinical practicum experience as a minimum requirement for students in graduate program.  At Duquesne, students graduate with an average of just over 600 hours of clinical experience.

The clinical education experience begins with observations in the University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic as a requirement for the classes  Observations are coordinated with the Observation and Clinical Procedures class in the undergraduate program, during the Spring semester.  Students complete 25 hours of observation with clients of their choice.  Through this experience, students watch live therapy sessions; they begin to apply the information and  knowledge learned in the classroom to therapy sessions, gaining a better sense of what speech-language pathology entails.

The University Clinic
First year graduate students complete three semesters (Fall, Spring, and Summer) of clinical experience at Duquesne's Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic.  Students work with faculty Clinical Instructors who directly supervise their therapy and guide their intitial encounters.  Students receive a new client caseload at the beginning of each semester, experiencing many of the University Clinic's specialty clinic programs throughout the year.  This enables students to gain experience with different disorders in preparation for externship placements.  Typically, students earn 80 to 100 hours in clinic during the first year of the graduate program.  The facilities at the Duquesne Clinic offer eight treatment rooms, eight observation rooms, a therapy materials room, and a student resource room.  Students begin to grow in their clinical ability and documentation skills during these three semesters, while developing the 'culture' of clinic.

In the second graduate year, students begin clinical experiences in the community at externship placements.  Students work in medical and school settings throughout the greater Pittsburgh area.  The majority of the student's day (3-4 days per week) is spent "on the job," where they gain hands-on clinical experience under the supervision of experienced Clinical Instructors at each site.  During the Fall and Spring semesters, students also attend classes twice a week in the evening, continuing their required classroom-based coursework.  Externship placements cover the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters of the final year in the program.  These experiences also provide networking opportunities in addition to advancing student's clinical skills in preparation for their first position in speech-language pathology.

Our Educational Model

The Clinical Education Program