In this podcast, we talk with Christopher Speece, assistant director of Admissions at Salus University. He talks to us about the Audiology program, what it entails and how to become a competitive candidate for the application process.

George OsborneQ: What is there to expect from the Audiology program?
A:
Honestly, you'll learn to expect the unexpected. Dr. Osborne, who the College of Audiology named for, was a trailblazer and an advocate, expanding the profession of audiology and promoting the development of a professional AUD degree, as we know it today. The profession is still new in the grand scheme of healthcare, which developed shortly after World War II and it's still evolving to this day. Our on-campus AUD program prepare students, not only the work in the profession now, but really also prepare students to be innovative and adaptable. The program's vision is to impact the future of healthcare, education and professional practice. And the best way to do this is to be prepared academically and clinically for the future. And I think our program really does a great job of that.

Q: What is the curriculum like within the Audiology program?
A:
The on-campus program curriculum is built upon a biomedical science and neuroscience foundation. The curriculum emphasizes strong clinical training as well that allows students to gain close to 2,500 hours of clinical training, which is above the accreditation minimum found elsewhere. We feel this gives our students an advantage as they enter a dynamic profession, as they will be more prepared and more confident in their clinical practice.

Q: What is the academic timeline of the whole program?
A:
The on-campus Doctor of Audiology degree has two tracks. The first, and more traditional four-year degree track, and the second is an accelerated three-year track. Both track programs contain the same curriculum, it's just that the three-year track program is more condensed. It's really a great option for competitive candidates looking to jumpstart their career a year earlier. Students in either program can expect to gain a strong biomedical foundation that leads into hands-on training. And this starts during their first year of the program and wraps up during their final year externship. I find that tactile and visual learners gravitate towards our program because the program ties together the didactic and clinical pretty nicely.

audiology students using audiometers during summer workshopsQ: What on-campus facilities does this program have?
A:
The facilities in the program, honestly, is what really sets our program apart. I mentioned that our students gain 2,500 hours including the training, some of which will be completed on campus at our clinic, the Pennsylvania Ear Institute. In addition to the on-campus clinic experience, students also have access to our four training labs, three of which are designated specifically for the Audiology program. These include the clinical skills lab that houses four fully-equipped audiometric booths, using various types of audiometers for student practice. We have our Vestibular and Balance Lab, our Electrophysiology Lab and Hearing Aid Lab. And the last is our University Cadaver Lab. It's quite uncommon for a program to offer a designated audiology-specific training space outside of the clinic. So our students are able to really hone in on their skills in these labs without impacting the clinic’s operations.

Q: What is campus and student life at Salus like as a whole?
A:
The Salus campus may be comparatively small, but the support and opportunities are immeasurable. We are the nation’s largest Doctor of Audiology program, at an institution with a little over 1,200 students total. So, there are various ways for students to make their mark. We also have one of the largest audiology alumni bases, so the networking possibilities are immense as well. The campus location is certainly a selling point as we're located in the suburbs right outside of Philadelphia, which really gives our students access to great hospitals and medical centers in the region to gain clinical experience. I also like to mention the club and organizations that I often encourage students to get involved in. Salus is a graduate-specific institution, so everything that students get involved in and work upon while here at Salus, leads back to the professional pursuits.

Admissions staffQ: What are some admissions requirements or tips for the Audiology program?
A:
Let me first suggest that prospective students visit our website, where the program requirements, including our prerequisites are listed. I think the admissions tips vary from school to school, but here at Salus, our program evaluates candidates holistically. We take into account professional experience, extracurricular involvement and letters of recommendation. A well-rounded student is really what the faculty like to see. We also have an interview process that is a step in the admissions cycle. And if anyone has any questions about their prospective application, they can contact us at admissions@salus.edu with those questions. Or if they're interested, they're able to schedule a counseling session, which essentially is a one-on-one session where an Admissions representative will walk you through the admissions process and answer your specific questions. I think that admissions is very independent and we here at Salus like to treat every individual in that way. We want to make sure that your questions are being answered to the best of our abilities.

Q: What is the evaluation process once you've applied to the Audiology program?
A:
The admissions process may vary depending on a candidate’s application, but generally they can anticipate an application response within one month of submitting their application. Now, we do utilize CSDCAS to evaluate our three-year and four-year track candidates' applications. CSDCAS is a centralized application service that's used by many Audiology and SLP programs. It's most similar to the common apps students used to apply to their undergraduate college or university. We often start our interview process in November; I would say the best time to apply would be before the new year. I would also suggest that competitive students apply early as we start to invite and accept students as applications are received because we do work on a modified rolling admissions process. This is particularly important to our three-year track program.

Q: Is there anything you would like to add about the program or Salus?
Q:
We offer a great program known as our Audiology Learning Experience (ALE), which is essentially a day in the life experience of a Salus audiology student. This year's event was different as it was held online. And I think we would like to offer both options, an in-person and an online option, if possible in the future. If students are interested in this opportunity because it is something that's very unique, they can contact the Admissions office. Once we have some additional information to share, we'll be able to forward it to them afterwards. I would encourage students to contact us if they have any specific questions as well.
 
To learn more about the Audiology program, visit Salus.edu/audiology or email admissions@salus.edu.