Speech-Language Pathology Program Externships
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Speech-Language Pathology Program Externships

Clinical Artibus et Practicum: External Education at Salus

One of the many advantages a new Salus graduate has over peers from other institutions is early and continual exposure to the clinical side of his/her profession during their days as a student. An emphasis on early clinical skills has long been a hallmark of the optometry program and it is no different for audiology and physician assistant students.

For programs in the College of Education and Rehabilitation – blindness and low vision studies, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology - it has been challenging over the years to raise the collective awareness about the terms “fieldwork” and “client” as opposed to “clinical skills” and “patient” with regard to their students.

What the process is called and how all of these skills are honed may differ from program to program. What has never wavered however is the institutional commitment to early exposure and the transition from lab-learned skills to real-life practice.

Speech-Language Pathology Program Externships
College of Education and Rehabilitation

SLP session with clientRobert Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, clinical director of the Speech-Language Institute, notes that the second year Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) graduate students venture off campus for externship rotations during the fall and spring semesters.

  • ​The students will work in authentic sites for Speech-Language Pathology services: hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, schools (public/private/charter/specialty), outpatient centers and private practices. 
  • This practicum is the fieldwork/externship experience for SLP students, who will have at least two rotations.
  • Their first experiences are referred to as an internship and they take place during the students’ first three semesters at the Speech-Language Institute (SLI) on-campus. Supervisors at SLI are called clinical educators. 
  • The students then go off-campus in the fall and spring semesters of their second year. The speech-language pathologists who volunteer their time at off-campus sites are called externship supervisors and receive Salus training on how to supervise students, including the required grading and signing off on their clinical hours. 
  • Students must gain at least 400 clinical practicum hours during their graduate program, with a majority of them coming from their externship rotations.

Learn More About Our Speech-Language Pathology Program

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