Speech-Language Pathology Post-Bacc Track
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Speech-Language Pathology Post-Bacc Track

Salus University’s Post-baccalaureate in Health Sciences program recently launched a Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) track.

The track was created for two reasons: (1) To allow students who have incomplete or non-existent experiences in speech-language pathology, and communication sciences and disorders to take the pre-requisite coursework to prepare them to be accepted into an SLP master’s program; and (2) To enable students to become a speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA) allowed to treat individuals with communication disorders under the supervision of a licensed and certified SLP.

SLP student with child client“One of the reasons we’re offering an SLP Post-bacc track is that the SLP program has some more specific content that needs to be developed. That’s why those students aren’t just in the Health Sciences track of the Post-bacc program,” said Darryl Horn, PhD, FAAO, director of the Post-baccalaureate program.

According to Dr. Horn, in addition to taking specialty courses, students in the SLP concentration will also take classes in conjunction with the Health Sciences track, which would include Introduction to Patient courses, health psychology and biostatistics.

According to Robert Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, FNAP, chair and program director of the SLP department, the SLP Post-bacc track was designed with interprofessional education and collaborative practice approaches, aspects he knows will set the Salus program apart.

“Students in the SLP track will integrate with other students preparing for other professions as they move through our curriculum,” he said. “Our SLP track also infuses both observation and hands-on clinical training, which other programs don’t offer.”

Serianni also added that the program is really designed for the student who is interested in working with a cohort through the coursework in a classroom setting and infusing hands-on learning and observations within the field. Students will also be able to experience clinical practice before they actually begin a master’s program or go out into the field as an SLPA.

In addition, the SLP track was envisioned to create different pathways into the speech-language pathology profession for students who are from underrepresented groups, helping to address diversity inequities that exist in the SLP profession.

Brooke Kruemmling, PhD, COMS, associate provost, said the curriculum is built for SLP students to be able to get through the Post-bacc program in one year.

SLP student with child client​“By giving different people who want to practice in the field of speech-language pathology different pathways to get there —  whether it’s through a master’s degree that’s going to qualify them to be licensed and certified as an SLP or this one-year curriculum that leads to a career as an SLPA — is a way for Salus to address the goals of the profession, to be more diverse, to better serve communities and to be able to reflect the people that we serve,” said Dr. Kruemmling.

In yet another advantage, Dr. Horn said the Post-bacc track at Salus allows students to be in small cohorts, which can help form stronger bonds among classmates.

Although there are no guarantees that SLP Post-bacc students will be admitted into the University’s SLP master’s program, students will be well prepared to apply to a variety of graduate schools.

“The Post-back track is a sneak peek into our graduate program,” said Serianni. “Students will be working with faculty and clinical educators that are part of the Salus program. Students will have plenty of opportunities to complete observations and clinical training right here in the on-campus Speech-Language Institute (SLI). The idea is that we really want to give the cohort the flavor of being in graduate school as they move through the program.”

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