Student Clock Hour Policy for Speech-Language Pathology
A student must meet specific requirements of the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education before the student is allowed to begin the clinical practicum portion of their training program at either the undergraduate or graduate level. Freshman, Sophomores and Juniors enrolled in the Department of Communicative Disorders are not allowed to obtain clinical clock hours that are applicable to ASHA certification, since it is the Department's decision that students at these levels have not acquired a sufficient knowledge base to qualify for such experience as per ASHA Certification Standards for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology, beginning January 1, 2005.
Before a senior in Communicative Disorders or a graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology can begin or continue in their clinical practicum training in either on or off-campus settings, the student must meet the following conditions:
- The student must be an officially accepted undergraduate student or a graduate student in speech-language pathology within the department and have completed, or be in the process of completing, department requirements in the following areas: background check, health insurance, immunization and liability insurance.
- The department Speech-Language Pathology Committee must have formally approved the student for entry into clinical practicum training, which includes speech and hearing screenings.
- The student must meet published GPA requirements within the department during each semester in which the student is participating in clinical practicum.
- The student must have successfully completed or be concurrently enrolled in course work that is a prerequisite for the specific practicum in which the student is engaged. The prerequisite course work for the specific practicum in Speech-Language Pathology will be determined by the Clinical Coordinator in Speech-Language Pathology.
- Off-campus practicum must be completed at sites and with supervisors that have been pre-approved by the department Clinical Coordinator in Speech-Language Pathology as meeting both ASHA requirements and the Department clinical training requirements.
- The Clinical Coordinator in Speech-Language Pathology has the responsibility of determining the appropriateness of all clinical practicum activities for seniors in Communicative Disorders and graduate students in Speech-Language Pathology before the practicum hours are begun. Students enrolled in the department may not complete independently arranged clinical practicum hours and then submit them to the department for later approval.
Guidelines for Assisting Speech-Language Pathology Student Teachers at Risk for Failure
The student teaching experience is an extensive off-campus practicum assignment required of all graduate students in Speech-Language Pathology. It is the joint goal of the department university coordinators and onsite school supervisors that our students have successful student teaching experiences. Students must understand, however, that university and school personnel must balance the training and clock hour needs of student teachers with their professional obligation to provide quality services to the children in the school caseload. On occasion, student teachers have specific skill deficits that seriously compromise the quality of services being provided to the school children in their caseloads. When this occurs, the onsite school supervisor, university coordinator, and Department coordinator of student teaching must jointly decide whether the student should be withdrawn from the student teaching assignment or have the student teaching practicum restructured. The procedures outlined below are designed to assist the concerned parties during this process.
These procedures do not cover serious violations by student teachers of public school policy or of Department policies related to attendance, dress, hygiene, confidentiality, conduct or other issues of ethics or professionalism. Expectations in these areas are covered in the Department Standard Operating Procedures Manual for Speech-Language Pathology available to each student in the department. Serious violations in these areas may also result in the graduate student being withdrawn from student teaching and/or that a failing grade be given for the student teaching practicum, as per Department policy.
Procedures for At-Risk Speech-Language Pathology Student Teachers
Serious problems in the student teacher clinical skills should be identified and addressed as early as possible during the student semester of student teaching. The concerned parties will then develop a remedial plan to maximize the student teacher opportunities for improvement and to minimize the negative impact on the children in the student teacher caseload. To this end:
- The onsite school supervisor should immediately notify the university coordinator whenever serious questions arise concerning the student teacher clinical competencies.
- The university coordinator should then immediately notify the Department coordinator of student teaching that serious questions are present concerning the student teacher clinical competencies.
- The university coordinator should then notify the student teacher that he/she is at risk for failing the student teaching practicum assignment.
- The university coordinator should then schedule an initial review meeting with the student teacher, onsite school supervisor, Department coordinator of student teaching and any other necessary parties to discuss the reported concerns and to develop a written Student Teacher Remedial Plan. The plan will specifically identify the 1) skill areas of concern, 2) improvements/actions needed from the student teacher to allow him/her to continue in the student teaching practicum 3) strategies that should help the student teacher successfully develop the targeted clinical skills, and 4) Methods/criteria that will be used to assess the student teacher improvement in each targeted area. The plan will also include 1) three observation dates for the university coordinator and one observation date for the Department coordinator of student teaching to monitor the student teacher implementation of the remedial plan during a four week period. Other relevant parties may also be scheduled for observations during this period, as needed, and 2) a specific decision date by which the student teacher will be held accountable for achieving all of the required improvements/actions.
- The university coordinator will then schedule and conduct a second review meeting with the student teacher, onsite school supervisor, and the Department coordinator of student teaching to determine if the student teacher has satisfactorily achieved the required improvements/actions by the specified decision date.
- If the student teacher has been successful in achieving the required outcomes, Option One will be recommended:
- Option One: The student teaching assignment will continue as planned and an appropriate letter grade assigned using the Department student teacher grading criteria. If the required improvements/actions have not been satisfactorily achieved by the student teacher, one of the remaining options will be recommended for the student teacher:
- Option Two: The student teaching practicum will continue but be modified so that the children in the student teacher caseload will not be negatively impacted. An appropriate final letter grade will be assigned using the Department student teacher grading criteria. This option may result in a C+ or lower final grade.
- Option Three: The student teacher will be removed from the student teaching experience. A grade will be given for the student teaching practicum when Option Three is recommended. Student teachers recommended for removal from their student teaching practicum have the right to appeal this recommendation to the Department Head, as per university policy. No clinical clock hours will be earned for the student teaching practicum whenever a lower grade is obtained.
- A student teaching retake option will be recommended by the review committee whenever a grade of C+ or lower is obtained in student teaching. Retake Option: Additional remedial procedures will be specified in writing by the review committee in a Retake Option Remedial Plan. The proposed Remedial Plan will be signed by the student teacher, onsite school supervisor, university coordinator, Department coordinator of student teaching, and the ComD Department Head. When the student considers that the skills specified in the Retake Option Remedial Plan have been acquired, the student should contact the Department coordinator of student teaching, who will schedule a Remedial Plan Review Meeting with the other members of the student review committee. The committee will determine if the Retake Option Remedial Plan has been satisfactorily completed before the student will be allowed to re-enroll in student teaching. Should the student re-enroll in student teaching during a future semester and again receive a lower grade, the student will not be allowed to continue in the Department Speech-Language Pathology graduate program, as per Department policy. Students recommended for removal from the department have the right to appeal this recommendation to the Department Head, as per university policy.