Preparing Speech-Language Pathology Students for School-Based Practice: The Importance of Graduate Clinical Experiences in Universally Designed Classrooms Purpose: In this article, I will describe how practicum experiences in universally designed classrooms help prepare speech-language pathology graduate clinicians for the roles and responsibilities of school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs). The article is based on a poster session presented at the ASHA Schools Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin entitled Successful Collaboration: ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2012
Preparing Speech-Language Pathology Students for School-Based Practice: The Importance of Graduate Clinical Experiences in Universally Designed Classrooms
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jana Waller
    Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
  • Disclosure: Jana Waller has no financial or nonfinancial relationships related to the content of this article.
    Disclosure: Jana Waller has no financial or nonfinancial relationships related to the content of this article.×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2012
Preparing Speech-Language Pathology Students for School-Based Practice: The Importance of Graduate Clinical Experiences in Universally Designed Classrooms
SIG 16 Perspectives on School-Based Issues, December 2012, Vol. 13, 130-135. doi:10.1044/sbi13.4.130
SIG 16 Perspectives on School-Based Issues, December 2012, Vol. 13, 130-135. doi:10.1044/sbi13.4.130

Purpose: In this article, I will describe how practicum experiences in universally designed classrooms help prepare speech-language pathology graduate clinicians for the roles and responsibilities of school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs). The article is based on a poster session presented at the ASHA Schools Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin entitled Successful Collaboration: A Communication Enhancement Program in a Universally Designed Classroom (Waller, McChesney, Riehle, & Cook, 2012).

Method: Graduate students in speech-language pathology participated in a practicum in a universally designed prekindergarten (pre-K) classroom in an elementary school for 3 months. The students used a 6-item questionnaire with a narrative-response format to identify what they learned from this experience.

Conclusions: Providing graduate students in speech-language pathology with clinical opportunities in universally designed classrooms can help prepare these students for working in today's schools. For example, in the experience I describe in this article, graduate clinicians learned about collaborating with teachers and helping pre-K students meet curricular expectations such as improving phonological awareness.

Clinical Implications: With changes in the educational landscape such as the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the increased diversity of learning needs in classrooms, it is imperative that speech-language pathology students are given opportunities that prepare them for the evolving role of the school-based SLP.

Acknowledgements
A special thank you to Alyssa Riehle, BS, Julie McChesney, BS, and Margaret Cook, BS for their contributions to the ASHA Schools poster, Successful Collaboration: A Communication Enhancement Program in a Universally Designed Classroom.
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