The clinical education experience begins with observations in the Duquesne University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. Observations are part of and coordinated by the Observation and Clinical Procedures class in the Spring semester of the third year in the pre-professional phase of the program. Students complete 25 hours of observation with a range of clients. Through this experience students they begin to apply the information and knowledge learned in the classroom to understanding the therapy process.
The University Clinic
First year graduate students complete three semesters (Fall, Spring, and Summer) of clinical experience at Duquesne's Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. Students work with faculty Clinical Instructors who directly supervise therapy and guide the students' initial encounters. Students typically receive a new client caseload at the beginning of each semester, thus experiencing many of the Clinic's specialty programs throughout the year. Students gain experience with different disorders, diverse populations, and age ranges in preparation for externship placements. Typically, students earn 80 to 100 hours in clinic during the first year of the graduate program. The facilities at the Duquesne Clinic offer nine treatment rooms, nine observation rooms, a therapy materials room, and a student resource center. Students begin to grow in their clinical ability and documentation skills during these three semesters, while developing the 'culture' of clinic.
In the second professional phase year, students engage in three clinical experiences at externship placements out in the community. Students work in medical and school settings throughout the greater Pittsburgh area. The majority of a student's day (3-4 days per week) is spent "on the job," where they gain hands-on clinical experience under the supervision of experienced Clinical Instructors at each site. During the Fall and Spring semesters, students also attend classes twice a week in the evening. These experiences also provide networking opportunities in addition to advancing students' clinical skills in preparation for their first job in speech-language pathology.