Clinical Program Standards
- Focus on the Client
- Student Qualifications
Professional Standards are followed regarding requirements outlined in the Council on Academic Standards (CAA) https://www.asha.org in speech-language pathology, in association with ASHA (https://www.asha.org).
Specific Professional Standards are met and surpassed regarding amount of time student clinicians are observed in person (25% minimum) as stated by ASHA. (https://www.asha.org/Certification-Standards-for-SLP--Clinical-Practicum/).
The CDC also maintains the requirements for the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. (https://www.asha.org) In addition, the CDC maintains ASHA’s Code of ethics. (https://www.asha.org/Code-of-Ethics/)
The guidance of these standards is beneficial in helping our students become successful in obtaining a Clinical Fellowship after graduation, and then a Certificate of Clinical Competence in speech-language pathology and state licensure by the Department of Health (state of Florida).
2. FOCUS ON THE CLIENT
The Communication Disorders Clinic (CDC) does not discriminate regarding age, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, veteran status, or sexual orientation. A waiting list is maintained, and the Clinic Director notifies prospective clients, as space becomes available. The CDC operates as both a full-service professional clinic and a teaching clinic, to educate student clinicians. The CDC also operates free of charge, providing services to the community at large.
All clients who attend the Clinic have a right to privacy in obtaining services from the Clinic. All matters concerning client behavior and case management are kept strictly confidential – anyone who observes -- all of the students, clinicians and all of the clinical supervisors have taken FAU’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) training. The CDC expects student clinicians to only discuss clients in secure areas. All paperwork connected with the teaching of students is sent with an assigned (by the Clinic Director) encryption, and hard-copy files are placed in locked filing cabinets. The CDC also maintains an Infection Control policy for the safety and well-being of our clients.
Unauthorized individuals (those who have not taken FAU’s HIPAA training) are not permitted to observe treatment or evaluation sessions. Students in courses that require observation of clinical sessions are provided strict guidelines to follow. Parents, spouses, and caregivers are the only ones allowed to observe without taking the HIPAA course. If observers are disturbing sessions in any way, the student clinicians should notify their observers, supervisors, or the CDC Director. Observers who have not complied with a clinician’s request for silence will be asked to leave by the CDC Director or clinical supervisor.
In addition, the Department and Clinic seek to instill in students a compassion for their clients, so that the well-being of the client is a priority in all regards. It is essential for students to see the “whole person”; not just the “speech mechanism” or “language development”, as they treat clients in the CDC, and in their future as they go beyond the clinic as speech-language pathologists in many various settings and communities.
3. STUDENT QUALIFICATIONS
Student Clinicians have completed the following, prior to their Clinical Practicum assignment:
- A bachelor’s degree (usually in communication disorders, but also in other areas) and one semester of graduate level courses in communication sciences and disorders;
- 25 hours of observation, signed off by a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist;
- Level 2 Background Check;
- Professional Liability Insurance.
Student Clinicians are required to earn 375 hours of Clinical Practicum, divided up between the CDC at FAU and professional working settings, prior to graduating with their Master’s Degree.
Other on-campus opportunities for students include Clinical Practicum work at the Karen Slattery Educational Research Center for Child Development (on the FAU Boca Campus); and the Louis and Anne Green Wellness Center (adjacent to and part of the FAU Boca Campus). There are also opportunities for video-therapy to such places as Rwanda.