Clinical Placement Program
A critical component of your professional education is the clinical practicum that begins once you have completed the appropriate undergraduate prerequisites. The practicum is designed to ensure that all students meet the requirements for certification set by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Massachusetts Department of Education.
The clinical curriculum for this program is a four-semester sequence (SH 740, 741, 742 and 743), carefully planned to help you develop a broad range of evaluation and treatment skills. You’ll interact with clients of all ages from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Working in diverse clinical, medical, educational and private settings, you’ll encounter a wide variety of communication and swallowing disorders.
Boston University is fortunate to be located in a city where many world-renowned educational and medical institutions serve as ideal practicum sites for our graduate students. In addition to these facilities, BU Sargent College operates its own clinics, where you’ll gain experience with a range of communication disorders.
Your training will begin in your first semester at the Boston University Academic Speech, Language & Hearing Center. You’ll provide individual and group treatment here to communicatively disordered individuals and their families. You’ll also conduct audiological screenings in various community settings under the close supervision and mentorship of department clinical faculty.
During this first clinical experience, you’ll receive considerable support in the form of:
- A weekly class that targets relevant professional issues
- Small disorder-specific discussion groups where students can discuss and solve case-related problems with a clinical faculty member
- Individual weekly meetings with clinical faculty
During the next three semesters, you’ll continue to train in the Speech, Language & Hearing Center, participating in activities such as diagnostic teams and specialty clinics (i.e., fluency, voice, aphasia and aural rehabilitation). At the same time, you’ll begin your field placement rotation: a series of internships in three different off-campus settings. These typically include a medical setting, a public school setting and a “specialty” setting such as an early intervention site, private practice, intensive fluency program or voice center. At the end of each practicum, you’ll participate in an individual conference with the clinical faculty to review your performance and establish future goals.
At BU, students are actively involved in planning their off-campus internships. Before your assignments are made, you’ll interview with the placement coordinator to learn about the many available sites, discuss your preferences for settings and populations, and note any scheduling conflicts.
Your final practicum, a full-time placement after all academic coursework is completed, will not be assigned until the last semester of their program; there are no exceptions.
Please refer to the ASHA requirements for further details about clinical practice.