Launches Part-Time Graduate Program For Speech Pathologists
Dec. 1, 1999 -- Speech pathologists employed
by Virginia public schools will lose their jobs if they have not
earned masters degrees by 2005. To address this situation,
the University of Virginia has started this year a graduate program
in speech-language pathology for speech clinicians currently employed
by regional public school systems.
program allows individuals to complete their masters degrees
in speech-pathology on a part-time basis, at night or during the
weekend, while they maintain their employment in the public schools.
A total of six people are expected to enroll in the program. To
date, five pathologists, serving 420 children, have enrolled from
the Fluvanna, Nelson, Lynchburg, and Front Royal school districts.
Virginia Department of Education has awarded two grants totaling
$109,000 to the communication disorders program in the Curry School
of Educations Department of Human Services. The grants enable
the department to provide personnel and materials for the students,
as well as supervision personnel to oversee the students required
Department of Education regulation that takes effect July 1 will
prohibit public school systems from hiring unlicensed speech pathologists.
To gain licensure, pathologists must have bachelors and masters
degrees and pass a test.
Department of Education has offered grants to colleges and universities
with accredited masters programs in speech-language pathology
to support the development of these special degree programs. James
Madison University and Radford University also received state grants
to run similar programs.
goal of the new regulation is to ensure that the most qualified
providers of speech-language pathology services are in the schools,"
said Robert Novak, principal investigator of U.Va.s new program.
He noted that licensure is required for pathologists to practice
in hospitals, clinics and private practice settings.
are differences between a bachelors and masters degree
in communication disorders, said program coordinator Carol Dudding.
An undergraduate curriculum includes very general classes, while
graduate studies in speech pathology and audiology cover disorders
of phonology, articulation, fluency, language, hearing and communication.
addition to taking classes, students must complete a practicum at
three different work sites. "The idea is that they get experience
with clients in a variety of ages, pediatric through geriatric,
and a variety of disorders," Dudding said.
offers undergraduate courses in communication disorders, as well
as full-time masters and Ph.D. programs in speech pathology
more information, contact Carol Dudding at (804) 924-4622 or firstname.lastname@example.org
or Bob Novak at (804) 982-2323 or email@example.com.
Jill Johnson, (804) 924-6855