All undergraduate and graduate students are required to complete supervised clinical clock hours working with individuals experiencing communication disorders. As an undergraduate, students will participate clinical internships (CD 495) and complete 25 observation hours (CD 290). As a part of the graduation requirements for the Master's degree, each student will complete two types of clinical experiences, Internship (SLP 590) and Externship (SLP 591).
The Communication Disorders Clinic (CDC) at WKU is housed in WKU Health Services. The CDC is proud to partner with and provide university and community outreach services at The Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex, The Buddy House, Bowling Green Independent School District, among others.The CDC offers a wide range of clinical experiences including individual and group therapy, a variety of disorders, and differing severity levels. Students will experience the connection between theory and practice to develop effective clinical skills under the direct supervision of an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association certified speech-language pathologist or audiologist.
Required Documentation for All Internship/Externship Courses
Students will be required to undergo criminal background checks and provide proof of a recent physical examination, professional liability insurance, and a tuberculin skin test prior to beginning any clinical experiences, which must be updated annually. Externship sites may have additional requirements such as drug screening, immunizations, CPR training, etc. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure all University requirements are met as a condition of participating in clinical experiences. Students may be responsible in part or in full for any costs incurred to meet such requirements.
- Criminal Background Check - must be updated yearly
- Proof of recent physical examination - must be updated yearly
- Professional Liability Insurance - must be updated yearly
- Negative TB skin test (must be updated yearly) or chest x-ray (must be updated every 2 years)
CD 290 – CLINICAL OBSERVATION
This course is designed to introduce students to the experience of clinical observation in the field of communication disorders. All aspects of observing clinician and client behaviors will be addressed. Students will obtain the required amount of hours of observation necessary for certification. Exposure to clinic policies and procedures will be highlighted.
CD 495 – CLINICAL INTERNSHIP (Undergraduate)
This course is designed to introduce students to the therapeutic process by beginning the transition from observation to clinical practice. The student will begin to experience the connection between theory and practice as well as begin to develop effective clinical skills.
The Clinical Internship is completed during the Fall and Spring semesters of senior year for a total of six credit hours. Students complete a Clinical Methods and Writing component during the internship which addresses documentation, therapeutic planning and intervention, and case studies.
SLP 580 - CLINICAL OBSERVATION (Graduate)
Students entering the graduate program without having gained the necessary 25 observation hours under the auspices of a university will enroll in this course the first semester of the program. This course is designed to introduce students to the experience of clinical observation in the field of communication disorders. All aspects of observing clinician and client behaviors will be addressed. Students will obtain the 25 required hours of observation necessary for certification. Exposure to clinic policies and procedures will be highlighted.
SLP 590 - CLINICAL INTERNSHIP (Graduate)
This course is designed to provide students with opportunities to work with clients experiencing more acute or complex communication disorders and prepare to begin the clinical externship experience.
The Clinical Internship (SLP 590) is completed under the supervision of WKU faculty. All residential students must successfully complete two semesters of SLP 590 prior to being placed in SLP 591 Clinical Externship while all distance learning students must complete SLP 588 Clinical Methods and SLP 590 Clinical Internship prior to being placed in SLP 591 Clinical Externship.
Residential students in SLP 590 will be expected to be available for service delivery at the WKU Communication Disorders Clinic from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday.
Distance Learning - Web students click here for additional information regarding SLP 588 Clinical Methods and on-campus completion of SLP 590.
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