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Diversity in SLP

Diversity in SLP

Over 30 years of training Bilingual SLP’s

Latinos comprise the fastest-growing population in both Texas and the United States. Within this group there is much ethnic, racial, and linguistic diversity, which requires a unique approach to assessment and treatment of communication challenges. Meeting the clinical needs of the Latino community requires practitioners who are not only fluent in Spanish, but also have advanced training in evaluating and treating Spanish-speaking populations from varied backgrounds across age groups.

The MS with an emphasis in bilingual SLP, a specialty track within the graduate Speech-Language Pathology program at TCU, was the first federally-funded bilingual SLP program in the U.S. and trained professionals since the 1970s. The first class of bilingually-trained SLPs graduated in 1982 and, since that time, we have trained more than 100 professionals.

 

Characteristics of the Emphasis in Bilingual SLP track

Students in this track receive more than 100 clinical hours of graduate-level training with diverse populations under the supervision of expert bilingual professionals. Our student practitioners are required to have strong fluency in both English and Spanish.

Clinical training experiences within the track are unique; in 2010, Irmgard Payne helped to develop “Ranitas en el Campo,” an interprofessional collaboration with Fort Worth ISD that allows graduate students to provide assessment and intervention to diverse pre-school children with speech and language impairments.

Academic coursework has been developed to provide classroom-based experiences and learning specific to culturally- and linguistically-diverse populations. A master’s degree with an emphasis in bilingual speech-language pathology requires 45 credit hours of coursework over five semesters of study. Each year, the EBSLP specialty track currently admits six students who have demonstrated excellence in undergraduate study but also native or near-native spoken and written Spanish fluency. TCU leadership understands the need for speech-language pathologists with advanced training in treating diverse populations, and allows us to support every student admitted with a graduate assistantship that covers approximately 70% to 80% of tuition costs for the duration of the program.

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