Indexed on: 17 Feb '17Published on: 17 Feb '17Published in: American journal of speech-language pathology / American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
This study surveyed didactic and clinical education in fluency disorders at undergraduate and graduate institutions in the United States that provide education in speech-language pathology to determine whether a previously observed reduction in requirements has continued since prior surveys (Yaruss, 1999; Yaruss & Quesal, 2002).The study involved a detailed questionnaire that was sent to 282 communication science and disorders departments. Questions examined didactic and clinical education, as well as faculty knowledge about fluency disorders.Comparisons with prior surveys revealed several findings, including (a) on average, programs have increased academic coursework and incorporated more practical sessions and competency-based testing in the classroom; (b) the number of faculty who possess extensive clinical experience with fluency disorders has decreased; and (c) although an increase in clinical requirements in fluency disorders was detected, the number of programs providing minimal education about fluency disorders remains high.Given an expanding scope of practice, many programs have continued to try to provide adequate education about fluency disorders. Still, direct clinical experiences are limited, and faculty expertise in this area has continued to decrease. To raise students' confidence and competence in fluency disorders, efforts beyond graduate work-or systemic changes in the profession-may be necessary.