Q: What types of classes will I take?
A: In addition to basic classes in English, math, science and social science, a student will take communicative disorders related courses such as: language development, language disorders, speech sound production disorders, fluency disorders, voice disorders and aural rehabilitation. Students also take other classes to provide a foundation for the communicative disorders courses including: physics of sound, phonetics, anatomy and physiology, neuroscience, and audiology. Then, to support the 2 clinical practicums, the following courses are more directly related to the clinical experience: audiological testing, diagnostics and instrumentation for speech, language and hearing, and orientation to clinic.
Q: What are clinicals or clinical practicum? Is clinical work integrated into the curriculum?
A: In Communicative Disorders, the clinical practicum courses provide the student with hands-on training in the profession, while under supervision of certified speech-language pathologists. All Nicholls Communicative Disorders academic faculty are experienced clinicians who hold the Certificate of Clinical Competence provided by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Generally, upon completion of the second semester of sophomore year, a Communicative Disorders’ student will have met the prerequisite courses and if they have an overall grade point average of 2.7, then, they are eligible to apply for clinic (Note: Due to ASHA requirements for student supervision, the number of students accepted each semester is determined by faculty availability). Upon acceptance, the student takes an orientation to clinic course in which they obtain a minimum of the 25 observation hours required for admittance to graduate school and participate in a peer mentoring program to acclimate them to clinic practice. Then, during the next 2 semesters, a faculty member is assigned to the student each semester to provide mentoring as the student individually works with clients with communicative disorders. Practicum experiences are offered at the Jo Carol Nolen Center on campus and/or at affiliated charter school off-site(s).
Q: Why should I choose the Nicholls communicative disorders program?
A: First, academic classes are small, allowing for individual student attention from instructors and clinical supervisors. Second, the clinical experience at the undergraduate level is a definite plus. Clinical practicum courses allow the student to practice what they learned in the classroom. Also, it allows them speech, language and hearing experience to better determine whether they would like to pursue graduate studies for a career in speech-language pathology or audiology. Additionally, for the student who decides to not pursue graduate studies in communicative disorders, often the practicum experience helps them find a related occupation to pursue. For instance, after a successful practicum with a child on the autism spectrum, a graduate degree in special education may be pursued by the Nicholls Communication Disorders graduate.
Q: Do I have access to my instructors and clinical supervisors for help outside of class?
A: Yes, faculty post office hours weekly and appointments can be made. Most academic class instructors also serve as clinic supervisors.
Q: Who do I contact if I am interested in the communicative disorders program? Can I take a tour of the facility and meet faculty and students in the program?
A: Yes, contact Donna Fitzgerald- Dejean, program director, or Lori Boudreaux, administrative assistant.