Jump to content

On-Campus Clinics and Externships

Recommended Posts

Something I didn't think too much about before applying to graduate programs for Fall 2015 was the campus clinics and externships offered. It was of course a factor, but I realized after I had a few acceptances under my belt how different these things can be from school to school, and it ended up having a lot of weight in me deciding what program I chose. So maybe this thread can also help some of you with acceptances with your decisions when the time comes and might give you something to think about. :)

I want to know what other current graduate students' programs look like. My program has three semesters of on-campus clinic the first year in fall, spring and summer. The second year is two full-time externships, one educational, one medical, one in a semester. We also have the option of doing on-campus clinic the second year if there's a population we haven't worked with and would like to or need to work with, and there's optional mini-externships with specialized populations in addition to the two full-time externships, although these are uncommon. I've talked to people whose programs have no clinic the first semester, just classes, people who have multiple shorter externships the second year, people who will only get one externship in their program, and they have to choose between medical or school, and people who start externships in the summer before second year.

Thus I am curious what other people's programs look like!

Does your program have on-campus clinic the first semester? How many semesters of campus clinic do you have before you do an externship?

Does your program offer a medical and educational externship, or just one? Do you get to choose? Does your program offer multiple shorter externships?

Did the clinics and externship situation have any bearing on your decision to attend your program? How do you feel about your program's set-up?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My graduate school clinical schedule opporated like so:


Your first semester of clinical work was in the on campus clinic. You had between 2-4 clients generally a mix of children and adults (no dysphasia). You also took part in a language/literacy clinic at a local school with other members of your cohort ( you lead a language/literacy group of about 5 kinder-2nd graders who had been identified as language delayed/at significant risk with two-three other members of your cohort). Your participation in clinic your first semester depended on your background. If you had a bachelors in speech and had taken a clinical methods/procedures class, you did clinic starting your first semester. If you did not fulfill those requirements you took a clinical methods class first semester then started clinical placements second semester. 


After that you had three external placements. One was a public school and the other two were determined based on interest/availability. All placements lasted about 12-14 weeks (or about a semester minus a couple weeks) You had the opportunity to do longer, 6 month specialized placements (like pediatric dysphagia, AAC etc) but those required applications/interviews etc. and only counted as one placement. Placements were during the day (usually 3-4 days a week) and classes were at night (2-3 nights a week). 


This worked out to clinical placements in 4 of the 5 semesters (including summer), unless you had a 6 month placement in which case you would have placements all five semesters. 


I liked only being on campus one semester. It was by far the most stressful placement and I felt it did not reflect the reality of working as an SLP. I was so much happier after I got off campus (I also did my first clinical placement in the first semester so I really had to hit the ground running).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My program starts clinic in the first semester. We started classes in June, finished them by the end of the month and then had two artic clients in July. So it's all really fast but gets you into clinic on campus without delay. 

In fall, we had three classes and then anywhere from 2-4 clients I think. We also have different team assignments such as outpatient eval (required either fall or spring), hearing screenings, or off campus therapy placements in addition to the clinic clients. Spring is about the same with different clients and assignments. 

This summer we go out on an 8-10 week externship such as private practice, early intervention, or possibly medical. We take no classes. Yay! 

Next fall we have two minor classes left plus a required school placement and one client on campus usually an adult neuro or whatever we are missing hours in. 

Our last spring is our required 10 week medical with adults and no classes; just comps and praxis. 

So we spend 4 of 6 semesters in clinic on campus but luckily a lot of us get to do some outside therapy or evals as well. Like I'm doing push in therapy at the campus elementary school and I did evaluations at the disability clinic (lots of adhd and autism). The clinic itself isn't my favorite in some ways  either. It doesn't seem to mirror real life but it is a learning clinic so it ain't perfect  

i was drawn to how quickly you get clients and start therapy because I know some schools wait four months and then only give you one client  (how do they ever get 375 hours?!)  

i do like that we do three externships and have some flexibility as to where. I'm hoping to go across the country away from here and make job contacts. It's hard to do in some programs that require classes at the same time as externships. Except for schools, we can look anywhere else for summer and spring  


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.