Purpose: Speech-language pathologists and audiologists are called to serve an increasingly diverse patient population in the United States. This increased diversity highlights the need for clinicians to be educated early in their careers about best practices to serve patients and clients from diverse backgrounds. In this clinical focus article, the authors present the development, implementation, and preliminary perceptions of a culturally responsive clinical experience for speech-language pathology graduate students designed to engage them early in their learning career. Method: The pilot program was based on pillars of experiential learning and community engagement. Graduate students attended trainings aligned with a model of culturally relevant care to prepare them to conduct speech and language screenings and small group language enrichment in English and Spanish. Results: Preliminary analyses of student reflections indicated themes of positive perceptions about the experience and provided preliminary support for students learning about working with culturally and linguistically diverse populations in an early, intentional, and focused experience. Conclusions: Early personnel preparation to culturally responsive care is crucial to meet the needs of future caseloads. Further research into the effectiveness of this kind of program is necessary to identify which variables may have the most impact on a student’s cultural sensitivity, awareness, knowledge, and skills.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Speech and Hearing