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Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders

Part 4: Undergraduate Clinical Education: Practicum Requirements


Undergraduate CSD Majors are required to take CSD 4197: Clinic Practicum (3 cr) toward their degree. As a part of CSD 4197, students participate in direct service provision under an ASHA certified and state licensed speech-pathologist or audiologist.

As supervision and client availability permit, the Department offers CSD 4097: Introduction to Clinic Practicum.  This elective course typically is offered during Summer Session, with limited spaces for students entering their senior year in Communication Sciences and Disorders.



The undergraduate B.A.S. degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders is designed to accomplish two goals:

  1. To provide the student with a broad and comprehensive undergraduate scholastic experience.
  2. To provide the student paraprofessional preparation for eventual application and entry into a professional degree program of his/her choice.

Clinical practicum provides the undergraduate with a capstone experience in which to apply the knowledge and skills accrued during their undergraduate education.  Students also earn up to 50 undergraduate clock hours that may be applied toward ASHA Certification.  

Practicum is different. 

Practicum is different from other courses students may have taken. When students enroll in a practicum, they become interns of a working clinic.The RFP Clinic serves a vital role in the Duluth community, offering quality services to individuals with communication disorders and differences. People who come to the clinic look to their interns for help, and interns have the opportunity to expand and refine the skills they have studied and researched in the CSD Program. All interns work and learn under the guidance of clinic Instructors who hold the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence and are licensed by the state of Minnesota.

Students enrolled in CSD 4197 should expect to have 1-2 client assignments within the Robert F. Pierce Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. The number of clients assigned to each student is determined by the clinic director and is based on factors such as client need, student experience, and clinic operational factors. Students also should expect to have additional practicum responsibilities such as participation in health fairs, and clinic maintenance duties.


Prerequisites for Practicum

  1. The student must be a CSD Major.
  2. Successful Completion of CSD 3241: Foundations of Treatment.
    • Students earning a grade of C or lower in CSD 3241 will be admitted to CSD 4197 with probation, subject to established remeditation procedures. 
  3. Completion of University of Minnesota assigned on-line Data Privacy courses.
  4. Background Check: CEHSP requires all students who provide services to children or vulnerable adults to have a background check through UMD Human Resources.
  5. Malpractice Insurance: The University of Minnesota carries malpractice insurance to cover staff, faculty and students who practice in the RFP Clinic. This insurance also covers students who complete internships and externships off-campus as a part of their degree through the UMD CSD Programs.
  6. ASHA Code of Ethics. Student must agree to abide by the ASHA Code of Ethics.
  7. Highly recommended but not required: 25 Clinic Observation completed. All Observation Hours must be properly documented and submitted for Department approval before you begin Clinic Practicum. If you have not completed your 25 observation hours before your practicum, you must complete them by the end of CSD 4197.


Objectives of Clinic Practicum

 With specific direction from the clinic instructors, students in undergraduate practicum are expected to demonstrate the following:

  • Develop appropriate semester treatment plan for assigned client with measurable and achievable semester objectives, rationale for objectives, and treatment procedures. This process includes gathering baseline data by reviewing background information from the client, family members or other involves sources.
  • Demonstrate evidence-based practice. Present evidence of researching the disorder area either through a discussion or written review of pertinent journal articles or other relevant literature.
  • Formulate daily measurable and achievable objectives.
  • Implement intervention plan using appropriate modeling of target behaviors, teaching strategies, and feedback strategies.
  • Select and use appropriate materials and instrumentation to maximize intervention plan.
  • Collect accurate data on client behavior to measure progress.
  • Write progress notes and semester treatment reports, including pertinent and accurate information, in an organized clear and grammatically correct style. Session documentation guidelines may vary with the clinical instructor and the needs of the client.
  • Develop an understanding of goals and procedures with the client and/or family members.
  • Interact with clients, caregivers, other professionals, and clinical instructors in a respectful manner.
  • Demonstrate ethical behavior, including adherence to ASHA Code of Ethics and University and CSD Department policies and procedures for maintaining privacy and confidentiality.
  • Demonstrate professional behavior, including punctuality in meeting deadlines for all items listed on the clinic itinerary, adhering to the clinic dress code, and abiding by all clinic policies and procedures.
  • Develop the ability to evaluate self-skills regarding effectiveness of management techniques through use of taping, conferences with clinic instructors, and structured observation techniques.


Clock Hours Documentation

Students are responsible for documenting clock hours accrued in practicum.  Students enter time accrued into CALIPSO.

Communication Disorders Knowledge Reports:

When developing client care plans, all students will research their client's communication disorder, gather information on their client's needs and values, and consider expert opinion and personal experience. This is part of a lifelong professional practice, and reflects consideration of all evidence in creating a plan that best meets the needs and desires of the indivdual client.

Beyond the research typically expected to plan for any client, some students must complete additional studies if they have not taken the academic coursework which addresses the assigned client's communication or swallowing disorder. In these instances, students will be asked to submit a report at the start of the semester which outlines the research they have completed on a given communication or swallowing disorder. The student also will work closely with the assigned clinic instructor for support in working with the client.

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Last modified on 10/29/14 10:56 AM
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