Clinical Education

In addition to academic coursework, students are enrolled each semester in clinical education(practicum). An outstanding component of the MS program at UNC-CH is the wide variety of on-campus and off-campus clinical experiences. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill currently works with more than 50 sites ranging from hospitals, schools, private practices, and home-health agencies to provide excellent clinical preparation for students. Clinical opportunities vary with regard to a student's selected emphasis of study. Students complete a minimum of 400 hours of supervised clinical experience. At least 25 hours must be spent in clinical observation and a minimum of 375 in direct patient/client contact. It is strongly recommended that the 25 hours of clinical observation be completed prior to beginning the masters program.

Affiliated Programs on UNC Campus

The UNC Hearing and Communication Center (HCC)

The UNC-HCC offers exemplary hearing and communication services to the members of the community while providing exceptional clinical education to graduate students. The UNC-HCC is a part of the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a training institution, the faculty clinicians use the latest research and most advanced technology available while providing excellent patient care.

UNC Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders

The UNC Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders conducts research targeting treatment effectiveness for aphasia and related disorders and clinical applications for integrating perceptual and acoustic speech analysis tools. The Center also provides evaluation services, along with aphasia conversation groups through the UNC Institute on Aging.

UNC Hospitals (UNCH)

The Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences has enjoyed a history of successful collaboration with UNC Hospitals Acute Care, Ear and Hearing Center, Head and Neck Oncology, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Rehabilitation Center, and Voice Center. UNCH audiologists and speech-language pathologists are actively involved in clinical supervision of graduate clinicians in audiology and speech-language pathology. Many are also involved in graduate-level teaching.

UNC Craniofacial Center (School of Dentistry)

The UNC Craniofacial Center consists of an interdisciplinary team of professionals dedicated to the care of the patient and family with cleft lip, cleft palate, and other craniofacial anomalies. The UNC Craniofacial Team is composed of many individuals who are nationally known in their fields. The Craniofacial Team is also known for its continuing efforts in the research of patient care. The division has close links to the UNC Craniofacial Center through joint appointments of faculty, providing clinical and research opportunities for our students.

The Carolina Children's Communicative Disorders Program (CCCDP) and CASTLE Preschool

This center, which is located within the UNC Department of Otolaryngology, is one of the largest pediatric cochlear implant programs in the southeastern United States. Graduate students in audiology and speech-language pathology have the opportunity to see and participate in the pre-selection process as well as fitting and mapping of cochlear implants in children. The CCCDP’s CASTLE preschool program is dedicated to providing quality auditory-oral early intervention and preschool services to children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families. CASTLE teaches, encourages, empowers, and supports the parents as the primary teachers of their young children, in order to promote healthy parent/caregiver bonding and to maximize the amount of time a child spends in a language-rich environment. CASTLE provides this model program in order to offer educational opportunities to professionals and university students in the form of workshops and in-services as well as practicum experience on-site in the field of oral deaf education.

UNC Center for Study of Development and Learning (CDL)

Our faculty audiologists and speech-language pathologists have provided clinical services at the CDL for over fifteen years. The Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Section Heads are DSHS faculty members, and they actively participate in service delivery to pediatric patients seen for team evaluations at the center. The collaboration between our faculty and CDL has resulted in sharing of instrumentation and facilities. The CDL provides an outstanding clinical research environment for Au.D. and M.S. students, not only in the clinical practice of pediatric audiology and child speech and language evaluation but through active participation in an interdisciplinary team diagnostic facility.

The Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG)

Graduate Students in audiology and speech-language pathology have long been involved in clinical practicum and special projects at the FPG Center. Faculty from the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences have been involved as collaborators and co-investigators in a number of research projects at FPG, creating opportunities for graduate students to participate in research and clinical practice. The FPG Child Care Center models developmentally appropriate practices that promote learning of language, communication, emergent literacy, social, cognitive, play, and creative skills. The program also is committed to using practices that build upon each child's individual interests and preferences while assisting them in learning to be members of a diverse group of other children. The program is further committed to being responsive to families' needs and to using practices that are friendly to and supportive of families.

Carolina Living and Learning Center (CLLC)

The Carolina Living and Learning Center (CLLC) is an integrated vocational and residential program for adults with autism located in Pittsboro, North Carolina. The CLLC is part of Division TEACCH and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to being a treatment program, as part of the University, the CLLC is involved in training professionals and has an active research program. A DSHS faculty member serves as the CLLC’s Speech-Language Consultant and graduate clinicians provide communication skills training to CLLC residents.