FAQ Clinical Placement/Externship Information | Communication Sciences and Disorders | Biobehavioral Sciences

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Communication Sciences & Disorders

In the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences

Clinical Placement/Externship Information

We have relationships with over 200 placement sites in NY, NJ and CT, including schools, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and private practices. We do our very best to make sure that our students are matched with placement sites that meet their needs and interests, and provide them with diverse clinical experiences.

Students will complete a minimum of 1 full semester (fall or spring) in our on-campus clinic before transitioning to their first external placement. Generally students entering with a background will have their first client in the clinic in their first spring semester and will have an off-campus placement in their first summer. Students entering without a background will transition to the clinic in their first summer, continue in the clinic in their second fall, and have their first off-campus placement in their second spring semester.

Placement matches are coordinated by our dedicated Placement Coordinator. Completed coursework, previous clinical experience, location, course schedule and student preferences are all considered during the matching process. We make every effort to assign you to a placement that is easily accessible (i.e. you will not be assigned to a site that is not accessible by public transportation if you do not have a car) but please remember that in NYC, commuting is a way of life. Generally, up to a 1-hour commute is considered a reasonable assignment.

Every student must complete 3 external placements. Work in the on-campus clinic does NOT count as a placement. With few exceptions, you will only have one placement each semester. However, depending on your schedule, you may also be assigned a client in the on-campus clinic during a semester in which you have a placement.

ASHA requires a minimum of 400 clinical hours for certification. A maximum of 25 hours of clinical observation may be counted towards this total. If you have completed observation hours prior to entering the program, please make sure they are properly documented and signed by the appropriate supervisor from your observation site or undergraduate program. You may count previously acquired observation hours towards your 25 hours of observation, however all students in our program will complete at least one semester of observation hours in our on-campus clinic.

Clinical therapy hours completed before entering the program may also be counted towards your 400 hour total, provided they are properly documented. However, the number of therapy hours accrued prior to entering the program will not significantly impact the number of hours you will be expected to complete in the clinic or at off-campus placements.

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