Bilingual/Bicultural Program Focus | Communication Sciences and Disorders | Biobehavioral Sciences

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Communication Sciences & Disorders

In the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences

Bilingual/Bicultural Program Focus


Contact: Catherine J. Crowley, CCC-SLP, J.D., Ph.D.
Distinguished Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of  the Bilingual/Bicultural
Program Focus in the MS program in CSD,
and the Bolivian and Ghana Projects, and Director of the Bilingual Extension Institute

Educating Speech Language Pathologists to Work Effectively in our Multicultural World

As members of a leading university in New York City, the faculty and clinical staff in the program in CSD at Teachers College Columbia University have a strong commitment to educating students so that as professionals they work effectively in a multicultural world. The knowledge and skills needed to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services are integrated into our course work and clinical experiences. We understand and appreciate the value of having a multicultural student body and the richness that diversity brings to our classroom discussions and clinical experiences.
All students in the master's program in CSD at Teachers College have significant opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to work with multicultural populations. The faculty has extensive experience and knowledge in bilingual and multicultural matters and incorporates this knowledge into the courses. As a result, all students who graduate from the program have significant exposure to the issues related to providing appropriate speech-language services to multicultural populations.

The Bilingual/Multicultural Program Focus to the Master’s Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders

All students in the CSD master’s program at Teachers College acquire expertise in working with bilingual and multicultural populations. Those who wish to have a more in-depth experience can meet the requirements for the New York State bilingual extension certificate to the TSSLD. Students can focus on developing their expertise in  providing quality services both to bilingual clients and to speakers of various dialects of English.
Students can meet the academic and field placement coursework requirements for the New York State Education Department bilingual extension certificate. Under New York State Education Department regulations, the bilingual extension certificate is required to provide speech and language intervention to bilingual children and adolescents ages 3 through 21.
Because the information is integrated into the required coursework for the master’s of science program in CSD, students only need to take one addition three-credit course to meet the requirements of bilingual/multicultural program focus, and of the NYS Education Department bilingual extension certificate.

The requirements for the bilingual/multicultural program focus are:
  • BBSQ 5041 School speech-language-hearing program;BBPFocus

  • BBSQ 5111 Assessment and Evaluation, with bilingual/bicultural focus faculty;

  • BBSQ 5115 Language Disorders in Children, with bilingual/bicultural focus faculty;

  • BBSQ 5120 Communication Disorders in Bilingual/Bicultural Children;

  • 50 hours of bilingual therapy/evaluations with children and/or adolescents supervised by a certified bilingual speech-language pathologist as part of the total hours required by ASHA; and

  • A passing score on the NYS Education Department’s Bilingual Education Assessment a content-based test of language proficiencies in English and the student’s non-English language.  

Opportunities for clinical experiences with culturally and linguistically diverse clients

The Edward D. Mysak Clinic at Teachers College
Most of the clients in the Edward D. Mysak Speech and Hearing Clinic in the CSD program come from a variety of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Currently, four of our five clinical supervisors are bilingual, including the Assistant Director of the clinic. The program has many contacts with high-quality bilingual speech-language pathologists who supervise our students in off-campus practicum placements.  In addition, the program has many contacts with off-campus practicum placements where students can work with bilingual culturally and linguistically diverse clients.
As an outgrowth of the Bolivia Project, students who speak Spanish have the opportunity to provide aural habilitation and language therapy to students at a school for the Deaf in Bolivia. Our TC CSD students have been working in that school for the past several years as part of the Bolivia project.
See: Telepractice from TC clinic to school in Bolivia
International Programs
The international programs were conceived to provide TC CSD students with the opportunity to learn about the impact of culture, language, and even politics on effective clinical services for people with communication disorders. Students participate in a seminar led by Dr. Crowley and offer clinical services under the supervision of ASHA-certified SLPs. For information, visit the International Programs page.
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