Clinical Practicum/Externship Resources
University of Montana (UM) graduate students in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorder (CSD) department participate in part-time and/or full-time clinical experiences as students in our on-campus or distance programs. Our on-campus students typically complete two semesters of practicum at the DeWit RiteCare Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic, a clinic that is an integral part of the CSD Department, at the Missoula UM campus. These students then complete four off-campus clinical practicum experiences in community settings throughout the city of Missoula, state of Montana, and/or the country. Our distance students typically complete an intensive UM on-campus clinic their third semester of graduate school (summer) at the DeWit RiteCare Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic and then complete three clinical practicum at clinical sites throughout the state of Montana and/or country. As students progress through their graduate program, they register for corresponding clinical classes that reflect part-time and full-time clinical practicum expectations where they learn and demonstrate their knowledge and skills of how to integrate research principles into evidence-based clinical practice.
Clinical placements are designed to support students in meeting the requirements of the 2014 Standards and Implementation Procedures for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology that include practicum experience in:
- three unique settings,
- a wide range of age groups,
- diagnostic and intervention settings,
- with speech and language disorders across the scope practice (i.e., articulation, swallowing, cognition, fluency, AAC, language, voice & resonance, social, hearing, literacy) and
- diverse cultures and/or differing linguistic contexts.
Each potential practicum experience requires a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the University of Montana and the corresponding practicum site before a student can be considered for a respective placement. This legal agreement describes the mutual cooperation needed in providing an ideal practicum placement for both the student and the clinical site. We have a MOU form that can be used or we will review your site's memorandum.
In addition, a clinical practicum agreement is required and created between the graduate student and the practicum supervisor. This document describes the students’ skills, clinical needs, and reviews the requirements of the site that includes the agreed upon schedule and practicum duration. The agreement is to be completed prior to the start or within the first week of the practicum.
Practicum supervisors provide evaluations of graduate student clinical performance at the midpoint and end of the practicum using a survey available in a web-based program. This survey aids in evaluating students’ performance in the major clinical areas of Diagnostic, Intervention, Oral and Written Communication, and Professional Skills.
Clinical Competencies, or the final performance expectations related to the specific client populations and procedures encountered throughout students’ clinical training programs, reflect the varying depth and breadth of experiences of each clinical site. These competencies are targeted and tracked in the form of clinical clock hours and case logs.
The UM CSD Department uses a web-based system call Typhon to document students’ clinical clock hours (case logs) and a related range of requirements. Typhon is HIPAA compliant and as such clients’ personal information is not included. Through the use of Typhon, students are able to track their time with: age groups, settings, disorders, languages, and clinical services such as diagnostic, screening, advocacy, counseling, and intervention. Clinical educators at UM and those at practicum sites review case logs and approve or disapprove performance accordingly in Typhon and midpoint and final evaluation surveys can be accessed in this system as well.
The following help sheets will support supervisors in completing the Typhon activities. In Typhon the UM facility is 9099 and a specific Typhon web address is required for preceptors/supervisors
- Step by step log into Typhon by clicking on the above linked text “Typhon web address link.” At the start of the practicum UM will send you an email with the address and your temporary password. Just a note that there is a help option in Typhon if you have forgotten your password.
- Update your supervisor contact information: Once you are in Typhon update your ASHA number, state license, address, phone, but you must email your preferred email to UM at email@example.com.
- Approval of Case logs: Once a student has submitted case logs (clock hours) you can follow these instructions to review the case logs and approve or disapprove accordingly. We recommend meeting with your student once a week to review case logs.
- Mid and final clinical evaluation directions. At the midpoint in the practicum (typically Week 7 in Spring and Autumn semesters, or Week 5 for Summer) and the final Week (typically Week 14 in Spring and Autumn semesters, or Week 10 for Summer) evaluation of the student’s performance is required. At the midpoint of the practicum, student’s progress can be updated by either a phone call or email. The final evaluation of the practicum requires a final conference call or site visit with the Director of Clinical Education.
- Final CSD feedback survey for the CSD program. At the completion of every practicum, we request supervisors to complete a feedback survey to help us evaluate factors such as students’ training preparation. This survey is anonymous and allows us a venue to continue to improve our program and experiences.
- Student Typhon Manual provides instructions and screen shots for basic Typhon requirements for the graduate student.
Other helpful forms are listed below:
- Other resources are available through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD). Consider exploring ASHA Professional Practice Issues: Student Supervision.
- Supervision Workshops are offered through CAPCSD. Please contact Kay Barth to learn more about the first in a series of online ASHA CEU workshops. More information is also available in the CSD Clinical Supervisor Handbook.
Are you interested in supervising a graduate student? Return our Supervisor request form and we will contact you and share more about our program. We place students in a wide range of setting across the United States and would love to add you to our Clinical Education Team!
ASHA & State Supervisory Requirements
Per ASHA and Montana requirements and recommendations, all non-school/medical clinical educators must:
- Hold a valid MT state license (non-school setting) and ASHA certification (CCC). Our department asks that each new supervisor complete a supervisor request form.
- have a minimum of one (1) year experience, post-CF clinical experience.
- Demonstrate competence in clinical supervision through completion of special training (e.g., continuing education offerings, graduate program courses, etc.).