Communication Disorders is among the many departments in Auburn University’s College of Liberal Arts. The pre-professional undergraduate program is preparation for the graduate studies that come afterwards. There are two individually accredited graduate programs including the Doctor of Audiology and the Master’s degree emphasizing Speech-Language Pathology, all of which are offered at Auburn.
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Annie Stephens, a junior majoring in communication disorders, picked this major because of her love of interacting with people.
“I really wanted a major that I would be able to work with people [in] because people are something that I love,” said Stephens.
Stephens explains that she likes the variety the major offers in the professional world. She likes the idea of being able to work in various settings such as a hospital, a school or out of her own home.
Although she will attend graduate school after graduating, she enjoys the classes she is taking now.
“In one of my classes, it’s a clinical class and you can observe actual clients in the Auburn Speech-Language Hearing Clinic,” said Stephens. “So you get to work with older girls that have clients so you get to kind of see what they’re doing with their patients and what kinds of therapy they’re using on them, and it’s just a great experience to see what they’re doing on the job.”
The Speech and Hearing Clinic opened in 1947 and students are able to experience the on-site clinic as well as experience off-site practicums that Auburn University provides.
The clinic not only serves as experience for students, but it also provides a full range of diagnostic evaluation and treatment services for clients of all ages, from infants to elderly patients.
Of the two tracks to choose from, Stephens has decided to take the Speech-Language Pathology option.
“I think I want to do speech therapy instead of audiology just because I like the speech therapy side better,” said Stephens.
Stephens recommends shadowing someone in either audiology or speech therapy, possibly in different settings because it will give an idea of what to expect on a day-to-day basis.
“There are different types of speech pathologists,” said Stephens. “There are some that work in nursing homes, some that work at daycares or preschools … so you can kind of see which type you want to do. So when you go to grad school you can … know what you want to do.”