Playground equipment, sound booths, and tiny blue tables and chairs are just a few of the early indicators that something completely new is coming to the campus of Concordia University Wisconsin. After three years of careful planning, Concordia University Wisconsin’s Department of Speech-Language Pathology will officially open a Speech, Language, and Hearing clinic on campus that will offer a full spectrum of services to patients of any age and regardless of their ability to pay.
At the clinic, students will work under the careful supervision of licensed faculty clinicians to assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders.
“There is a huge need for speech-language pathologists,” says Angela Haendel, PhD, CCC-SLP, Clinic Director for CUW’s Speech, Language & Hearing Clinic. “This clinic will not only provide vital services to our community, but it will also help to prepare our students with best practices and state-of-the-art equipment to be experienced practitioners in whatever scope of the profession they choose.”
According to United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of speech-language pathologists is projected to grow 18 percent from now to 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 204,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students, projects a similar rosy outlook for audiology positions with an employment growth projection of 21% by 2026.
Both organizations attribute the demand for more speech, language, and hearing professions to key demographic factors, including a growth in the population and life expectancy, and an improved survival rate of infants, trauma victims, and stroke victims.
Haendel considers Speech-Language Pathology to be the “perfect profession” because, she explains, practitioners are certified to work with individuals across the entire lifespan. “Your life can change and take you in different directions, but there are so many ways to practice in the profession that you will never feel stuck in one spot or be out of options for fulfilling employment.”
Haendel’s own life experiences have exposed her to a vast array of professional opportunities. Prior to joining the faculty at Concordia University Wisconsin in 2015, she owned her own private practice that focused on the unique needs in rural Wisconsin and home-schooled students. Haendel also served in the public schools for 14 years and worked in an out-patient setting with adults with brain injuries. All of this was possible while raising a family of four children and working towards her doctoral degree (PhD) in Speech-Language Pathology and Psychology from Marquette University.
The Speech, Language, and Hearing clinic will include:
- Child Language and Literacy Center (CLLC) with outdoor play area
- Sensory Room
- Feeding/Swallowing Room
- Pediatric Therapy Rooms
- Adult Therapy Rooms
- Group Therapy Room
- Audiology Suite
- Audiology Booth
- Hearing Aid Fitting/Dispensing Room
- Speech and Voice Analysis Room
- Language and Literacy Analysis Room
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Room
- Material Storage Room
- Student Workroom
The Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic will be housed in The Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center, a 41,000 square foot academic building that will also house the Batterman School of Business and collaborative spaces for business and health care students to work together.
Fees for service will be based on a sliding scale according to individual family circumstances. Some clients, including those eligible for Medicare, could qualify for pro-bono services. Applications for assessment and ongoing therapy services for summer and fall are being accepted in the areas of child speech, language, and emergent literacy. For more information, please contact Angie Haendel, clinic director, at 262-243-2137 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Concordia’s Speech-Language Pathology Program
The Department of Speech-Language Pathology is committed to offering an engaging environment and access to off-site community service and clinical opportunities, in addition to the soon to be completed state-of-the-art on-campus Concordia University Wisconsin Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic. Clinical and therapeutic services are provided to students at LUMIN (Lutheran Urban Mission Initiative, Inc.) elementary schools throughout the Milwaukee area, individuals affiliated with Portal Industries in Grafton, and more.
— Lisa Liljegren is assistant vice president of strategic communications within the Office of Strategy and University Affairs.
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