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Abstract

Speech-language pathology (SLP) graduate programs offer coursework and clinical training experiences for a wide variety of communication disorder areas. Voice disorders are one area in which many practicing clinicians, particularly school-based practicing clinicians, reportedly feel a lack of professional competency. Many SLP graduate programs offer only limited coursework in voice disorders and limited or no clinical practicum experiences prior to degree completion. The purpose of the present study was to compare the self-perceptions of 45 graduate students majoring in speech-language pathology at the beginning and end of a 3-credit voice disorders course. The Voice Disorders Competency Checklist (Teten, DeVeney, Friehe, 2013) was used as the pre-/post-measurement tool. As anticipated, students reported a higher level of competency following course completion. These self-reported perceptions were seen for the three clusters of knowledge: prevention, assessment, and intervention. Statistical differences were noted between growth in the ‘prevention’ and the ‘assessment’ clusters. Directions for future research and practical implications are discussed.

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