West Texas A&M University

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Comm Disorders Clinical Practicum

Clinical Practicum


The Communication Disorder Program is responsible for providing courses and training for students to meet the qualifications established by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Texas State Licensure in Speech-Language Pathology. Externship practicum placement is the culminating experience of your graduate education. You will have a chance to spend two semesters working as a professional in a public school, hospital, clinic, community college, private practice, or rehabilitation center. You will be supervised by an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist who has demonstrated excellence in clinical service delivery and skill in supervision. External supervisors are unpaid clinical instructors of West Texas A&M University and have agreed to supervise the graduate student.

For details regarding practices and procedures regarding clinical practicum please refer to the Graduate Clinical Handbook. 

Public School Practicum

CD 6399 Clinical Practicum:  This course is designed to provide the student the opportunity to experience the delivery of clinical services in a public school setting, rehabilitation center, or hospital setting. Prerequisites include graduate status in speech-language pathology and Intern 1, 2, and 3 clinical practicum to be complete.

Competencies for Externship :

  • The student will demonstrate appropriate personal and ethical professional conduct.
  • The student will demonstrate the ability to plan, conduct, and evaluate diagnostic procedures for speech-language disorders.
  • The student will demonstrate the ability to plan, conduct, and evaluate group and individual therapeutic procedures for speech-language disorders.
  • The student will demonstrate the ability to plan, conduct, and evaluate family and teacher conferences.
  • The student will demonstrate the knowledge and understanding of educational philosophy, structure, regulations, laws and responsibilities.
  • The student will demonstrate the ability to administer and manage a speech-language program in a public school setting.
  • The student will develop skill in educational team participation through developing, presenting, and managing Individual Educational Programs (IEP).


Clinical Practicum in Rehabilitation Setting

CD 6399 Clinical Practicum in Rehabilitation Setting
This course in designed to provide supervised clinical experience with children and adults with complex speech and language disorders in a non-public school setting. This clinical experience includes, but is not limited to, providing diagnostic and treatment services, completing appropriate paperwork to the setting (charts, reports, etc.) and participating in all other duties required in a setting such as attending meeting, counseling patients and/or families, preparing sessions, conducting in-service, communicating with appropriate personnel regarding cases, scheduling, etc. This course is meant to be a challenging and exciting capstone experience during which you have the opportunity to integrate and apply all previously presented material, both academic and clinical.

Competencies for the Externship:

  • To demonstrate competence in evaluation and assessment of speech, language and swallowing disordered clients.
  • To demonstrate competence in planning and implementing treatment programs for clients in assigned settings.
  • To interact professionally with staff in the facility.
  • To interact professionally with clients in the facility.
  • To demonstrate competence in counseling clients and their families
  • To demonstrate competence in evaluation and assessment of speech, language and swallowing disordered clients.
  • To demonstrate competence in planning and implementing treatment programs for clients in assigned settings.


CD 6399/6699
The clinic coordinator is responsible for selecting the sites and matching students with these sites. Decisions are made based upon a variety of criteria, including clock hours needs, student strengths and limitations, supervision requirements, and a quality that is difficult to measure, the personality of the student and the supervisor. The clinic coordinator tries not to place a student who is highly structured, for example, with a supervisor who is relatively unstructured. Geography is not a factor, but the clinic coordinator is not likely to place a student in Cut and Shoot who lives in Plainview unless that is the best placement for that student.

Students are placed in the Canyon-Amarillo area unless no placement is available. When that happens, placements are made as close to this area as possible. As an institution in Canyon-Amarillo, our classes and practicum sites are located in Canyon-Amarillo because we are required by ASHA to select and monitor all facilities and students place in those facilities. We are familiar with the people and the facilities and can make a successful match of students and supervisors. The clinical sites we use are exemplary and meet the ASHA standards. The supervisors and administrators have made commitment to assist us in the education of our students. In distant locations we can neither monitor the setting nor supervise students in person.

In summary, the clinic coordinator and university supervisors have worked diligently to provide you the best experience possible. Please treat the staff members, families, and clients with appropriate respect and approach this activity as if it were a job. This means that you should demonstrate promptness, flawless attendance, professionalism, and impeccable ethical conduct. Please review the code of ethics and refer to it often.

Practicum Sites
WTAMU CDP Speech & Hearing Clinic Sites
On-Campus CDP CDC
Canyon Independent School District Elementary, Junior High School, & High School
Turn Center
Screenings at a Variety of Regional Sites Throughout the Year

External Placement Sites
Early Intervention
Region 16 Educational Services Center/Early Childhood Intervention ESC/ECI
Texas Panhandle Mental Health and Retardation / Early Childhood Intervention TPMHR/ECI

Public Schools
Amarillo Independent School District (ISD)
Bushland ISD
Region 16 ESC / ECI (Hutchinson, Carson, Armstrong, Shared Services Agreement- Panhandle)
Sanford Fritch Elementary
Guymon ISD

Hospitals and Rehabilitation Centers
Amarillo Hearing Health Care - Amarillo
Amarillo Speech, Hearing and Language Center
Baptist St. Anthony Hospital
Hereford Regional Medical Center - Hereford
Pampa Regional Medical Center - Pampa
Presbyterian Hospital – Dallas
Progressive Step Rehabilitation - Amarillo
Sears/Craig Methodist Retirement – Amarillo
Specialized Complex Care Incorporated SCCI- Amarillo


Attendance in both Rehabilitation Externship sites and Public School Externship placement sites is expected to be 100%. Only serious illness or serious emergencies are acceptable excuses for absence. Excess absences may result in termination of the student teaching experience or failure when the competencies have not met due to excessive absence.

Grade Assignments

Grades are assigned by the university supervisor with consultation by the site supervisor. The grade is conferred at the end of the semester based on a combination of clock hour accumulated, progress in performance during the semester, competencies attained, and objectives acquired. When a student is in danger of failing the Extern, a meeting is held mid-semester to inform the students of the deficiencies, and a plan is created to develop the deficiencies. Failure to make satisfactory progress will result in failure in the course. Please note, it may not be possible for a student to be warned of failure at mid-term.  As soon as it is clear to the on-site supervisor that the student has reached a plateau, the plan is developed at that time. It is, therefore, possible for a student to learn after the mid-term that failure is a possibility.

ASHA requires a minimum of 400 clinical contact hours, with 25 being observation hours.


Incomplete Grades

Withdrawal/Termination: In a situation of failure, or extreme emergency, a student may be withdrawn/terminated from the placement. In this case, the student may be provided another placement the following semester. If the Student does not successfully complete the second attempt, the student will be dismissed from the WTAMU CDP.