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The New Standards: Impact on the Audiology Curriculum. Stephanie Davidson The Ohio State University. Initial Decisions. Type of Doctoral Degree PhD AuD Some other type of doctoral degree. Initial Decisions. We decided to develop a clinical track within our existing PhD program Rationale

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The new standards impact on the audiology curriculum

The New Standards: Impact on the Audiology Curriculum

Stephanie Davidson

The Ohio State University

Initial decisions

Initial Decisions

  • Type of Doctoral Degree

    • PhD

    • AuD

    • Some other type of doctoral degree

Initial decisions1

Initial Decisions

  • We decided to develop a clinical track within our existing PhD program

    • Rationale

      • Ohio State had an existing PhD program

      • Did not require the approval process necessary for a new degree program

      • We believe the PhD is “robust” enough to accommodate the new standards without compromising research training

      • Does not preclude us from changing from an MA/PhD program to an AuD/PhD program at some point in the future

Pros and cons of the phd

Pros and Cons of the PhD

  • Advantages to the PhD

    • Could be implemented relatively quickly

    • Students will graduate with a well-recognized degree

    • Students graduating with a PhD will be prepared to take academic positions

Pros and cons of the phd1

Pros and Cons of the PhD

  • Disadvantages to the PhD

    • Requires a longer time commitment

      • The Ohio State program is designed to be completed in five years

    • Perception, on the part of some, that students will not receive adequate clinical training in a PhD program

    • Difficult to provide student support to increased numbers of doctoral students

Initial decisions2

Initial Decisions

  • Should we keep our existing MA program?

    • We decided to keep it

      • Several years until 2007

      • Ohio licensure laws have not changed

      • Clean breaking point after Year 2

Initial decisions3

Initial Decisions

  • Should we keep our existing PhD program?

    • We decided there was merit in keeping the “traditional” program

      • Serves speech and hearing science students

      • Serves practicing clinicians returning to school

Program framework years 1 and 2

Year One

Courses focus on introductory clinical issues and the scientific underpinnings of the discipline

Didactic classroom activity

Laboratory experiences

Practicum experiences are closely supervised and include observations of experienced clinicians

Year Two

Courses focus on more advanced clinical issues

Increased emphasis on off-site practicum

PhD students begin research practicum

MA awarded for state licensure purposes

Program Framework:Years 1 and 2

Differences from our previous ma program

Differences from Our Previous MA Program

  • Additional Coursework

    • 54 semester hours to 63 semester hours (excluding practicum and thesis/non-thesis hours)

    • Offset by a decrease in practicum hours in Years 1 and 2

Differences from previous ma program

Differences from Previous MA Program

  • Development of curricular tracks in Years 1 and 2

    • Scientific Bases, Assessment, Rehabilitation, Special Populations, Research

      • Allows for future flexibility

      • Makes the curriculum more cyclical, contextualized, and synthetic

      • Aids in assessment

Differences from previous ma program1

Differences from Previous MA Program

  • Introduction of a research “practicum” in lieu of a thesis in Year 2

    • Two in-department research classes

    • Research “practicum” with faculty mentors to prepare for the project which is completed in Year 3

      • Background reading

      • Prospectus development

      • Human subjects approval

Program framework year 3

Program Framework:Year 3

  • 9-12 month experience at an approved clinical site(s)

    • “Full-time” clinical experience

    • Supervised by PhD-level supervisors

    • Obtain advanced clinical experience

    • Complete a clinical research project

    • Meet Ohio PEY requirements

Program framework years 4 and 5

Year 4

Statistics sequence

Coursework in selected “minor”

Seminars in Department

Preparation for candidacy exam, including development of dissertation prospectus

Candidacy Exam

Year 5

Seminars in Department


Final Oral Exam

Program Framework: Years 4 and 5

Formative assessment

Formative Assessment

  • Standard IV specifically outlines the minimum required knowledge and skills

    • Prerequisite knowledge and skills

    • Foundations of practice

    • Prevention and identification

    • Evaluation

    • Treatment

Formative assessment1

Formative Assessment

  • Insure that each of the required areas has a “home” in the curriculum—preferably in multiple places

    • Faculty develop and administer assessments to measure student outcomes in designated areas

      • Written examinations, “practical” examinations associated with laboratory components of courses, final projects

    • Documentation of assessment results is tracked centrally

Formative assessment2

Formative Assessment

  • An opportunity to improve our assessment practices

    • Frustrated with “disconnect” between courses and our comprehensive exams

    • Implementing a more cyclical and contextualized assessment process

    • Knowledge and skills are expected to be cumulative along and across tracks

Summative assessment

Summative Assessment


    • Available

    • Students need to take it for certification and licensure

    • We’re busy with formative assessments!



  • Faculty time

    • Extremely time-intensive process

      • Assign knowledge and skill areas, design assessments, develop tracking mechanisms, track student progress

  • Views of academic freedom

    • Some faculty members are philosophically opposed to this degree of control over their courses



  • Faculty Size

    • The new standards require more faculty to teach courses and more supervisors/sites for practicum

    • Adjunct faculty positions are being added to help with courses and clinical/research placements

    • Increase in faculty number (particularly adjuncts) causes more difficulty in tracking student progress

Challenges student funding

Challenges—Student Funding

  • Long history of fully funding doctoral students at Ohio State

  • Initially applied that mindset to our post BA doctoral program—especially for students funded coming in

  • We’ve discovered it poses a number of problems

    • Longer program

    • More students (hopefully)

    • Difficulty in Year 3



  • Answer your set of initial questions

  • Put together a framework that works for your program

  • Determine your method for dividing the knowledge and skills

  • Design assessment tools and develop a plan for tracking student progress

  • Wonderful opportunity to rethink the way that we are educating our students

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