Meeting the Needs of the Community
You can expect to make an impact in an area in great need of your services. Currently, there is a shortage of qualified speech language pathologists in education and healthcare settings.
Thanks to extensive community partnerships (Saint Mary's has approximately 150 affiliation agreements), you'll be able to make a dent in this shortage while gaining firsthand experience working with clients. Logan Autism Learning Center is one of many community organizations that benefits from your talents. "We expect to double or triple the services we'll be able to provide to the community thanks to the master's program students," said Joshua Diehl, Chief Strategy Officer for Autism Services at Logan Center. Collectively, our Class of 2017 graduate student cohort devoted nearly 10,000 hours of speech services to the community from 2015-2017, leading to a measurable impact on the social skills and lives of many individuals at Logan Center, Lighthouse Autism Center and beyond.
Another area organization to benefit from our graduate students' care and expertise is the Readiness Center, a nearly 40-year-old parent/child preschool program for low-income families in the Benton Harbor, Michigan area. Our students work with the preschoolers on phonology awareness and language-based intervention through games and activities. Rachael Young, Class of 2017, noticed a difference in some of the kids with whom she was working. "They're more verbal, more excited to engage with their peers and teachers as a result of the increased confidence that comes with improved communication skills." Additionally, students provide speech and hearing screenings to local preschools.