One Audiologist Toø Many The historical linkage of speech-language pathology and audiology often explains anomalies in the evolution of both fields. One of these is the proliferation of very small audiology training programs, which I believe has contributed to a general decline in the average quality of audiology graduates. Although program size is no ... Viewpoint
Viewpoint  |   July 01, 1993
One Audiologist Toø Many
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Aaron Thornton, PhD
    Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 243 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114-3096
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / Viewpoints
Viewpoint   |   July 01, 1993
One Audiologist Toø Many
American Journal of Audiology, July 1993, Vol. 2, 5. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0202.05
 
American Journal of Audiology, July 1993, Vol. 2, 5. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0202.05
The historical linkage of speech-language pathology and audiology often explains anomalies in the evolution of both fields. One of these is the proliferation of very small audiology training programs, which I believe has contributed to a general decline in the average quality of audiology graduates. Although program size is no guarantee of quality education and training, larger programs do have advantages with regard to attracting the best students and maintaining the highest standards. In anticipation of anecdotally based protests, I readily acknowledge the existence of outstanding audiologists who graduated from small programs.
The disparity between the sizes of speech-language pathology and audiology programs is reflected by the breakdown of the 202 training programs accredited by the ASHA Educational Standards Board (ESB): 85 are speech-language pathology, 2 are audiology, and 115 are speech-language pathology and audiology. And even though 58% of the 202 programs are accredited in the area of audiology, only 13% of the enrolled graduate students are majoring in audiology. Thus we see that speech-language programs have evolved to an average graduate student enrollment of 44, whereas audiology programs have an average of only 12 graduate students. Why, then, are there so many small programs competing for only 27 students per state?
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