STEPS curriculum

Students enrolled in the STEPS program will fulfill ASHA academic and practicum requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence. Because of its focus, the STEPS program will be geared toward completing coursework in areas related to child language, bilingualism and diversity. In addition to the courses within the master's curriculum, STEPS students will be required to take the following courses:

  • Spanish Language Acquisition and Disorders
  • Child Dual Language Learners: Development, Assessment and Intervention

Students are also required to participate during their Fall I, Spring I, and Fall II semester in bimonthly clinical grand-rounds–Tertulias. These meetings will occur one evening every other week, and students in the regular master’s program will also be invited to participate. The topics will focus on our work as bilingual speech-language pathologists and will include practical activities for analyzing speech and language, assessment and intervention that follow best practices, and aspects related to counseling and advocacy. In addition, every fall, the program will host a workshop with a prominent researcher in the field. STEPS students will participate in the planning and be required to attend said workshop.

These courses are electives for all students but are required for those who will be completing the bilingual track (STEPS) program.

Students will begin their practicum their first semester in the program. The clinical practica includes the following opportunities:

  • assessment and therapy assignments in regional public schools with a high Latino enrollment
  • clients in the department's clinic
  • community screenings
  • externship placement in schools with a significant Latino population as well as a medical or other non-educational setting
  • incorporated within STEPS' core courses is a service-learning component. Students, in collaboration with the bilingual supervisor and STEPS director, will participate in a variety of service learning activities in the community

Course descriptions

S515 Spanish Language Acquisition and Disorders (3 cr.)

In this course, data on the acquisition of Spanish as a first language will be presented. These data will encompass Spanish acquisition in both monolingual and bilingual contexts. Linguistic phenomena that are manifested in bilingual environments and that impact Spanish performance will be emphasized. Characteristics particular to how language and phonological impairment are manifested in Spanish-speaking children will be presented. In addition, basic information concerning Spanish phonological and grammatical structure, and dialectal differences within the language, as these affect acquisition, will be included. Practical activities such as child sample transcriptions and analyses will be incorporated within the course content.