Bilingual Track (STEPS)

Bilingual Track (Spanish-English) in Speech-Language Pathology

If you are bilingual in Spanish and English, the Speech Therapy Education, Practicum, and Services (STEPS) program can position you to use your language skills to better serve Latino children with disabilities and their families.

Why is STEPS needed?

The number of Spanish speakers has increased throughout the nation, and this upward trend is expected to continue. According to ASHAs (2015) national survey, only 6% of ASHA-certified clinicians speak a language other than English with enough fluency to provide services in that language; the percentage is 4% for Spanish.

The 2014 U.S. Census reports that Latinos are the fastest growing minority population. In addition, more than one third of Latinos are under 18 years of age, while one quarter of other group populations are within that age range. The United States Department of Education (2015) reports that most of the increases in minority enrollment are due to a concomitant increase in the Latino population; in fact, one in four children in schools is Latino/a, and 80% of English Language Learners (ELL) are Latino.

Obtaining specialized training in the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate services to Latino children and their families will help you better serve this population. Because of the need in this area, your skills will be highly solicited.

The STEPS multidimensional approach

STEPS uses a multidimensional approach to train SLP students to provide appropriate speech-language services to Latino children. It provides:

  • research-based academic training, including courses that focus on serving Latino children and families
  • clinical/field experiences with Latino children and families, to foster a multicultural perspective and the application of evidence-based practices
  • service learning within these academic and clinical training requirements, to prepare students to work collaboratively with parents and professionals in SLP and related fields

STEPS is more than a program. The people and the opportunities that are part of STEPS demonstrate that it is a family, one that offers support and provides fantastic experiences.

Haley Fulk, class of 2017